Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

Articles By: erik shanabrough

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.
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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.
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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.
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Fairfield University Kicks Off 75th Anniversary Celebrations — March 17

Fairfield University will kick off its 75th Anniversary celebration on its official birthday, March 17, 2017.

On St. Patrick’s Day, 1942, with the backdrop of World War II, Rev. John J. McEleney, S.J. and six of his Jesuit brothers created the articles of association and by-laws for a Jesuit high school and college, originally named The Fairfield College of St. Robert Bellarmine—the beginning of both Fairfield College Preparatory School and Fairfield University.
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Jesuit Priest/Physician to Speak at White Mass Breakfast

BRIDGEPORT— Physician and priest Fr. Myles N. Sheehan, SJ, MD, will be the featured speaker at the 24nd annual White Mass breakfast set for Sunday, March 26, at 9:00am at St. Peter Church, 104 Main Street in Danbury.

“Pope Francis’ vision of the Church as a Field Hospital: What does it mean to health care providers?” will be his topic at the breakfast, which will immediately follow Mass.

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Sister Mary Grace Walsh Recognized at CAPP Breakfast

FAIRFIELD— Sister Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, former Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport, was presented the CAPP “Educator of the Year Award” at the 9th Annual CAPP Communion Breakfast held at Sacred Heart University this morning.

“No one exemplifies the leadership that Catholic educators bring to the Church more than Sister Mary Grace,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.
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The Notre Dame Update (3/3/2017)

Notre Dame High School will be celebrating our 60th Anniversary (click this story to watch the video) on March 11 at Sacred Heart University. As the first Diocesan high school, this is a very exciting and special time for our school. The 60th Anniversary Celebration is a time for our school community – parents, faculty, alumni, and friends – to celebrate Notre Dame’s past and exciting future.

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Don’t Close Doors to Refugees, Church Leaders Say

VATICAN CITY (CNS, Carol Glatz) — Given the ongoing crises in the Middle East, North American, European and other Western nations will need to be more generous in coming to the aid of refugees and displaced peoples, said two prominent church leaders.

The answer is continued assistance, “not to close the gates of the countries where people are knocking for survival,” said Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, former Vatican representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva.
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Catholic Service Corps Reaches Out to “Al’s Angels”

WESTPORT— Members of the newly formed Catholic Service Corps (CSC) were back in action yesterday to help out Al’s Angels with their Holiday Meal Assembly as part of their Christmas food basket preparations.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano stopped by to thank members of the Fairfield Prep and Sacred Heart University CSC Chapters at they helped to fill 1,600 bins for families who will be served over the holidays by Al’s Angels. he young people for their service to others.
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Michelle Smith Named Coordinator of CSC

BRIDGEPORT (September 23, 2016)—Michelle Smith has been named coordinator of the new Catholic Service Corps (CSC), a synod initiative created in response to the call for service and the need to engage youth in faith and good works.

“Michelle’s experiences as a religious education teacher, events planner, fundraiser and media director will provide faithful leadership as we work to bring the Catholic Service Corps to full fruition,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano. “She understands that works of service are grounded in faith and part of the formation process for our young people.”
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Day of Service Begins and Ends in Prayer

BRIDGEPORT—“Today is an historic day in our Diocese with the inauguration of the Catholic Service Corps,” said Bishop Frank Caggiano in his Facebook entry last Saturday.

The bishop was excited by the launch of the first Diocesan Day of Service sponsored by the newly formed Catholic Service Corps.

The day began with prayer, followed by volunteer work, and Mass celebrated by the Bishop at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Sacred Heart University.
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Bishop Caggiano Statement on Rev. John Stronkowski

OFFICE OF THE BISHOP

June 15, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is with deep regret that I must inform you that I have placed Reverend John Stronkowski on administrative leave and have removed his faculties to exercise any and all forms of public ministry as a priest.

My decision was made after I determined, with the assistance of the Diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board, that there is credible evidence of an incident of abuse of a minor on the part of Father Stronkowski more than a decade ago. Upon first learning of this allegation in late September of last year, I immediately notified Father Stronkowski that the Diocese would fully investigate the information brought forward. I also informed him that, pending the outcome of the investigation, his priestly faculties and his ability to exercise any public ministry would continue to be suspended. For reasons not having anything to do with abuse of a minor, Father Stronkowski has been on a leave of absence from ministry since May, 2014.

In accordance with both state reporting mandates and the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (commonly known as the Dallas Charter), we notified both the police and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) of the allegation. Given the limited information available and the amount of time which had passed, neither the police nor DCF took further action. As required by the Charter as well as our own policies, the Diocese then began a lengthy investigation into the allegation. As a result of this extensive and deliberative inquiry, which involved outside investigative resources and Diocesan advisers on such matters, the allegation was found to be credible. Significant supportive resources were made available to the victim throughout this confidential investigation. At the request of the victim and the victim’s family, we took every precaution to protect their privacy and we ask for continued respect of their privacy at this difficult time.

As a result of and in accordance with the Dallas Charter, Father Stronkowski is prohibited from any future ministry. Parish clergy and lay leadership where Father Stronkowski served were notified of my action in advance of this letter. We have taken steps to work with Father Stronkowski in this transition and provide him with support. In addition, Diocesan personnel are available through the Safe Environments Office as a resource to those affected. You should be aware that, other than this one reported incident, we have not received any other allegation of abuse of a minor by Father Stronkowski during his priestly assignments.

I realize that this is distressing news for the faithful and it further wounds the Diocese and our Church as a family of faith. I can only reassure you that we remain committed to a zero tolerance policy for child abuse and total transparency in the handling of cases.

I ask your prayers for all involved and pledge that we as a Diocese will continue to do everything in our power to fulfill the sacred obligation we share to protect children, youth and vulnerable adults in our community.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano Bishop of Bridgeport

Global Knowledge at Geography Bee

DANBURY—The Knights of Columbus McGivney Council #29 in Danbury held its Sixth Annual Regional Catholic Geography Bee on March 12, with 26 students in grades 5 through 8 representing ten schools (Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton, St. Mary in Ridgefield, St. Joseph in Danbury, St. Peter in Danbury, St. Gregory the Great in Danbury, St. Mary in Bethel, St. Joseph in Brookfield, St. Rose of Lima in Newtown, Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, and Greenwich Catholic School) grappling with 112 questions about world, North American and regional geography.
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Jubilee of Mercy observances

In addition to establishing the Centers of Mercy throughout the diocese, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has announced a list of dates on which he will lead the diocesan observances of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy:

Diocesan celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday April 3, at 2 pm St. Augustine Cathedral, Bridgeport
Bishop Caggiano will celebrate Mass and dedicate the new Divine Mercy Shrine on the Cathedral grounds. The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy will also be prayed. Special invitees include the diocesan WYD pilgrims and also those youth who are not going to WYD.

Jubilee for Religious Tuesday, May 17, 4:30 pm St. Luke Parish, Westport
The bishop will celebrate Mass with and for the women and men Religious throughout the diocese, particularly honoring jubilarians.

Jubilee for the Disabled Sunday, June 5, 2 pm, McClinch Family Center, St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Trumbull
At this handicapped-accessible facility, Bishop Caggiano will especially welcome faithful from throughout the diocese who are developmentally or otherwise disabled.

Jubilee for Workers and Volunteers of Mercy Sunday, September 4, 12 noon Location TBD
In a bilingual Mass in conjunction with the feast day of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the bishop will honor, thank and pray with the employees and volunteers of Catholic Charities, together with the volunteers in the Catholic Service Corps and other workers
and volunteers of mercy.

Diocesan Pilgrimage for the Year of Mercy to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C. Saturday, November 5
At this Mass, to which the whole diocese is invited, Bishop Caggiano will consecrate the Diocese of Bridgeport to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Each parish will be asked to send a delegation. Organization has begun to prepare publicity and arrange for bus transportation. Cost for the day (not including meals) is estimated at $75. The day will also include a visit to the St. John Paul II National Shrine, across the street from the Basilica.

Jubilee for Prisoners Sunday, November 6, 7 pm
Bishop Caggiano will celebrate Mass at the Garner Correctional Institution. This event will not be open to the public.

Conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Saturday, November 19, 4 pm St. Augustine Cathedral, Bridgeport
At this Mass celebrated by Bishop Caggiano on the Vigil of the Solemnity of Christ the King, the last Sunday in the Church year, the bishop will close the Holy Door at the Cathedral.

As at the opening of the Holy Door at the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy, special invitees will include the youth of the diocese together with members of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, with involvement from the Order of Malta.

World-Wide Knowledge

DANBURY—Knights of Columbus McGivney Council #29 in Danbury held its Fifth Annual Regional Catholic Geography Bee on March 28, with 19 students representing eight schools (Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton, St. Mary in Ridgefield, St. Joseph in Danbury, St. Peter in Danbury, St. Gregory the Great in Danbury, St. Mary in Bethel, St. Joseph in Brookfield, and St. Rose of Lima in Newtown).
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Bishop Caggiano’s Statement on List of Accused Clerics

OFFICE OF THE BISHOP

November, 2014
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (the “Charter”) requires, the Diocese of Bridgeport is re-promulgating its list of credibly accused clergy.

This list is published both ensure the ongoing protection of our children, youth and vulnerable adults and to assist in the healing of victims of clergy sexual abuse. In the interest of full transparency, we have included in this list both living and deceased clerics who were credibly accused of abuse or where the death of the cleric prevented further investigation of the alleged claims.

Both in keeping with the Charter’s provisions and out of a spirit of justice, I have not included in this list the names of those clerics who were both accused of sexual abuse and the allegation was found not to be credible. I have also not included in this list any cleric whose investigation has been impeded by judicial procedures outside of our control.

The sexual abuse of minors has created a great wound in the Church that must be healed through the Church’s credible and sustained efforts to ensure that all children, youth and vulnerable adults entrusted to its care are always kept safe and given the opportunity to grow in faith and love. To those victims who seek healing from the pain they have suffered, I offer my most sincere apology. I pray that with the Lord’s grace, you will feel the healing power of God and find peace and consolation in His Love. I also hope that the publication of this list will in some way help you and all the members of our Diocesan Church to find peace and assurance that we can move forward with confidence.

As the shepherd of the Diocese of Bridgeport, I take my responsibility to protect children very seriously and will continue to do everything that I can to implement our diocesan policies and procedures to ensure a safe environment for the most vulnerable in our midst.

Please be assured of my prayers as we continue down the road of recovery and healing with the strength of God’s love.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano Bishop of Bridgeport

Judge, Federal Prosecutor, Family Therapist Appointed to National Review Board

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has Named Judge Mary. K. Huffman of Centerville, Ohio; Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald J. Schmid of Granger, Indiana, and Marriage and Family Therapist Nelle Moriarty of Rochester, Minnesota to four-year terms on the U.S. bishops’ National Review Board. Their terms begin in June.
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They Know Their Way Around the World

DANBURY—The Knights of Columbus McGivney Council #29 in Danbury held its third annual Catholic Geography Bee March 9 at St. Joseph School in Danbury.

Fifteen fourth through eighth graders from six parochial schools in the northern portion of the Diocese of Bridgeport answered questions about world, the U.S., and Connecticut geography, including Catholic content.
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