Four County Catholic March 2018

Page 1


Holy Week

March 25 to March 31

Volume 30 • Number 3 • March 2018 Serving The Counties Of Middlesex, New London, Tolland, Windham, CT & Fishers Island, NY

He Died So That We May Live The Lenten Journey to the Cross and the Resurrection


In this Issue


PAGE “If we’re counting God’s blessings, how do we count to infinity?”


Serving The Counties Of Middlesex • New London • Tolland • Windham, CT & Fishers Island, NY

­Established in 1989 and published each month except July.

Father Jim Brobst, OMI, homilist at the Mass on the occasion of the closing of the Immaculata Retreat House in Windham after 58 years of faithful service.

Made Possible in part through your generous support of the Annual Catholic Appeal


Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D. Bishop of Norwich Editorial Office

PAGE “Without the generous donations to the ACA, the 26 ministries serving those in need within our Diocese would not be able to do the good work they do each day to improve people’s lives and, in turn, build their futures.”

MARCH 2018




Mary Ellen Mahoney sharing the deep gratitude expressed at the 6th annual Ministry Fair.

PAGE “The faith we teach is not just a subject taught every day, it is lived.”



Superintendent of Diocesan Schools, Henry Fiore Jr., speaking of the strength of faith, academics and school security across the diocesan school system.

31 Perkins Avenue, Norwich, CT 06360-3613 Fax 860.859.1253 Director of Communications/Executive Editor

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Meredith Morrison, 860.887.3933 c Assistant Director of Communications/Senior Writer

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Reverend Richard L. Archambault January 23, 1930 - March 8, 2018 in Putnam, Connecticut CATHOLIC FOUR COUNTY

ON THE COVER: Image of Christ, circa 1890, by Franz von Stuck, a German painter and sculptor.









SO THAT WE MAY LIVE The Lenten Journe y to the Cross and

the Resurre ction

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Four County Catholic, 31 Perkins Ave., Norwich, CT 06360-3613 FOUR COUNTY CATHOLIC Issue 3 March (PE 9934) is published monthly except July by The Diocese of Norwich, 31 Perkins Avenue, Norwich, CT 06360-3613. Periodicals postage paid in Hartford, CT 06101 and at additional mailing offices.




LET FAITH LEAD THE WAY As we continue our Lenten journey together and prayerfully contemplate Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection, we are still grieving the loss of innocent young lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Ash Wednesday. We are suffering as one family. It is a heavy cross to bear. Our Lenten prayers are with the families of the victims and their loving friends and neighbors who are suffering. Faith will lead us forward on a very long road to healing. As we struggle to heal, I appreciate how hard we are all trying to understand the root causes of these tragedies. Our most productive path forward is to proceed deliberately, objectively, without political bias and with our one united purpose being the security of our precious children. As each day passes, we are finding that some of the answers lie in legislation, some in enforcement of the law, many others in social conditions. Some are eminently fixable; while others will require much more patient planning. It has been good to see the young students in Florida leading the charge to fix what can and should be immediately fixed, such as tighter gun restriction legislation as per the Public Safety Act. Also, it is encouraging to see the administration in Washington listening and preparing with Congress to act. At every level, those who represent us at the state and national level seem prepared to move beyond partisan interests and turn their attention to protecting our most precious resource -- America’s children. Hopefully, we have the beginning of a breakthrough. Close to home, I would like to thank our School Superintendent, Henry Fiore Jr., for his leadership in continuing to ensure tight security at our diocesan elementary and secondary schools, as outlined in his letter published in this same issue. God bless the teachers and guardians of our

students. Faithful citizens of all denominations must begin to face the complex of causes that can lead the young to violent outcomes. We can no longer deny the inadequacies of the mental healthcare system in this Country. As a nation, we have not done our best to care for the young afflicted with mental illness and to protect them from harming themselves and others. The reality emerging is that the national approach to mental health is in need of radical reform. The close connection between mental illness and tragic violence by young men is clear and present. This reality needs to be addressed. Also in need of attention is the pervasive influence of violent video games, movies and programming flowing out of Silicon Valley and Hollywood. These addictive products corrupt vulnerable young minds, especially the unstable. It desensitizes the young mind to the value of human life. Many of these games even reward killing with game points. It is poisonous and must be regulated and closely monitored at home. The young person today is subjected to a barrage of violent images in the news on TV and online twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Gang violence. Terrorism. Loss of innocent lives in random crimes. Striking down of law enforcement officers in harm’s way. It can be overwhelming for young viewers. Let us be mindful of this and be there to help our young people work through the disturbing images. A further devastating influence is the conduct of the abortion industry. Here we have a genocidal practice of killing hundreds of thousands of unborn children year after year - funded in part by taxpayer support of Planned Parenthood. This is a complete and shameful breakdown of respect for the value and sanctity of human life. Planned Parenthood alone is responsible for the taking of over 800 unborn lives a day. This is a complete abandonment of a culture of life. Our children are aware of this horrible disregard for life.

Sadly, there are more corrupting influences in today’s culture that the young cannot escape. These damaging influences include hateful lyrics of entire genres of music and an epidemic rise in addictive drugs. From a Christian perspective, the breakdown of the worth of family has the most harmful effect on the young. Here is where we, as Christians, need to make a stand. Here is where we become missionaries in our own land. We must do everything possible to encourage restoration of the family unit. And we must do everything possible to encourage our families to turn to our loving God to rediscover that God is the loving force to redirect our society from a culture of death to a culture of life. The family and your church communities are a powerful source of strength and hope. By all means, participate in speaking out on legislative matters as they affect our young ones; but also participate with renewed energy in the preservation of the family and the vitality of your community of faith. Children who do not have the benefit of a supportive family or who feel neglected or abandoned by a parent are at risk of being overwhelmed and mislead by the forces of corruption and evil. We can help build strong minds and young people of character by not neglecting them. This mission of love can help defeat the difficult pressures on the young. Pray with me that this is the core lesson learned that will protect and nourish our children as our society searches for long-term answers of substance. God bless you and our children,

Bishop Michael R. Cote

MARCH 2018

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


United in Purpose





Que La Fé Muestre El Camino Unidos en el propósito

Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo,

MARCH 2018


A medida que continuamos juntos nuestra jornada de Cuaresma y experimentamos la oportunidad de este tiempo Santo para contemplar en oración el sufrimiento, la muerte y la resurrección de Cristo, para que podamos tener vida eterna, todavía estamos llorando la pérdida de vidas jóvenes inocentes en Stoneman Douglas High School en Florida el Miércoles de ceniza. Estamos sufriendo como una sola familia. Es una cruz pesada de soportar.


Nuestras oraciones de Cuaresma están con las familias de las víctimas y sus afectuosos amigos y vecinos quienes están sufriendo. La fe nos conducirá en un largo camino hacia la curación. A medida que luchamos por sanar, aprecio lo mucho que todos tratamos de comprender las causas de estas tragedias. Nuestro camino más productivo es proceder de manera deliberada, objetiva, sin prejuicios políticos y con nuestro único propósito el velar por la seguridad de nuestros preciados niños. A medida que pasan los días, descubrimos que algunas de las respuestas se encuentran en la legislación, algunas en la aplicación de la ley y muchas otras en las condiciones sociales. Algunas son eminentemente reparables; mientras que otras requerirán mucho más tiempo y paciencia en la planificación. Ha sido bueno ver a los jóvenes estudiantes en Florida a la cabeza para arreglar lo que se puede y se debe corregir de inmediato, como una legislación de armas más estricta. Además, es alentador ver a la administración en Washington escuchar y prepararse con el Congreso para actuar. En todos los niveles, aquellos que nos representan a nivel estatal y nacional parecen preparados para ir más allá de intereses partidistas y dirigir su atención a la protección de nuestro recurso más preciado: los niños de Estados Unidos. Con optimismo, tenemos el comienzo de un gran avance. Cerca de casa, me gustaría agradecer a nuestro Superintendente de las escuelas, Henry Fiore Jr., por su liderazgo al continuar asegurando la estricta seguridad en nuestras escuelas diocesanas primarias y secundarias, como se indica en su carta publicada en este mismo

periódico. Dios bendiga a los maestros y protectores de nuestros estudiantes

vida. Nuestros niños son conscientes de esta horrible indiferencia por la vida.

Los ciudadanos fieles de todas las creencias deben comenzar a enfrentar las complicadas causas que llevan a las mentes jóvenes y frágiles a resultados violentos. No podemos seguir negando en este país las insuficiencias del sistema de salud mental. Como nación, no hemos hecho nuestro mejor esfuerzo para cuidar a los jóvenes aquejados de enfermedades mentales y para protegerlos de hacerse daño a ellos mismos y a los demás. Durante décadas, se pensó que la medicación era el remedio para los jóvenes que luchan con la inestabilidad mental. La realidad que surge es que el enfoque nacional de la salud mental necesita una reforma radical. La estrecha conexión entre la enfermedad mental y la violencia trágica de los hombres jóvenes es clara y presente. Esta realidad necesita ser abordada.

Tristemente, hay influencias más corruptoras en la cultura actual de las que los jóvenes no pueden escapar. Estas influencias dañinas incluyen letras de odio de géneros enteros de música y un aumento epidémico de drogas adictivas.

También necesita atención la influencia generalizada de los videojuegos violentos, las películas y la programación que salen de Silicon Valley y Hollywood. Estos productos adictivos corrompen las mentes jóvenes vulnerables, especialmente las inestables. Desensibiliza la mente joven al valor de la vida humana. Muchos de estos juegos incluso recompensan la matanza con puntos de juego. Es venenoso y debe ser regulado si no erradicado. La persona joven de hoy está sometida a un aluvión de imágenes violentas en las noticias en TV y en línea 24/7. Violencia de pandillas. Terrorismo. Pérdida de vidas inocentes en crímenes arriesgados. Derribar a los agentes de la ley cuando hay peligro. Puede ser abrumador para los espectadores jóvenes. Tengamos esto en cuenta y estemos allí para ayudar a nuestros jóvenes a trabajar a través de las imágenes perturbadoras. Otra influencia devastadora es la conducta de la industria del aborto. Aquí tenemos una práctica genocida de matar a cientos de miles de niños por nacer año tras año, financiado en parte por el apoyo del gobierno de EE. UU. Planned Parenthood. Esta es una ruptura completa y vergonzosa del respeto por el valor y la santidad de la vida humana. Solo Planned Parenthood es responsable de la toma de más de 800 vidas por nacer al día. Esto es un abandono total de una cultura de la

Desde una perspectiva a largo plazo, la ruptura del valor de la familia tiene el efecto más perjudicial en los jóvenes. Aquí es donde nosotros como cristianos necesitamos tener una postura. Aquí es donde nos convertimos en misioneros en nuestra propia tierra. Debemos hacer todo lo posible para alentar la restauración de la unidad familiar. Y debemos hacer todo lo posible para alentar a nuestras familias a recurrir a nuestro amoroso Dios para redescubrir que Dios es la fuerza amorosa para redirigir a nuestra sociedad de la cultura de la muerte a la cultura de la vida. La familia y las comunidades de su iglesia son una poderosa fuente de fortaleza y esperanza. Claro que sí, participe en hablar sobre asuntos legislativos ya que afectan a nuestros jóvenes; pero también participe con energía renovada en la preservación de la familia y la vitalidad de su comunidad de fe. Los niños que no tienen el beneficio de una familia de apoyo o que se sienten descuidados o abandonados por un padre corren el riesgo de ser abrumados y confundidos por las fuerzas de la corrupción y el mal. Podemos ayudar a construir mentes fuertes y jóvenes de carácter al no descuidarlos. Esta misión de amor puede vencer las difíciles presiones sobre los jóvenes. Ore conmigo para que esta sea la lección central que, más que ninguna otra, protegerá y nutrirá a nuestros niños mientras nuestra sociedad busca respuestas de sustancia a largo plazo. Dios le bendiga a usted y a nuestros niños,

Michael R. Cote Obispo de Norwich

Our DIOCESE Mr. Larry Barile First year Theology, Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary, Weston, Massachusetts.

Mr. Michael Castiblanco Third Year Theology Mount St. Mary’s Seminary Emmitsburg, Maryland

Deacon Ronald Blank Fourth year -Theology, Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary, Weston, Massachusetts.

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MR. Michael Bovino Second year - Theology, Mount Saint Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

We pray for men to answer the call to be instruments of God’s grace as priests of Jesus Christ. As we continue toward Holy Week and the coming Easter season, I asked our seminarian Normand Laflamme to write a reflection regarding his experience at the SLS18 this past January in Chicago. Enjoy and please keep all we are doing with FOCUS at UCONN in your prayers.

The word “evangelization” is intimidating to us. We often think, “I am not called to that. Others are more qualified for the job. They will spread the Good News of the Gospel.” We are wrong to think this way. Blessed Pope Paul VI wrote, “Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize” (Evangelii Nuntiandi 14). These words cannot be taken lightly. Jesus did not come for a select few but for the salvation of all (see 1 Tim. Mr. Dharen Brochero UnderGrad/ Philosophy Major Mount St. Mary’s Seminary Emmitsburg, Maryland

2:4); and so, He commissioned His disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19). This mission extends to us today. If the task of evangelization falls to each one of us, then how can we overcome the fear of telling others about Jesus? We all desire deep and lasting friendship, and this is the core of evangelization. It begins by simply inviting others into friendship. We all know of people in our lives who feel left out or who may be far from God and His Church. Evangelization begins with an invitation to such people: not an invitation to Mass necessarily, nor an invitation to talk about Jesus (at least not immediately), but an invitation to share our lives with one another, to develop human friendship.

Evangelization does not entail some artificial formula of questions and arguments, which requires an advanced degree in theology. It only requires an open heart, a willingness to be vulnerable with another person, and dedication to invest time and love in another person. We are all capable of such love. Indeed, we all desire such intimate and genuine friendship. This is what it means to evangelize. It is almost natural to our humanity.

“We all desire deep and lasting friendship, and this is the core of evangelization.”

Deacon Frank Gilbert Fourth year - Theology, Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary, Weston, Massachusetts.

Of course, for such friendship to really lead others to Jesus, we must be intimately close to Him ourselves. When we have God at the center of our lives, when we love Him with all our heart, this love rubs off on those closest to us. They see our love for Him and are captivated by such a unique and life-giving relationship. Still, it is not enough to lead by example; our love for Jesus must be proclaimed aloud. Again, this does not Mr. Normand Laflamme First year - Theology, Mount Saint Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland

have to be so uncomfortable. Friends share the most intimate parts of their lives with one another. And if we are truly in love with Jesus, this will naturally be one of the things we share. Stories are always more compelling than logical proofs. So, share your story with your friends, and let the Holy Spirit use your testimony for their good and for the glory of God. This is the method that our Savior Himself used. He invested deeply in twelve men, spent three years almost exclusively with them. Jesus shared His life with the disciples. The disciples knew Him most intimately and were profoundly changed by Him. Then, the disciples went out and invested in others: Peter befriended Mark. Barnabas befriended Paul, and he Luke, Philemon, Timothy, and Titus. To reach the world, one needs only to invest deeply in a few, who will then invest in others. And soon all nations will have heard the Good News of Jesus Christ.

By Normand J. Laflamme

Mr. Jacob Ramos Second year - Philosophy, Mount Saint Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Ruben Sanchez UCAELI Program UCONN/Storrs

MARCH 2018

I was privileged to join Vocation Director Father Greg Galvin, at the FOCUS Student Leadership Summit conference in Chicago during the first week of this year. I learned how simple and natural it is to evangelize. The “program” of evangelization that FOCUS presents is the most human and natural approach to spreading the Gospel that I’ve ever heard of! We all desire deep friendships with others, and that is all this “program” is: investing deeply in only a few. This method is so simple! Anyone can do it. It can be brought to any parish, school, or even city-wide community.


Father Gregory Galvin, Director of Priestly Vocations




Chrism Mass March 27th -10:30 AM HOLY THURSDAY EVENING MARCH 29th

Mass of the Lord’s Supper 7:00 PM Confessions following MasS

MARCH 2018


Good Friday MARCH 30th


The Lord’s Passion - 3:00PM Confessions following Service Stations of THE cross BEGIN at Chelsea Parade at 6:00 PM

The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, has made the following clergy and diocesan appointments in the Diocese of Norwich:

Clergy Appointments Reverend Monsignor Michael Donohue, from Pastor, Saint Matthias Parish, East Lyme, and Dean of the New London Deanery, to Leave of Absence for Medical reasons. Effective: March 1, 2018 Reverend Gregory Mullaney, Administrator, Saint Matthias Parish, East Lyme, while continuing as Pastor, Saint Agnes Parish, Niantic. Effective: March 1, 2018.

Sister Elissa Rinere, C.P., J.C.D., Chancellor

holy saturday MARCH 31ST Confessions - 10:00 - 11:00Am Only

EASTER Vigil Mass - 8:00 PM


The Resurrection of the Lord

Masses 7:30AM, 9:00,AM 10:30AM and 5:00PM

Way of the Cross

A public procession of scripture and prayer Friday, AprilMarch 14 • 6:00PM GOOD FRIDAY, 30th - 6pm Chelsea Parade, Norwich

136 Sachem Street Norwich CT 06360 860-889-2374 Fax 860-886-2396


Profile of a Priest Father Juan Angel Aguirre Palacio, Vicar for the Corpus Christi Catholic Community: Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, Windham, Saint Joseph, Willimantic, and Saint Mary, Willimantic Ordination date: June 25, 2016

What one word would describe your family? Vineyard!

What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time? I love movies, it is a pleasure for

What else would you like people to know about you?

I would like people to know that even though the journey to Priesthood is not an easy one, the grace and mercy of God is good enough to sustain the path. It is not easy to leave your country, your culture, your family and friends to come to another place; where you must learn a new language, a new culture and another way to live and express your faith. But God has promised that He will be next to us living with us and working through us. I miss my country, my culture, my family, my friends, and my way of living and expressing my faith. When I have the opportunity to celebrate Mass in my own language with the Hispanic Community, I feel God is fulfilling his promises … even in a foreign land … we can feel at home. There are many things immigrants must face to work for happiness in a foreign land. What will sustain us is our faith in God, what will keep us together is celebrating our


Holy Hour for Vocations

The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, leads the Holy Hour:

April 19 Saint Luke Ellington

Father George Villamthanam


May 17 Saint John Plainfield

Father Tadeusz Zadorozny

6-7pm faith in our language and continuing to live according to our culture. What do you enjoy most about being a priest?

I enjoy everything about being a priest. I was ordained to live and act “in Persona Christi Capitis” meaning, I was ordained to be the loving and merciful face of Christ, to serve the

Church by personifying Christ. So, what I enjoy most about being a priest is just that: Being a Priest. Celebrating the sacraments, listening to people and consoling them, and serving the Church.

Look for this column every month to learn more about the priests in the Norwich Diocese


I would have to say that the biggest influence for entering the priesthood was my Pastor, Father Andrés Fernando Restrepo López. He still is my Spiritual Director and is always pushing me to put my attention on what the Lord is trying to say to me. After a long time and many experiences, I realized Priesthood was what God was asking me to assume. Every time I met with Father Restrepo for spiritual direction, he would ask me to try and see how God was directing me to the ordained ministry. God took his time in preparing me to become one of his priests. He tested me like gold is tested on fire. And honestly, this process is not yet finished. What I am now is only because of God’s grace and mercy.



MARCH 2018

Who was your biggest influence for entering the priesthood?


I am originally from Colombia, South America, not from Columbia, CT.

me to go to the movie theater and see what is playing. I also enjoy great conversations on various topics, with people I love to be with, while sharing some good Colombian coffee! I love experiencing great moments and making memories with great people.


Where are you from?


By Marianne Nicholas



Rite of Election: One Step Closer to Full Initiation in the Catholic Church


MARCH 2018


Photos and article by Linda Norton


hat the faithful who attended the Rite of Election the Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Norwich witnessed on Sunday afternoon, February 18th was not just a glimmer of hope for the Church in our Diocese, but a full-on solar flare. Why? Because on that day 118 people from around our diocese, in the presence, and with the blessing of Bishop Michael R. Cote, priests of the Diocese, and many faithful, took another step forward to becoming fully initiated into the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults(RCIA). The diversity in age range of the 118, referred to as the “elect”, was

Sara and Luis Diaz Chia – brother and sister

Candidates and Catechumens stand as their names are read. noteworthy - from children to senior citizens, and an impressive number of millennials too. Equally diverse were the personal stories and experiences that led them to this point. Marlin Hoffman, from Saint Michael the Archangel in Pawcatuck, mentioned being encouraged by his daughter and his five-year-old grandson, Thomas. Having been raised a Lutheran, Marlin attended Mass with his wife

and family throughout the years, but never got around to officially joining the Church. Thomas frequently asked his grandfather why he never received Holy Communion. Here we see that a child’s continued questioning and a daughter’s persistence were instruments of the Holy Spirit. Pedro and Ashley Perez, a young married couple, and Sara and Luis Diaz Chia, a brother and sister in their

early twenties, all from Saint Mary’s in New London, entered the RCIA process because they were asked to be Godparents, but hadn’t yet completed their sacraments of initiation. Of the 118 people, 32 are catechumens (those who will be receiving Baptism, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation) and 86 are candidates (those who are already baptized and will be receiving Holy Eucharist and/or Confirmation). Upon entering the Cathedral, and prior to the formal beginning of the Rite of Election, each catechumen signed the Book of the Elect. After the entrance procession to the hymn “Church of God, Elect and Glorious”, Bishop Michael R. Cote welcomed everyone. Speaking to the candidates and catechumens he said, “Let this day be a further experience of conversion and grace in your lives”. After the Opening Prayer, The Liturgy of the Word began with Deacon Frank Hann and Mr. Richard McKee as lectors. In his homily, Bishop Cote referred to the Gospel reading just proclaimed

by Deacon Michael Puscas, which was about Jesus’ 40 days in the desert and his temptation by Satan. Bishop Cote instructed us that in our faith history “deserts have a prominent place”. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, and Jesus, in his preparation for His mission on earth, also spent time in the desert. In fact, it was “the will of the Father that Jesus underwent this trial”. He went on to say that “it isn’t unusual for God to test those He loves”. We will have our difficulties, but we must place our trust in God and resist temptation. Bishop Cote, speaking directly to the catechumens and candidates, said that “the sacraments are a means of grace to strengthen us on our journey.” During the Rite, representatives from each parish’s RCIA team presented the catechumens and candidates by stating their names aloud. Each stood upon hearing his or her name. Godparents and/or sponsors were at their sides as Bishop Cote addressed them. Once he received affirmations from the Godparents and sponsors, the catechumens and candidates also responded in the affirmative when asked if they were ready to move forward into the life of the Church, Bishop Cote declared that they would be fully initiated into the sacred mysteries of our faith at the Easter Vigil. They will receive the Sacraments during the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, March 31, at their home parishes with their parish priests presiding and administering the sacraments. After intercessions and the singing of the recessional hymn, “Joyful Joyful”, led by Douglas and Sharon Green and cantor, Carroll Mailhot, everyone was invited down to the Cathedral hall for refreshments and photos with Bishop Cote.


The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich, will join with clergy of other Christian Communities from the Norwich area in leading a public Way of the Cross on Good Friday, from Chelsea Parade to Central Baptist Church. This service will begin at 6pm In case of inclement weather, it will be held at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Norwich.

EASTER Sunday, April 1 CT Walks for Haiti Walkathon

Join us in the 8th annual walkathon through West Hartford center featuring meteorologist Joe Furey as MC. Food, music, crafts, silent auction and much more!

Friday, April 6 A Brave New World is Coming:

Is the Catholic Church Ready for 2050? Saint Thomas Aquinas Church, Storrs, presents Dr. Philip M. Thompson, J. D., Ph.D., at 7:30pm in the Aquinas Student Center, 46 North Eagleville Road on the UConn Storrs campus. Admission is free. Dr. Thompson will explore how by the year 2050 the world will be transforming, and how the Church may respond to the rapid pace of such change.

Sunday, April 22 Layette Program

Norwich Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Layette Program will be held at 2pm at Christ the King Parish, Old Lyme. Please bring baby items and baby clothing sizes Newborn to 3T. All items will be donated to Catholic Charities. For more information, contact June Getchius at 860-4600126.

Saturday, April 28 11th Annual Outreach to Haiti Gala

Outreach to Haiti welcomes Dr. Nadine Jacquet, Director of Outreach to Haiti Clinic, Port au Prince. $100 per person ($50 tax-deductible). Cocktail Attire • Silent Auction. RSVP by April 16. For more information please contact Marie Farrell at 860-800-3601.Please help benefit the children in Haiti.


DiocesE of Norwich, Outreach to Haiti

Invites you to the

11th Annual Gala Saturday April 28, 2018

A Villa Louisa 60 Villa Louisa Rd. Bolton, CT 06043 Outreach to Haiti welcomes

Dr. Nadine Jacquet

Director of Outreach to Haiti Clinic, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Cocktails at 6:30pm followed by dinner $100 per person ($50 tax -deductible) Cocktail Attire • RSVP by April 16th Benefiting

Children of Haiti

twenty-third annual diocesan

Secretaries mass will be held at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, 213 Broadway, Norwich, Connecticut, at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.


GOOD Friday, March 30 Way of the Cross


MARCH 2018

Saint Joseph’s, Willimantic from 10–2pm. Join us as we strengthen our Love for God and his people through overcoming discrimination and racism. Rally with national speaker Vince Nims. Please register in advance. $10 per person and $25 for a family of 3 or more. Registrations can be received by calling (860)848-2237 ex. 305 or email Liza Roach at lroach@


Saturday, March 24 March for Mercy



March Calendar of Events











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ST. PATRICK CEMETERY Depot Road, Uncasville • 860-887-1019 ST. MARY CEMETERY Community Mausoleum Available 600 Jefferson Ave, New London • 860-443-3465

MARCH 2018


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2x4 MercifulSaviour Jan18 11/15/2017 2:02 PM Page 1

SACRED HEART CEMETERY Wauregan Road, Wauregan • 860-887-1019 ALL HALLOWS CEMETERY Green Hallow Road, Moosup • 860-887-1019 Norwich Diocesan Cemetery Corporation 815 Boswell Ave, Norwich CT 06360 860-887-1019

Please remove all winter decorations on or before March 18, 2018 or they will be removed and discarded.


% 30% off 10 off of our retail prices

on all of our inventory

Any One In-Stock Item Buy One Get One Free

Expires 2/20/18. One Coupon Per Customer. on Cards. Mustall have Greeting coupon to receive discount. We carry: Rosary Beads, Jewelry, Music, Books, Bibles, Indoor & Outdoor Statues, Crucifixes, Wall Crosses/Crucifixes, Eternal Lights & Candles, Greeting Cards for all occasions, Missals, Prayer Books & Cards, DVD's, Giftware for Sacramental Celebrations,Baptism Gifts for children and adults.



In Loving Memory


Come to the “Life in the Spirit Seminar” (below) and increase your faith! “Life in the Spirit Weekend Retreat” Friday to Sunday – March 9-11 At My Father’s House, Moodus 7pm Friday to Sunday after lunch To register for a wonderful opportunity Call 860-873-1906 or www. ($150pp) Presented by Fr. Ray Introvigne and Mrs. Judith Hughes

8 Week “Life in the Spirit Seminar” Begins Monday evening, March 12 From 7-8:30pm (every Monday evening) Spiritual Renewal Center, Norwich “A Life Changing Opportunity”

Masses of Healing and Hope 2nd & 4th Mondays March 12 & 26 - April 9 &23 at 2pm. Spiritual Renewal Center, Norwich Individual Prayer and Anointing


BALTIC- Sister Mary Bernard, a Sister of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, was called home to God on Tuesday evening, February 13, at Holy Family Motherhouse in Baltic, CT after a long illness. She was born in Uncasville, CT on August 12, 1930, the daughter of the late Sylvio and Lydia (Loranger) Rivest. Sister attended local schools, and entered the Sisters of Charity at age 14, professing perpetual vows on August 12, 1951. She earned advanced degrees in Education and Psychology from Cardinal Stritch College in Wisconsin. Sister held various positions as teacher, principal and Diocesan School Supervisor during her long career in education from 1948 until her retirement, for reasons of health, in 2014. She served the Sisters of Charity as a member of the General Council and as local superior for many years. Sister was predeceased by her parents, her sister Simone McDonald, and a beloved niece, Kelly Matte. She is survived by her nieces, Mary Kimball and Rita McDonald, and her nephews James, John and William McDonald. The funeral Mass was held on Saturday, February 17 at the Motherhouse Chapel. Guillot Funeral Home of Taftville assisted with the arrangements. Memorial gifts may be sent to the Sisters of Charity, 54 West Main St., Baltic, CT. 06330.

Mass of Healing and Healing Service Palm Sunday, March 25 St. Thomas the Apostle Church 870 Farmington Ave., West Hartford Mass, 1-2pm; Healing Service, 2-4pm Prayer Teams, Individual Prayer and Anointing.

Spiritual Renewal Services

11 Bath Street • Norwich, CT 06360 Phone: 860-887-0702


12 Ocean Avenue New London, CT 860-443-1871 443-1871

48 Grand Street Niantic, CT 860-739-6112 739-6112



A woman suffering hemorrhages for NO twelve years, came up behind Him and UNCEM touched the hem of His garment. She said to herself, “If I ONLY touch His cloak (Faith), I shall be healed! Jesus turned and said, “Courage, daughter, your FAITH HAS SAVED YOU!” – Mark 9:20-22

MARCH 2018





MARCH 2018


Amidst Gratitude, Grief and Hope Immaculata Retreat House Closes



Story and Photos by Wayne Gignac

or the fourth time in almost as many months, priests in the Diocese gathered to sing Salve Regina. This time for the closing of an institution. Immaculata Retreat House. The Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), the order who purchased the land in Windham in 1958 announced in November that they would be closing their doors as of March 1st. (See December 2017 issue of the Four County Catholic). On February 25th, Bishop Michael R. Cote presided over the Immaculata Retreat House Sunday Closing Mass to a standing room crowd. Immaculata Director, Father Daniel Renaud, OMI greeted the overflowing crowd with these words, “Welcome to Immaculata Retreat House. This simple phrase of hospitality has been uttered by many over the years. First by Father Monette, OMI, founder of Immaculata along with his other Oblate companions. It also has been said by many OMI directors, by

many of the employees and groups over the last 58 years. It is a place of spiritual growth.” Father Renaud went on to say, “Our Mass will provide a unique opportunity to grieve; to connect; to reminisce; but most importantly -- which is the focus of what we do as Christians -to celebrate.” And celebrate we did. Bishop Cote with priests from all across the Diocese joined the Oblate Community, staff, associates and former retreatants, in thanking God for the gift of Immaculata. The Homilist for the Mass, Father Jim Brobst, OMI said, “As I greet you here today, I’m pulled in at least

Bishop Michael R. Cote looks on as Deacon Benedict LoCasto proclaims the Gospel.

three different directions. My oblate heart is pulled towards gratitude, toward grief, and ultimately toward hope. My words, or any words of gratitude, can’t possibly do justice to what could be said today. And as I look around I’m thinking of the countless memories that must reside just in those of you gathered in this chapel. I think of many more memories of gratitude in the hearts of every retreatant who has graced these halls. Fifty-eight years of ministry here. How do you count to infinity? Don’t worry I won’t try this morning (laughter). But I’m going to go partway there. I hope you go with me. How many souls found peace in these woods, which they never found anywhere else? How many

How many burdens have been laid down in this place?

souls have been inspired by words that have led them to change their perspective, within these walls? How many have had a change of heart here at Immaculata only to begin a better life at home? How many burdens have been laid down in this place? Most importantly, today, I hope we all give gratitude to God not only for this sanctuary but the love which brought it into being and sustained for these 58 years as a beacon of hope for those who have found too few such places in our world and sometimes even in their own parishes. And again, I ask the question-- if we’re counting God’s blessings, how do we count to infinity? Well, we start! We recognize that we and all our works, no matter how wonderful, are not infinite. Not our buildings. Not our lives. Not our children’s lives. And we realize, and I realize too, painfully today, neither is Immaculata infinite. And therefore, it’s time to honor the very real grief.

Double rainbow over Immaculata- photo provided by

Father Daniel Renaud with Oblate Associates We’re human and we stand with another one who is human just like us in all things but sin. Jesus. Who also wept when he was at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. Knowing that there was still going to be a future life for Lazarus, but not as it was. If you have tears today remember you are in the best of company. Jesus! We can have hope this morning because we have seen and tasted the goodness of our God. Hope, it’s not rooted in the future; hope is rooted in our knowledge of God’s presence in our past and present.”

Bishop Cote, having the final word, said this, “We all owe you, the Oblate community, a sincere word of thank you. We are extremely grateful to you. The last time that I was here was for the Diaconate Convocation at the beginning of the year. After dinner, which is always so nice by the way, I made my way to the dining room to say thank you to the cook and his crew. And that young man spoke some very lovely words to me. He said, ‘It’s in the hands of God.’ And it’s true it is and will always remain in the hands

of God. It’s a great loss for this diocese, and particularly sorrowful to see it come to this point. But we know, it is in the hands of God. So, thank you kindly, we look upon you with great memory and will always cherish what you brought to this diocese and we ask God to bless you in the years ahead. God love you”. Following the final blessing, the Bishop, priests, deacons and brothers sang Salve Regina.

Call for an appointment today! 860-632-1688

Pope Francis @Pontifex

Our Heavenly Father always listens to His children when they cry out to Him in their pain. Today let us offer the Lord a Day of prayer and fasting for peace.

MARCH 2018

Senior Housing in Cromwell for those age 55 and over. One and Two Bedroom Units




l• 2018 •







MARCH 2018

of Nor ese w c o



Standing Together To Build The Future


h o lic A p

a pe



Diocese Of Norwich 1953 - 2018

197 Broadway • Norwich, CT 06360 • 860-886-1928 •








8th Annual

Norwich Women’s Conference Welcome women of all ages

Saturday, April 14, 2018, 8:30-3:30pm Saint Bernard School, Uncasville

Holy Mary, I place this cause in your hands.

~ JP ~

New London, CT (860) 701-9171

Workshop Choices: 1) Parenting Catholic Children 2) Feminine Genius 3) Adoration: Ritual and Practice 4) Catholic Women: Called to More 5) Surviving Divorce 6) Prayer in a Busy World 7) Faith in Action: Serving Others 8) Empty Nest: Sharing Gifts and Talents

9) Mary: Not a Gentle Woman 10) Pope Francis: The Joy of Love 11) Why go to Church? 12) Today’s Lessons from Scripture Stories of Long Ago 13) Music and Movement: Unlocking your Spirituality 14) Music and the message: women’s issues 15) Using technology in your Prayer Life

Registration fee Workshops options are first come first served basis.

Deadline for registration March 20, 2018 By March 17, 2017...$30 After March 17, 2017...$40 Students... $20

For more information and a registration form visit or contact the Office of Faith Events at 860-848-2237 ext 304

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There are none that can withstand your power. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Norwich, CT (860) 887-7468

Faith, fun and more! Keynote Speaker -- ValLimar Jansen

MARCH 2018

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

O Most Beautiful Flower of Mt. Carmel, Fruitful Vine, Splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother. O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succor me in my necessity.

Called to Joy!



“Standing Together to B



By Mary Ellen Mahoney


he Annual Catholic Appeal’s 2018 theme, “Standing Together to Build the Future” was brought to life at this year’s Ministry Fair held on February 26th at the Mystic Marriott. More than 350 donors visited with the various ministries supported by the ACA. Entering the large ballroom, one was struck by the sight of so many people who truly are “Standing Together To Build the Future”. For without their generous donations to the ACA, the 26 ministries serving those in need within our Diocese would not be able to do the good work they do each day to improve people’s lives and in turn build their futures. Now in its 6th year, the Ministry Fair provides an ideal venue for ACA donors to learn directly from ministry representatives about how their donations impact Deacon Chris Deskus, Director the lives of others. of Prison Ministry with Bishop Diocesan ministry Michael R. Cote D. D. directors and

Barbara and Robert Bergdoll with Mark and Margaret Pitluck smile for the camera while awaiting breakfast.

representatives arrived early Sunday morning to prepare their booths and were quickly greeting guests, answering questions and educating people about the work of their ministries. In addition to serving as a means of bringing together ministries and donors, the Ministry Fair is also a way for the ACA to say thank you to its generous contributors. Ministry representatives distributed small gifts including stress balls from Catholic Charities and bookmarks from the Office of Communications. In addition, every guest was given a convenient key chain magnetic screwdriver emblazoned with the ACA theme, “Standing Together to Build the Future. “ Mrs. Angela Arnold, Executive Director of Development for the Diocese, welcoming everyone to the Ministry Fair, reported that the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal raised a total of $2,921,735.32 which was $30,162.00 more than the prior year. She said that the Ministry Fair and breakfast was “a celebration of the ACA and a way to thank you for helping to make our 2017 ACA ‘Our Faith Calls Us to ACTION’ a success.” Before introducing Bishop Cote, Mrs. Arnold took note of the Bishop Cote photo prayer cards at each person’s table setting. These beautiful cards, Mrs. Arnold continued, were in commemoration of Bishop Cote’s 15th anniversary as Bishop which will be celebrated this May. Bishop Cote then extended his sincere appreciation to all of the donors as well as the hardworking ministry representatives and led everyone in prayer before a delicious breakfast was served. Each year, ministry representatives enjoy their interaction with the donors. Mr. Ron Krom, Executive Director of Saint Vincent de Paul, Middletown, relished meeting new people as well as repeat donors and SVDP Middletown volunteers, “I always enjoy talking about the work that we do.” In particular, Mr. Krom tells donors about the people his organization helps through its Soup

Daniel O’Sullivan, Outreach to Haiti, Executive Director thanking Ministry Fair guest for her support.


Build the Future”

Mary Ellen Mahoney speaking with Brian Bloom and Michele Bloom.

Outreach to Haiti, two cedar Adirondack chairs given by The Transition Academy at Mount Saint John, as well as other unique gifts such as a basket of spiritual books and scarf donated by Office of Faith Events. Each year, attendees share their positive feeling about both the ACA and the Ministry Fair. Ralph and Rosalie Gimbut from Saint Andrew, Colchester, found the fair to be “very informative”. Mr. and Mrs. Gimbut enjoyed the Prison Ministry the most because “we belong to the Legion of Mary and visited York Prison as one of our ministries.” Many donors enjoy visiting with ministry representatives and thanking them for the work they do. William and Patricia Newton from Saint Matthias, East Lyme, were particularly interested in the Office of Faith Events booth because they wanted to “thank them for the bereavement counselor outreach that we attended earlier this year.” The Ministry Fair is a highlight for the Annual Catholic Appeal, a major source of crucial funding for our Diocesan ministries. Through the kindness and generosity of donors from our 74 parishes and missions, the ACA supports the Diocese’s 26 ministries as they help our friends and neighbors to meet the challenges of daily life. The 2018 ACA campaign, “Standing Together to Build the Future” began in parishes on the weekend of March 3-4. For more information on the ACA, to watch this year’s video or to donate online, please go to or contact the Development Office at (860) 886-1928.

Rosalie and Ralph Gimbut of Colchester, enjoying breakfast at the 2018 Ministry Fair.


at 2018 Ministry Fair

Kitchen, Amazing Grace Food Pantry, and Warming Center. Mr. Krom is very appreciative of the ACA in this difficult fiscal environment, “Funding basic needs is really difficult, and the ACA understands and supports our efforts to care for the poor in the ways that we do.” Ms. Jillian Corbin, Executive Director of Saint Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich also appreciated the opportunity to thank people for their support as well as inform them of the new initiative, the Save a Life program. Ms. Corbin explained that Save a Life is the free narcan training offered by Saint Vincent de Place, “The trainings will include overdose prevention strategies, signs and symptoms of overdose, how to administer nalaxone and support information and resources. All participants will receive a free overdose kit. Next training dates- March 9 and April 13 at 9am at Saint Vincent de Paul Place.” Thankful to the ACA, Ms. Corbin remarked, “The ACA assists us with our operational costs which enables us to love and care for those in need.” Deacon Chris Deskus, Prison Ministry, Director used the ministry fair to share “the wonderful news that ACA contributions assisted recently in purchasing a sacramental preparation program for use in our correctional facilities.” Symbolon, the new sacramental program is now being used by all Catholic Chaplains across all facilities allowing an inmate who is transferred to a new facility to continue preparation for Baptism, First Eucharist, or Confirmation. Deacon Deskus is thankful for the contributions of the ACA donors as they “are vital to supporting the mission of our Diocese and its faithful members, spreading the message of God’s love in our community.” The final event of the day was a raffle of gifts donated by ministry personnel. Donations included handcrafted items such as a Haitian wooden tray, from



Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti to Participate in 9th Annual Walk for Haiti

MARCH 2018


Walk With Us!



oin the 9th annual CT Walks for Haiti walk-athon and Haitian Festival on Saturday, April 21. Meteorologist Joe Furey will return as the event MC. The annual walk through West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square attracts hundreds of supporters. The festival and 2.5 mile walk kick off at Saint Peter Claver Parish Center (47 Pleasant St., West Hartford). There will be crafts, music, children’s activities and delicious Haitian food. The silent auction features gift cards from local businesses, hand-crafted items, event tickets and more. The event takes place rain or shine. Activities begin at 10:30 a.m.; the walk starts at 12:00; festivities end at 2:30 p.m. Walkers and non-walkers will have plenty to enjoy as the

festival continues throughout the whole event. CT Walks For Haiti, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) all-volunteer organization. Proceeds from the event go directly as grants to the following charities that have compelling needs: Camp Hispaniola, Haitian Health Foundation, Haitian Humanitarian Network, Medical Aid to Haiti, Operation Unisson and the Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti. They provide medical, nutritional, and educational services to vulnerable populations. For more information about the walk, the charities, or about making a donation, please visit our website: www. or join our CrowdRise fundraiser at https:// or contact Nancy Pelletier at 860.803.6270.

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130 Main St Norwich • (860) 885-0147

(Seated: Pamela Perrone, Connie Gilles, Jacqueline Haywood; Standing, Mary Todzia , Deacon Peter Gill, Mary Garry; Missing, Jennifer O’Neill, Lea Tomaszewski)

Cynthia Mageski; Employee of the Year

Join us for an Evening of Hope on Sunday, April 15th at the Mystic Aquarium beginning at 6:30pm For ticket information contact Christine Jackel at 860-886-1928; Tickets $100 ; $125 after April 1st Cocktail Hour / Dinner / Silent Auction / Black-Tie Optional


Christopher Lipinski, PhD; Humanitarian of the Year Jane Leger, Honoring our Heritage Middletown Advisory Board; Community Servants of the Year

MARCH 2018

Catholic Charities will recognize the outstanding contributions of the following individuals for providing help and creating hope to those in need throughout Eastern Connecticut (from left to right);


Our Diocese

The Christopher Society “STANDING TOGETHER TO BUILD THE FUTURE” Thank you for supporting our Diocesan Ministries through your good works

MARCH 2018


By Kathy Gaito


When you look around the communities in the Diocese of Norwich one thing that is most noticeable is the generosity of all of the people living here. Stewardship is abundant with people donating their time, talent and treasures. As Catholics, we make up one group of these stewards, donating to the Catholic Church and other causes that are near and dear to our hearts – each of us donating at a level that we are able, sharing our gifts as God asks. The Diocese of Norwich is fortunate to have some individuals who are able to make donations to the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) at leadership levels. These donors have donated $1,000.00 or more to the ACA and are recognized as members of the Christopher Society. Like Saint Christopher who carried the Christ child safely on his back guarding Him against a raging river, members of the Christopher Society help lead those in need to safer harbors. On February 17, 2018 at The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station, members of the Christopher Society joined Bishop Cote for the Annual Christopher Dinner. This dinner thanked members for their contributions to the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal, “Our Faith Calls US To ACTION,” and ‘kicked off’ the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal, “Standing Together to Build the Future”! The 2018 ACA video was premiered at the dinner and the response was overwhelmingly positive!

those in need.” Father Peter W. Grover, O.M.V. from Boston, MA was the guest speaker at the dinner. Through various inspirational stories, some with a humorous twist, Father Grover shared the importance of giving. He told all in attendance, “Keep doing what you’re doing…being generous, kind and loving like Jesus showed us before he died. Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll always be happy.” A time-honored tradition at the Christopher Dinner continued for another year; Bishop Cote and Sister Rita Johnson performed their rendition of “George and Gracie”. The evening concluded with Bishop Bishop Cote, Mrs. Dorothy Paine and Mr. Ronald Paine at the 2018 Christopher Cote offering the benediction and Dinner standing next to the Bishop’s 2018 photo commemorating his 15th thanking everyone for their generosity and Father Grover for his inspirational Anniversary as Bishop of the Diocese of Norwich. message. Angela Arnold, Executive Director of Development, speaking about the results of the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal shared, “Funds raised…totaled $2,921,735.32 in 2017. That number is $30,162.00 more than the previous year (2016). In 2016, the average overall gift was $254.85 and it grew to $268.34 in 2017. That’s an increase of $13.49!” These figures are a result of ALL contributions to the ACA. In speaking with ‘good stewards’ Christopher Lipinski, Ph.D. and Mrs. Connie Gillies I asked, “Why is it important to you to support the Annual Catholic Appeal?”

Dr. Lipinski stated, “One of the ways of responding to what Jesus asks us to do is helping the poor and needy. By giving through the ACA, you are doing this in Jesus’ name.” Mrs. Gillies responded, “I think when making donations we all want to know where and how the funds are used. When I see the ACA video at Mass, it is clear that these are the ministries that need and receive our support. The Ministry Fair also gives us an opportunity to meet the directors of the ministries and ask questions and learn more about their missions. As Catholics, I feel it is important to support our Diocese in order to help

Thank you to all members of the Christopher Society! Your support and the support of others allow our ministries to continue their service to our community. Thank you for “Standing Together to Build the Future” of the Diocese of Norwich! To learn more about the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal and about how you can become a member of the Christopher Society please visit www.norwichdiocesedevelopment. org to view the ACA video and make your pledge. Or call the Office of Development at 860-886-1928.






April 4, 2018 Father Brian Maxwell

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To report inappropriate contact of any kind by a representative of the Diocese of Norwich or for assistance to victims, please call: 1-800-624-7407

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Para reportar cualquier contacto inapropiado por un/a representante de la Diócesis de Norwich, o para buscar ayuda para víctimas, favor de llamar: 1-800-624-7407

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MARCH 2018



Trust in the mercy of God’s love. If you are carrying the grief and sorrow of past abortions, call Project Rachel a post-abortion healing ministry. All calls are confidential.


Our YOUTH Sacred Heart School, Groton

Sacred Heart School, Taftville

Dr. Gail Kingston, Principal 50 Sacred Heart Drive, Groton, CT 860-445-0611

Mother Christina Van Beck, SCMC, Principal 15 Hunters Ave, Taftville, CT

Phone: 860-887-1757

St. James EdwardSchool, School,Danielson Stafford Springs LindaMaryAnne Marie Joyal, Principal Mrs. Pelletier, Principal 120 WaterSt, St,Stafford Danielson, CT CT 25 Church Springs, Phone: Phone: 860-774-3281 860-684-2600

St. Joseph School, North Grosvenordale

Ms. Sharon Briere, Principal 26 Main St., N. Grosvenordale, CT Phone: 860-923-2090

Academic Excellence. Character. Self-Confidence. SCHOOL SAFETY Diocesan School Office

Henry Fiore Jr. Superintendent 2/21/18

MARCH 2018


Dear Families of Students in our Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Norwich,


In trying to come up with the right words of comfort and reassurance for our school communities, which I am sure are still numb from yet another school shooting, this time in Parkland, Florida. I am relying solely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit in doing so, as this is no small task. We need to first of all put our children first. By now, they have already been exposed to at least what has occurred. Assure them that our Catholic schools are extremely safe. We follow all of the safety and regulations set forth by the State of Connecticut just as the public schools do. Preparedness in lockdown and evacuation drills are exceptional, and the assistance of our local police and fire departments in this area has been nothing short of astounding. Talk to your younger children about the purpose of these drills being preventative, not reactive. Having attended numerous safety conferences sponsored by the RI State Police during my most recent years as principal, I learned that it is important to widen one’s perspective when tragedies such as these occur across the US. School shootings have been increasing in our country, but keep in mind that they are made public so soon to so many, it may give the impression to our children that they are commonplace and expected. I do not say this to disregard vigilance by any means. I say it in an effort to help emotionally regulate our children, who are anxiety prone in this day and age. One interesting topic I have learned from attending safety conferences is the fact that with technology being what it is today, the destructive hi-tech violent video games (ones with realistic weapons) are creating better hand-eye coordination and it was said by a national expert in the field that we are “virtually training sharpshooters at an early age”. I am not mentioning this to sound “preachy”, or to tell you what games you should or should not choose for your children. My intent is to proactively relay to you what was stated by an expert for your discernment. Another thing to keep in mind is the age-appropriateness of the depth of what our children are seeing about these tragedies in the media, and the ensuing conversations that may follow. Nobody knows your children like you do. Only you can tell how much of this they can cognitively handle. -Continued St. Mary-St. Joseph School, Willimantic Ms. Abby Demars, Principal 35 Valley St, Willimantic, CT Phone: 860-423-8479

St. Michael School, Pawcatuck

Mrs. Doris Messina, Principal

63 Liberty St, Pawcatuck, CT Phone: 860-599-1084

St. Patrick Cathedral School, Norwich Mrs. Catherine Reed, Principal 211 Broadway, Norwich, CT Phone: 860-889-4174

St. John School, Old Saybrook

Mother Elaine Moorcroft, SCMC, Principal 42 Maynard Road, Old Saybrook, CT Phone: 860-388-0849

OUR YOUTH St. John Paul II School, Middletown Mr. Lawrence Fitzgerald, Principal 87 South Main St, Middletown, CT Phone: 860-347-2978

St. Joseph School, New London

St. Joseph School, Baltic

Sr. Mary Patrick Mulready, SCMC, Principal

10 School Hill Road, Baltic, CT Phone: 860-822-6141

“A Holy Place Where We Discover Each Other in God’s Love” Celebrating 76 Years of Excellence in Catholic Education ~ Grades K-8 ~

Full Day Kindergarten School Day from 8:30-2:30 After School Care Available Accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges

25 Squire Street New London, CT For information call 860-442-1720

Ms. Marianne Cote, Principal 25 Squire St, New London, CT Phone: 860-442-1720

St. Bernard School, Uncasville

“A Holy Place Where We Discover Each Other in God’s Love” Celebrating 76 Years of Excellence in Catholic Education ~ Grades K-8 ~

Full Day Kindergarten School Day from 8:30-2:30 After School Care Available Accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges

25 Squire Street New London, CT For information call 860-442-1720

Mr. Donald Macrino, Headmaster 1593 Norwich-New London Tpke, Uncasville, CT Phone: 860-848-1271

God Bless,

Henry Fiore Jr. Henry Fiore Jr.

Chrism Mass Tuesday, March 27 at 10:30am At Cathedral of Saint PAtrick A Joyous Celebration Of Priestly Service AND HOLY SACRAMENTS

Academy of the Holy Family, Baltic Mother Mary David, SCMC, Principal 54 West Main St, Baltic, CT Phone: 860-822-9272

Marianapolis Preparatory School, Thompson

Mr. Joseph Hanrahan, Headmaster 26 Chase Road, Thompson, CT Phone: 860-923-9565

Mercy High School, Middletown

Sr. Mary McCarthy, RSM, President 1740 Randolph Road, Middletown, CT Phone: 860-346-6659

Xavier High School, Middletown David C. Eustis, Headmaster Mr. Brendan Donohue, Principal 181 Randolph Road, Middletown, CT Phone: 860-346-7735

MARCH 2018

Be careful of too many details. Encourage them to talk about what is bothering them. Keeping it all inside is not good. Let them know that in addition to family members, our pastors, clergy, principals, and teachers are here for them as well. Show them examples of how our schools are loving, caring, and safe communities, not just places to learn. We have prayerful communities which reach out to others locally and globally not only with goods but also with our prayers and intentions daily. We raise our children to be faith-filled good, loving kids who not just act in Christ’s pure and innocent ways, but want to act this way. They “get it”. Our administrators are extra vigilant during these times, not only when a tragedy occurs. Our high schools have campus ministers to help with the coping and understanding of tragedies. Just last week, I personally met with Mr. Edward Tessman from Catholic Charities, and Mrs. Angela Arnold from the Office of Development to partner in offering diocesan approved and licensed counsellors for our PK-8 schools, who are ready and willing to help us in times of need. In addition to the support of the resources of the priests, deacons, sisters, brothers, and caring teachers, dedicated to the children we serve, I want to assure you that we are increasingly doing everything we can do to increase safety and security, and will continue to do so, especially in the supporting of our children’s emotional and spiritual needs. The faith we teach is not just a subject taught every day, it is lived. Our deep-rooted faith in Our Savior, whose suffering and Passion we celebrate during a holy season of Lent is what gets us through these tough times. Even though we may not understand why these horrible things happen, we know that our faith will get us through them. It is an opportunity to bring not only our communities, but our world together in healing. Our confidence is that eternal happiness in Heaven with Our Lord will happen one day. He promised us. He showed us by giving His own life that suffering has to happen to attain that hope of glory. What better time than Lent, in anticipation of the hope and glory of Easter to rekindle this hope in our children and remind ourselves that with faith, all things are possible. I will be praying for your children and your families always, especially during this holy season of Lent. Please know that our pastors, principals and their faculties and staff are available for you now, and whenever there is any issue of trouble to our children.


-Continued letter


OUR YOUTH From the Superintendent’s Office…

My Dear Friends,

MARCH 2018


During this entire month of March, we are deeply immersed in the holy season of Lent. In our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Norwich, preschoolers to high schoolers learn powerful lessons from the rituals of Lent. Our students recognize that Lent is not just about “giving up things”. They are taught by our dedicated teachers, administrators, and clergy the deeper meaning of why we sacrifice and how Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice of His life for our redemption. All of this is so we may learn His lessons of loving God and loving our neighbors.


I am so grateful that Catholic education in our diocese gives our children a sense of belonging and a sense of what is sacred. These are two qualities which are in short supply in the lives of children in this day and age. I feel that one of the unique characteristics of our schools is that we are traditional in terms of the faith and modern in terms of academic success. What sets us apart is that the faith and moral values we espouse permeate all that we do. In these tough times, we need to be reminded that this life is only the beginning. Our Catholic schools prepare students for eternity, and not just the here and now. During this season of Lent, we instill in our students the art of selfreflection when it comes to the faith. We recommend finding time for silence in order to listen to God. We show them the importance of increased prayer during Lent by modelling it. We teach them about the Triduum and how it should be the “high point” of Lent. Our children are the future leaders of our Country. We need strong leaders who are not afraid to speak the truth. Our Catholic schools teach and model Jesus Christ, the most courageous speaker of truth - God Himself. My prayer for you this month is that your families’ faith be deepened as we continue our journey into the holy season of Lent, and that we strive to continue to be models of this faith for our children always.

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inancial literacy, leadership and entrepreneurial skills are all things that students in Connecticut’s first Millionaire’s Club at Saint Bernard School are looking forward to learning more about. The Millionaire’s Club, a complete financial skills program designed for delivery in a club-like setting at high schools, colleges, and other community organizations, is sponsored by CorePlus Credit

Union of Norwich. It is only a part of Saint Bernard School’s commitment to providing students with the opportunities and unique skill sets that are integral to living as responsible, independent and caring adults. Complementing accounting, personal finance, and economics classes offered at Saint Bernard School, the Millionaire’s Club allows students to put into practice concepts already learned.

Students from left to right in the photo with the Millionaires Club banner Joshua Terry, Burke Niles- Vice President, Madeline BradyPresident, Reaghan Mandeville-Secretary, Andrew Lemire-Treasurer, Dillon McCaffrey, James Light

However, if a student has not taken financial courses, the club curriculum from the National Endowment for Financial Education lays a solid foundation of financial literacy, so no student wishing to participate in the club is left behind. Since the Club’s inception in October, club members have gone on a field trip, elected officers, identified an entrepreneurial project, and created a budget. In the coming months, students will hear from guest speakers, local professionals, learn how to play the Stock Market Madeline Brady -SBS Millionaires Club Game, generate funds for the President receiving a check (seed money for the Millionaires Club) from Elizabeth club, and go on other field trips. In addition, the Saint L. Zachow, Community Relations Manager, Bernard School Millionaire’s Coreplus Credit Union Club is looking forward to completing in state and national challenges. “Saint Bernard School students are so excited to be partnered with CorePlus Credit Union,” said Andrew Lemire, Club Treasurer. “Having a Millionaire’s Club will help us learn money management for our entire lives.” Prices starting at $2,499 ~ with Airfare Included from anywhere in the USA Reagan Mandeville, Club Secretary added, “It’s exciting to Several trips to different destinations: the Holy Land; learn about finances, stocks, and Italy; France, Portugal, & Spain; Poland; Medjugorje, banking. I’m happy that we have Lourdes, & Fatima; Ireland & Scotland; England; the guidance of CorePlus to help Austria, Germany, & Switzerland; Greece & Turkey; us. I can’t wait to see what the year Budapest; Prague; Our Lady of Guadalupe; brings the Millionaire’s Club.” To learn more about Saint Peru; Domestic Destinations; Columbia; Brazil; Bernard School and why it is a Argentina; etc… place for your child to learn, grow We also specialize in custom trips for and discover their best self, contact Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. the Office of Admissions at 860848-1271 or admissions@saintCall us 24/7 508-340-9370 Hablamos Español 855-842-8001


By Shari L. Marderness

MARCH 2018


SBS Encourages Entrepreneurial Skills



Children Explore Vocations Through Art State Knights of Columbus Hold Annual Vocation Poster Contest Diocese of Norwich Student Wins Nathan Ballestrini, son of Josh and Kimberly Ballestrini, created prize winning poster as part of a CCD project at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Gales Ferry. Article and photos by John D. Ryan

MARCH 2018


PUTNAM, CONN. – It’s natural for children to think about what they’re going to do when they grow up, but they might not think about becoming a Catholic priest, a nun, a religious brother or a deacon. The Knights of Columbus is working to change that. For that reason, the Connecticut State Council of the K of C, with the participation of many of the state’s local councils, sponsors an annual vocation poster contest among Catholic elementary and middle school-age children throughout the state. This year, entrants were asked to make posters representing one or more life vocations in the Catholic Church, including marriage, the single life or being a priest, nun, deacon or a religious brother. A committee made up of three professed religious sisters and a priest met recently at the Daughters of the Holy Spirit U. S. A. Provincial House, in Putnam, and selected the state’s three winners for 2017-2018. They are first- and secondgrade winner Nathan Ballestrini, of Preston, sponsored by Our Lady’s Shrine Council 7054, of Gales Ferry, third- and fourth-grade winner Isabella Somma, of Norwalk, sponsored by Saint Matthew Council 14360, also of Norwalk, and seventh- and eighth-grade winner Felicia 26 Crowley, of New Milford, sponsored by

Housatonic Council 40, also of New Milford. Taking a cue from Pope Francis, the idea behind the contest is to get children to think about their possible vocation in life, beginning at a young age. “Becoming a priest or a man or woman religious is not primarily our own decision,” the Pope said in a speech in Rome to seminarians to the priesthood and religious novices in 2013. “Rather it is the response to a call and to a call of love.” Starting last fall, local K of C councils held competitions in their local Catholic grade schools and parish Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) programs, selecting their own winning posters from among entries received statewide. The local, winning posters were then forwarded to Putnam for judging in the statewide competition. Members of the selection committee, all from Putnam, included Sister Margaret Bareika, M.V.S., of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Sister Marie Pauline Guillemette, of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, Sister Jaisy, of the Sisters of Saint Martha and Rev. Richard L.

Archambault, a former superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Norwich. The committee was put together by Knights from Putnam, at the request of the state council. “We need vocations. The priests and the nuns are important,” Father

Archambault said. “It’s good to get young people dealing with this.”Each of the three winners will receive a $50 gift card from the Connecticut State Council, to be presented at its state convention, to be held in Stamford in May.

“Beautiful Things For Children”

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The Church The13th 13thAnnual Annual St. Andrew Andrew Church

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Friday & Saturday, March 23 & 24 Friday & Saturday, April 7 & 8 7:30 pm at St. Andrew Church 7:30 pm at St. Andrew Church 128 Norwich Ave, Colchester. 128 Norwich Ave, Colchester. (Doors at 7:00 7:00pm) pm) (Doors open open at The play is a musical performance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. With a cast of over 100. Featuring a 60-voice choir and a 40-voice childrens choir. Tickets for the performance are free; however, offerings to help defray production cost will be gratefully accepted. Tickets are available at Merciful Saviour in Colchester, the Parish Office or by phoning Theresa Dziatko at 860-295-8315. A limited number of tickets are available. No more than 10 tickets per person.

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St. Mary – St. Joseph School 35 Valley Street – Willimantic, CT 06226 860-423-8479 •

A Magnet School for Values

An Education You Can Believe In.

Inspiring Achievement. Celebrating Community. Embracing Service. Living Faith. Supported financially and spiritually by 10 parishes in the Middletown Deanery. Currently the only regional Pre-K to 8th grade school in the Norwich Diocese.

St. John Paul II Regional Catholic School 87 South Main Street / Middletown, CT 06457 Telephone: 860-347-2978 /

• • • • • • •

PreK—3 year olds (3 half days) PreK – 4 year olds full or half days Full day Kindergarten – Gr.8 Before and after school care Weekly Art, P.E., Music, Library, Technology Classes Student to Teacher Ratio: 18:1 Challenging academic program

Trust your child to a Catholic School where faith, knowledge and life meet. Come visit us!



Passion Play

MARCH 2018

Cosmetic ~Family~Implant



Defending Our Religious Liberty

MARCH 2018


The original health care federal mandate tried to force faithbased employers — including religious charities, schools and pro-life advocacy organizations such as the March for Life — to facilitate the coverage of drugs and contraception devices that go against our religious beliefs. When changing the mandate, let us pray that the administration safeguards religious freedom.


“A Holy Place Where We Discover Each Other in God’s Love” Celebrating 76 Years of Excellence in Catholic Education ~ Grades K-8 ~

Full Day Kindergarten School Day from 8:30-2:30 After School Care Available Accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges

25 Squire Street New London, CT For information call 860-442-1720

OUR FAITH Don’t miss that great opportunity in your life.


JUNE 3-12, 2018

June 3-12, 2018 (10 days) $3,499.00 from JFK and back.

For more information call Father Kennedy at 860-334-8925 or email at

May the Strength of God Pilot Us May the Wisdom of God Instruct Us May the Hand of God Protect Us May the Word of God Direct Us May The Salvation O Lord, Be Always Ours This Day and For Evermore Recently restored window at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, Norwich Photo Credit: Wayne Gignac


ith Father Russell Kennedy, Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Middletown.

MARCH 2018




14 Club Road Windham, CT 06280 860.456.1107

Dedicating our love, compassion and service to our community.


MARCH 2018


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*Short-term Rehabilitation *Long-term Care *End-of-Life Care *Daily Mass

Sponsored bybythe Sponsored the Diocese of Norwich Dioces of Norwich

Serving All Faiths • Pre-Need Arrangements Traditional Services or Cremations Directors: Joseph R. Introvigne, Joseph R. Introvigne, Jr. & Michael J. Introvigne 51 East Main St. Stafford Springs, CT



Visit us at: Edward J. Waitte Pat Zils Michael J. Waitte Debbie Froio

860 886-1961

FAX: 860 886-1965 116 BROADWAY, NORWICH


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Four County Catholic Please Contact: Meredith Morrison (860) 887-3933

“On Easter Sunday, April 1, may the abiding peace of the Risen Savior be with you, your families and loved ones. May Christ’s peace fill our hearts and homes with His love and renew our unity of purpose and good will. “

MARCH 2018


Bishop Michael R. Cote




Made Possible in part through your generous support of the Annual Catholic Appeal

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MARCH 2018


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Route 1, Mystic • • 860-536-2626 Serving Southeastern Connecticut’s Community for over 69 Years