Articles By: erik shanabrough

Parishes Take “Ignatian Parish Pilgrimage” Sponsored by Fairfield University Center for Ignatian Spirituality

|   Betsy Redgate, St. James Parish
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STRATFORD—From its inception, parish outreach has been one of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality’s primary goals. Bishop Frank Caggiano, welcomed and encouraged the idea of sharing Ignatian spirituality with the people of the Bridgeport diocese, and so the Ignatian Parish Pilgrimage was initiated.

Christ is the only savior of the Church, Bishop Caggiano says at USCCB Convocation

ORLANDO—The following is a video and transcript of Bishop Caggiano’s discussion on “How to Deal with Divisions in the Church.” (July 4, 2017 at the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America”)

“The truth is there is division that comes with the best of intentions and unbridled zeal. ‘I have all the answers. This is the way it’s going to work. This is going to save the Church’.

“Forgive me, no one in this room is saving the Church. We already have a savior. His name is Jesus Christ.

“So it seems to me humility is needed amongst all of us so that we can come together as a family and create a home.

“My mother used to save if you can invite somebody into your home, make sure it’s clean, has enough food, and when they come in the door, they’re family.

“And if we’re going to do that, I think division is something we need to work on.”

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Convocation Delegates sent home to imitate Jesus in reaching the margins

ORLANDO, FL— Jesus took a few loaves and fishes and turned them into a feast for thousands, offering the church an example of faith in action, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said in sending 3,500 delegates home from the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America.”

In the face of adversity and naysayers in today’s world—not unlike the apostles who wondered how they would feed the masses—the church is called to take what they have, as Jesus did and reap the rewards of achieving great things in the face of the impossible, Cardinal DiNardo said in his homily during the convocation’s closing Mass July 4.

Give thanks to God for our freedom

Today we join together as a nation to celebrate the gift of our freedom as enshrined by our Constitution. We commemorate the founding of our nation that is built upon the belief that all people have a God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We pause to give thanks for all those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom, especially those who have died in the line of duty both abroad and here at home. We also salute all the men and women who are working today to guard and protect our nation during these times of turmoil, terrorism and division.

Changing landscape requires mutual accompaniment, Convocation hears

ORLANDO, FL—The U.S. Catholic Church’s increasing diversity presents Catholics with the opportunity to accompany each other on the journey of faith Pope Francis envisions, a Boston College professor told delegates to the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America” in Orlando.

Bishop Caggiano to Speak at World Youth Day Unite!

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Young adults from the Diocese of Bridgeport have been invited to join other young people throughout the U.S. for the celebration of World Youth Day Unite in Washington D. C. on Saturday July 22, at the St. John Paul II National Shrine from 11:30 am to 10:00 pm.

World Youth Day UNITE is a national festival where thousands of young adults and young families gather in Washington, D.C. for amazing worship, inspiring talks, engaging break out groups, and more.

Place Your Fears at the Foot of the Cross

BRIDGEPORT—”In yesterday’s Gospel, the Lord directed his disciples three times to cast out fear from their lives. He told them that they had nothing to fear in this life, except the evil one who could threaten their spiritual lives.

I find this command not always easy to follow. Fears often creep into my heart and perhaps into yours as well. They are fears that threaten to paralyze our ability to respond as the Lord desires. There are personal fears (health fears that come with growing older, fears regarding a variety of issues that exist in my larger family and among my friends), fears that can arise from ministry (fear of failing in our efforts to bring greater renewal to the Church or evangelizing young adults, etc.) and the fears that we may all share as the world grows more divided and unpredictable. Individually, such fears can be managed on a daily basis. When taken together, they can have a chilling effect on our ability to move forward in faith.

Ordination: A Morning of Joy and Thanksgiving!

BRIDGEPORT—“We come here with great joy and thanksgiving for the gift of these three men,” said Bishop Caggiano at the beginning of this morning’s ordination at St. Augustine Cathedral.

A day that began with torrential rain opened into clear skies and the transparent happiness of almost 700 family, friends, and priests who celebrated the ordination of Harry Prieto, José Vasquez, and Timothy Iannacone.

Sister Rosemary Sheehan, rscj, passes away

Sister Rosemary Sheehan, a Religious of the Sacred Heart and a well known educator, passed away suddenly on June 20.

From 1953-1956 she worked at the former Convent of the Sacred Heart girls’ school in Noroton, where she taught, worked in the infirmary and served as dormitory mistress. In 1965 Sister Sheehan began her almost 50 years of ministry at Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, twenty-two years of which she served as head of the Upper School.

Sacred Heart University Welcomes Alumnus Back to Board of Trustees

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University has renamed alumnus Brian Hamilton ’87 of Milford to its board of trustees, the University’s top governing body.

Hamilton is founder and chairman of Sageworks, a financial information company with offices in Raleigh, N.C., and New York City. Sageworks provides lending and risk management solutions to financial institutions, as well as financial analysis and business valuation solutions to accounting firms and privately held companies.

Bishop Names Nine Territorial Deans for Leadership

BRIDGEPORT—Bishop Frank J. Caggiano presided over the installation of nine new Deans at the Chrism Mass held during Holy Week.

The new Deanery model replaces the former Vicariate structure related to the territorial organization of the diocese. The deaneries are designed to assist the bishop and priests in regional planning and decision-making, and improve collaboration between parishes.

Connecting Young People to the Eucharist

|   By Priscilla Mahar | View Gallery
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BRIDGEPORT— Writer and youth minister Kevin Dowd said Millennials are “a generation of brokenness,” who also represent the “the highest population of devout Christians than in the past three generations.”

Speaking to more than 100 directors or religious education (DRE’s) at an end of the year gathering in The Queen of Saints Hall at the Catholic Center , Dowd, a Harvard graduate, youth minister and researcher, stressed the importance of connecting today’s generation to the Eucharist.

Rhodes College Singers to Perform at Church of the Holy Spirit in Stamford

STAMFORD — Rhodes College Singers will perform in concert at The Church of the Holy Spirit Stamford on Thursday May 25, 2017 at 7:00PM. Admission is free and the concert is open to the public.

“We are most blessed and privileged to have this elite group sing for us here at Holy Spirit! All are welcome to share in this beautiful concert,” said Msgr. Kevin Royal, pastor.

Fatima Seers Become Church’s Youngest Non-Martyred Saints

FATIMA, Portugal (CNS)—Standing before the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Pope Francis canonized two shepherd children who saw Mary at Fatima, but more importantly, he said, they heeded the call to pray for sinners and trust in the Lord.

“We declare and define Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto as saints,” the pope said May 13 as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims broke out in applause before he finished speaking.

Pope: Honor the Believing, Tender Mary, Not a ‘Plaster Statue’

FATIMA, Portugal (CNS)—Mary’s example of believing and following Jesus is what matters most; she cannot be some image “of our own making” who Christians barter with for mercy, Pope Francis said.

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions at Fatima, the pope asked tens of thousands of pilgrims May 12 to reflect on “which Mary” they choose to venerate, “the virgin Mary from the Gospel” or “one who restrains the arm of a vengeful God?”

Malta House of Norwalk Welcomes New Director of Development and Strategy

NORWALK—Malta House, Inc., a home for pregnant and parenting mothers and their children, announces the hiring of Carey Dougherty as their new Director of Development and Strategy. The role was created to leverage partnerships and funding opportunities in the community, with an aim to expand the population Malta House serves and the services it provides.

Final Post-Synod Session Celebrates Achievements and Commitment to Change

TRUMBULL—Delegates expressed a sense of gratitude, personal transformation and ongoing commitment to the renewal of the diocese at the final post-synod session held at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Trumbull.

More than 100 delegates to Synod 2014 returned to the family center at St. Catherine’s to receive an update on synod initiatives and share personal reflections on their Synod journey.

In TED Talk, Pope Urges People to Make Real Connections

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—While searching for a connection today often means looking for Wi-Fi, Pope Francis said real connections between people are the only hope for the future.

“How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion,” he said in a video talk played April 25 for 1,800 people attending TED 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and posted online with subtitles in 20 languages.

Annual Clergy Retirement Celebration Mass

NORWALK–Bishop Frank J. Caggiano invites you to join him in honoring all recently retired priests and deacons in the first Annual Clergy Retirement Celebration Mass set for Wednesday, April 26, 7 pm at St. Matthew Church, 216 Scribner Avenue in Norwalk.

The Mass will honor all priests and deacons who have retired from active ministry since 2013, when the Bishop was installed as Bishop of Bridgeport.

Carrying the Cross

BRIDGEPORT— Parishes throughout the Diocese will observe Good Friday today with processions, Stations of the Cross, and the Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. Thousands are expect to join in processions in Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury and Stamford to commemorate the Lord’s Passion and prepare for Easter. In this brief reflection, Bishop Caggiano urges Christians to find strength by carrying the cross for others.

Pope Washes Feet of 12 Prison Inmates at Holy Thursday Mass

|   By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service
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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a gesture of service toward marginalized people, Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 inmates, including three women and a man who is converting from Islam to Catholicism.

Although in Jesus’ time, washing the feet of one’s guests was performed by slaves, Jesus “reverses” this role, the pope said during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper April 13 at a prison 45 miles from Rome.

Church Can be Light in a Dark World, Bishop Tells Priests at Chrism Mass

BRIDGEPORT– Bishop Caggiano urged his brother priests to grow in “fraternity and unity” as they minister to an increasingly divided and polarized world, at the Chrism Mass held this afternoon at St. Augustine Cathedral.

Hundreds filled the Cathedral for the mid-afternoon liturgy, where the bishop directly addressed his priests during the homily and blessed the oils used throughout the year in parishes as priests administer the sacraments.

End of Year Gathering for DRE/CRE

BRIDGEPORT—The Office of Faith Formation will sponsor and End of the Year Gathering for Directors and Coordinators of Religious on Thursday, May 18, 8:30 am to 1:45 pm at the Catholic Center, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport.

“Connecting this Generation with the Eucharist as Source and Summit” is the topic of the workshop, which will feature speaker Kevin Dowd and a presentation on the New Pflaum Gospel Weeklies.

SHU and SVC Enter into Management Agreement

Sacred Heart University (SHU) and St. Vincent’s College (SVC) have agreed to enter into a management agreement that will merge valuable resources of two of the region’s longstanding venerable learning institutions. This agreement, mutually beneficial to both, will support the goal of increasing academic excellence and distinctiveness. It will also afford an opportunity for Sacred Heart’s College of Nursing, St. Vincent’s College and St. Vincent’s Medical Center to work together to create new models for student transfer and greater access to clinical education.

Bishop Tells Students Catholic Social Teaching Helps Change the World

FAIRFIELD — Don’t stop trying to change the world, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano told Sacred Heart University Students tonight in the first Bergoglio Lecture in honor of Pope Francis.

But he quickly added that if they can’t take on the big structural issues, the best way to transform the world is through a commitment to love and justice, “one person at a time.”


Erin Welch & Marisa Doyle Represent St. Joseph HS

Trumbull—Erin Welch was recently named Miss Shamrock 2017 for the Greater Bridgeport St Patrick’s Day Parade. Contestants were evaluated based on numerous essays on Irish history, culture and tradition and were interviewed by a panel of judges. Mr. and Miss Shamrock as well as their runner-ups will receive a college scholarship, perform a reading at the St Patrick’s Day Mass, participate in ceremonies throughout the day and ride on the float in the parade.

Tom Burns of Danbury Receives Prestigious Award

Tom Burns, Director of Admissions for Immaculate High School in Danbury, CT, recently received the prestigious William A. MacNeill Award from the Association of Catholic Admissions and Advancement Professionals (ACAAP) of New England. The honor was presented to him at the 2017 ACAAP Recognition Awards ceremony at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA on March 16, 2017.

Irish Archbishop: St. Patrick was an ‘Undocumented Migrant’

ARMAGH, Northern Ireland (CNS)—The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has urged Irish people and those of Irish descent celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to remember the plight of migrants.

Archbishop Eamon Martin—St. Patrick’s modern-day successor as archbishop of Armagh—used his message for the March 17 feast to recall that St. Patrick was first brought to Ireland as a slave by traffickers.