Spirited Reception Launches ACA in Bridgeport

A gathering of almost 300 people filled the Queen of Saints Hall at the Catholic Center on Sunday for the kickoff reception for 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal.

The afternoon event for people in the Bridgeport area was prayerful, loaded with questions, and enthusiastic about the Appeal, which supports good works throughout the diocese. Parishioners from St. Margaret Shrine, St. George, St. Charles Borromeo, the Cathedral Parish, St. Mary, St. Ann, St. Andrew and others made the afternoon both festive and focused on supporting the appeal, which funds the major ministries of the diocese. Fr. Frank Gomez, Pastor of St. Charles Parish on the East Side of Bridgeport, translated for the many Spanish-speaking Catholics in attendance. Many came as entire families– grandparents, parents, children, and small babies in carriages.

Bishop Caggiano told the guests that the diocese is truly one family, but he expressed concern that the Church is not “meeting people where they are on their life’s journey.” Many people responded in agreement when the Bishop asked if they knew others who had turned away from the Church because they were hurt or did not feel welcome. He said many people now identify as “spiritual but not religious,” and that our parish communities must be vibrant to welcome them back.

Fr. Peter Lynch, pastor of St. Ann Parish in Black Rock, introduced the Bishop and spoke in both Spanish and English to those who attended the reception. The 2017 ACA video was screened in English along with a shorter Spanish-languauge version. During a question and answer session, the Bishop fielded many questions including interest in building a Church at St. Margaret Shrine and the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund, which he said was open to all children, even if their parents are recent immigrants. When asked if there were other ways to give to the appeal in addition to giving money, the bishop responded that people with very little to give can also speak to others about the importance of the Appeal, and the many individual and families that it helps throughout the diocese. He stressed there are donors who give $250,000 and those who give $10, and that he is equally as grateful because both are giving sacrificially.

After questions and a final prayer, the people enjoyed refreshments and were gifted with a small Lenten reflection book. The Bishop stayed throughout to chat informally and meet family members.

Please call (203) 416-1312 or email if you have questions or need assistance. To give online, please visit