Articles By: Renee Stamatis

$10,000 Grant Allowing Bridgeport Youth Center to Expand Their Fitness for Life Program

BRIDGEPORT—In early December, the Cardinal Shehan Center, a youth center in Bridgeport, CT, received a $10,000.00 grant from the Rotary Club of Bridgeport Foundation for its Fitness for Life program. The Shehan Center Fitness for Life program teaches kids about healthy eating and cooking as well as the importance of being physically active. The grant will also allow the Shehan Center to add a health day expo to the program. Katherine O’Hara, Shehan Center Co-Program Director, said, “The 100 second through eighth graders participating in our Fitness for Life program are being taught how to take care of their bodies by eating right and exercising. Now, with this grant we will be able to offer the entire Shehan Center community a day to learn about healthy ways of living.” The one day expo will take place in the spring at the Cardinal Shehan Center on Main Street in Bridgeport and will be open to the public as well. “After a very competitive grant process, I’m pleased to award the Cardinal Shehan Center and the other grant recipients who have a positive impact, especially in education, on the families in the greater Bridgeport area,” said John Cottrell, Chair of Rotary Club of Bridgeport Foundation.

Advent Resources

BRIDGEPORT—Prepare for Christ’s birth with this treasury of Advent resources compiled by the diocesan Leadership Institute. According to Patrick Donovan, Advent resources include a checklist for Advent practices, 10 things you need to know about Advent and other guidance to deepen your spiritual life and immerse yourself in the Advent season.

Biography of Bishop Frank J. Caggiano (short form)

The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano was installed as Fifth Bishop of Bridgeport on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at St. Theresa Church in Trumbull.

On February 22, 2014, he formally convoked the 4th Synod of the Diocese of Bridgeport, the first in 32 years, as an opportunity for renewal and pastoral planning.

More than 8,000 faithful turned out for the Synod Closing Mass Celebration at Webster Bank Arena on September 19, 2015. Under his leadership the diocese has launched the Catholic Service Corps, the Diocesan Leadership Institute, ongoing Strategic and Pastoral Planning, Foundations in Education to support Catholic schools, the Face of Prayer social media campaign, and other initiatives to renew the liturgical and pastoral life of the diocese.

Born and raised in the Gravesend section Brooklyn, he was admitted to Yale University in 1977, and transferred to Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception, where he graduated summa cum laude. After briefly working in the publishing industry, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 16, 1987, in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, Queens.

A noted catechist, Bishop Caggiano was invited by Pope Benedict XVI to deliver World Youth Day talks in Sydney in 2008, Madrid in 2011, and by Pope Francis to serve as a catechist at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, 2013. In 2016, he led a delegation of almost 300 young people to World Youth Day in Krakow, where he served as a catechist. More recently he delivered a major talk at World Youth Day REUNITE held in Washington, D.C.

He presently serves on four committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis; Subcommittee on the Catechism; Orthodox Union Catholic Dialogue; Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.

Women’s Advent Day of Reflection

BRIDGEPORT—There’s still time to sign up for this weekend’s Women’s Advent Day of Reflection at the Catholic Center. The Leadership Institute and the Sisters of Life are excited to offer a Women’s Day of Reflection in preparation for Advent on Saturday, December 2, 2017, 8:30 am-2:30 pm at The Catholic Center, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06606.


Miles for Miracles

The Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of Hibernians are co-sponsoring a charity marathon run from Boston to New York to raise money for The American Wheelchair Mission; a non-profit organization with a goal to deliver brand new, free wheelchair and mobility aids to physically disabled children, teens and adults who are without mobility or means to acquire a wheelchair.

Mission trip is a “moment of grace”

BRIDGEPORT—Watch this Special Report on the recent diocese mission trip to Ethiopia. Diocesan social media leader John Grosso offers an up-close and memorable recap of the journey, which began in Addis, a city of over six million people, and moved to the countryside where Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Turning Wine into Water, a New Canaan based not for profit, built a well and water system that will bring fresh water to 20,000 people.


Barron muses on evangelization, Bob Dylan and the infield fly rule

In journalism, as in basically any other gig, sometimes you get to do what you want, and other times you do what you have to. For me, the opportunity to spend several months getting to know Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles, probably America’s premier Catholic evangelist right now, fell clearly and definitively in the former category.

Wine tasting to benefit the Caroline House Mather and Child Literacy program

BRIDGEPORT—Join the friends of Caroline House for a wine tasting sponsored by Black Bear Wine and Spirits and A Dash of Salt Catering. Presenting sponsors Santa Fuel and the Trimble Foundation. Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres, sample various wines, and tour the Fairfield Museum & History Center. Friday, November 10, 2017, 7 pm – 10 pm – tickets $40.

SHU establishes John moriarty Institute for Ecology and Spirituality in Ireland

FAIRFIELD—Sacred Heart University has established the John Moriarty Institute for Ecology and Spirituality. The Institute’s mission, as stated on its website, is to understand and consider the richness and wonder of the natural environment, and to promote a deeper reflection on human spirituality as an important and necessary element for a flourishing life of meaning and purpose.

Second Annual Night on the Ridge

REDDING RIDGE—St. Patrick Church enthusiastically announces its Second Annual Night on the Ridge, featuring wines from around the world, paired with delicious international cuisines as only the Spinning Wheel can do it. New to this event will be a micro-brewery offering, featuring a selection of small craft brewery ales and lagers, also paired with foods to enhance the tasting experience.

The Privileged Call of a Catholic Father

|   By Fr. James Sullivan, pastor of Church of the Assumption in Ansonia, and chaplain for the 10th Annual Connecticut Catholic Men’s Conference.
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The prayer that Jesus taught us, “Our Father”, is one that most of us have known from our earliest years. Many pray it often, perhaps even several times daily. It is a prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, and supplication. We recognize God as our Father, not as an overbearing, harsh Father, but rather a loving Father who cares for his children, who feeds us, forgives us, leads us, and delivers us.

Summorum Pontificum Anniversary Commemoration with Bishop Athanasius Schneider

NORWALK—St. Mary’s Church and the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny are pleased to announce a conference and Mass commemorating the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum on Thursday, October 19 at St. Mary’s Church, 669 West Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut. Those interested are cordially invited to attend. The event is free of charge but goodwill offerings will be gratefully accepted.

Mission Trip to Ethiopia

BRIDGEPORT—Diocesan social media leader John Grosso has joined Vicar General Msgr. Thomas Powers and other priests on a mission trip to Ethiopia. The group is being led by Nick Troilo of Darien, founder of Turning Wine Into Water, which works to provide safe, clean fresh water to African children.

US Catholics Join with Pope Francis in Campaign to “Share the Journey”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Holy Father’s worldwide two-year campaign supporting the displaced kicks off September 27.

Today, several dozen bishops across the United States are joining Pope Francis as he launched the two-year “Share the Journey” campaign, holding events and reaching out to support migrants and refugees in their own dioceses as the campaign aims to raise awareness about their plight worldwide.


National Merit Scholarship Competition

DANBURY—Immaculate High School is proud to announce that John Palladino ‘18 of Danbury was named a Semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition. He is one of 220 Connecticut students and one of 16,000 students nationwide to have an eligibility score for the 2018 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards. Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. High School students who took the PSATs during their junior year.

Fairfield U #3 in Northern Region by U.S. News & World Report

FAIRFIELD—Recognized among the nation’s best universities and colleges, Fairfield University’s undergraduate teaching program places 3rd in the Northern Region, and the University was recognized among the best nationally for service learning. Additionally, Fairfield’s Dolan School of Business made the national list once again for “Best Undergraduate Business Programs.”


SHU Ranked #4 Most Innovative School in the North, According to U.S. News & World Report

FAIRFIELD—Sacred Heart University was ranked one of the most innovative universities as well as one of the best universities in the North, according to U.S.News & World Report’s newly released guidebook, Best Colleges 2018. “As one of the fastest growing Catholic universities in the nation, we are pleased to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review and many others for the educational excellence we provide,” said SHU President John J. Petillo.

Bishop praises teachers for forming students in “mind and faith”

BRIDGEPORT—Describing teachers as the “spiritual mothers and fathers” of their students, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano told Catholic educators that in addition to building academic skills they are also forming young people in the faith and values that will guide them over a lifetime.