Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

Can the Catholic Church Keep Millennials From Passing it By?

August 15 marked two important events for New York-area Catholics this year. It was the feast of the Assumption of Mary. It was also the start of the Subway Series between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. The Diocese of Bridgeport decided to celebrate both, with an event billed as “Baseball with the Bishop,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Young adults of the diocese were invited to attend the game. The group began the evening with Mass in Bridgeport, Conn., before boarding a charter bus bound for the Bronx.
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“God is Always Calling us to Deeper Encounter”

TRUMBULL— “Suffering that is not transformed is transmitted,” Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, said several times last night in her reflection on “Decisive Encounter.”

In a powerful and deeply personal talk to inaugurate the new Bishop’s Lecture Series sponsored by the diocesan Leadership Institute, Sister Miriam said that all people are “broken,” but our of their suffering and sense of shame, they can find that God loves them and is always near.
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Bishop Caggiano Reflects on the Challenge of Sitting in Silence and Solitude

BRIDGEPORT— On October 6, we celebrated the feast of Saint Bruno, the founder of the Carthusian religious order. Following Saint Bruno’s example, Carthusian monks and nuns live in a monastic setting, devoting their lives to contemplation, silence and solitude. Their ministry is one of prayer and reflection, serving as spiritual intercessors for the Church. Today, there are about 320 Carthusian monks and nuns throughout the world.
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Don’t Go to Sleep Without Thanking the Lord

BRIDGEPORT— In this video Bishop Caggiano reminds us that a final prayer before going to sleep is a good way to examine our consciences and be reminded of God’s forgiveness and love for us. The bishop reminds us that evening prayer is an opportunity for us “to ask the Lord if we have offended him or our neighbor,” and be rewarded in the “freshness and renewal” that prayer can bring.
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Enthusiastic Response to Bishop’s Call to Pilgrimage in D.C.

BRIDGEPORT—People throughout the diocese are responding to Bishop Frank Caggiano’s call to join him in a diocesan pilgrimage to Washington D. C. on September 23.

As of today, the diocese has reserved more than 15 buses for the special, one-day pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for a day of prayer and worship.
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Bishops Ask for Peace After White Nationalist Rally Turns Deadly

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The bishop from the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia called for peace following violence in Charlottesville late on Aug. 11 and subsequent events at the University of Virginia that left at least one person dead after a car plowed into a crowd on the afternoon of Aug. 12 during a white nationalist rally.
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Bishop reflects on the Feast of Ss. Joachim and Anne

BRIDGEPORT—Although I met my maternal grandfather only once, he left a deep impression upon me. The year was 1965 and I was 6 years old when my parents returned to Italy for the first time since their immigration to the United States. The occasion was my youngest uncle’s wedding which took place in the small village where my parents were raised in the south of Italy. My grandfather’s kindness and generosity left a lasting mark on my life.

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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’.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Rowing Towards God

|   Bishop’s reflection on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
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It is rare that I remember any of my dreams. Last night, however, was an exception. Towards 3:00 am, I woke up in the middle of a dream, vividly remembering one scene. It was an incident that happened last year when I visited a classmate’s summer home in New Jersey, along with other seminary classmates. We decided to go out onto the lake, since it was a beautiful afternoon. Soon enough, we found ourselves sitting in the boat (which seated six people), in the middle of a very large lake, with the engine overheated, stranded.
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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.
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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.
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Final Post-Synod Session Set for Saturday

|   Pictured: The Synod Celebration Mass attended by over 8,000 faithful at Webster Bank Arena on September 15, 2015.
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BRIDGEPORT—The journey for delegates of Synod 2014 will formally come to an end on Saturday, April 29, with a wrap-up session at Family Center of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Trumbull. It will be the fourth and final post-synod meeting to update delegates about the implementation of synod initiatives and plans going forward.
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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.
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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.
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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.”

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Recalibrating Lives During Lent

“Dust you are…” “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return” are the words the priest intones as he imprints the cross in ashes on the foreheads of the faithful on Ash Wednesday. In an age of incessant self-promotion and unbridled self-expression, these words may seem strange or even counter-cultural, but we ignore their meaning at our own risk.

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We Have Mary’s Intercession to Help Us

Bishop Caggiano’s reflection on Our Lady
Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We remember the unique grace received by Mary at her birth- to be conceived without original sin- so as to become the new Eve through which the Savior of the world could enter into our world and become our Redeemer and Savior.

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Bishop Caggiano’s Reflection on the Start of the Pilgrimage

After nearly two years of planning, our diocesan pilgrimage to World Youth Day to Krakow Poland begins tomorrow! Over 200 young people will be traveling with me from every region of the Diocese to these special days of prayer and celebration, joined by 33 chaperones who will help guide and supervise our pilgrims during these days of travel, prayer and encounter with Pope Francis.

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“Become a Living Gospel,” Bishop Tells Newly Ordained

“The very reason you were created was to come to this moment to be one with Christ,” Bishop Caggiano said to the two men about to be ordained at St. Augustine Cathedral this morning.

More than 750 people filled the church, some sitting on fold-up chairs, to witness the ordination of Philip Lành Phan, a native of Vietnam, and Eric William Silva, a Trumbull resident, to the priesthood.

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Bishop Ordains Three to the Transitional Diaconate

“Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become,” Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said at St. Augustine Cathedral in downtown Bridgeport when he ordained three men as transitional deacons on Saturday.

Harry Alfredo Prieto, 29, and José Abelardo Vásquez, 32, both natives of Bogotá, Colombia, and Timothy A. Iannacone, 26, a native of Norwalk, Ct, took their final steps on their way to the priesthood in front of family, friends and priests throughout the diocese.

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Bishop Caggiano’s Reflections: The light and Beauty of Alaska

There is another aspect of life here that is striking. I had not realized before my arrival that during the summer months, the sun is visible in the sky for most of the night. In fact, the sun was still visible last night past 11:30 PM and when I arose this morning at 4:00 AM, the sky was already bright with light! During the winter months, the opposite is true. The sun rises after 9:30 AM and sets by 4:00 PM.

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Bishop Caggiano interviewed for PBS “Italian Americans”

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BRIDGEPORT—Among those interviewed, for the new PBS series “The Italian Americans” is new Bridgeport Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, a native of Brooklyn and lifelong resident until his installation as leader of the Church in Fairfield County in 2013. Born in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn on Easter Sunday March 29, 1959, the son of a longshoreman and the second of two children.
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Bishop’s homily greeted enthusiastically at ecumenical gathering

BRIDGEPORT—“Amens” and applause greeted Bishop Caggiano’s reflection at last Sunday’s “Unity in Diversity” service at St. John Episcopal Church in downtown Bridgeport. The “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,” celebrated this year from January 18-25, concluded in the Bridgeport area on Sunday afternoon, January 25, with a joyous two-hour worship service in which the Bishop and other religious leaders participated.
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Bishop Empowers New Misconduct Board

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has announced the formation of a Ministerial Misconduct Advisory Board to review cases involving clerics accused of misconduct that involves adults or occurs in the exercise of his ministry.

The board will review cases in which the bishop must consider action regarding a priest or deacon’s assignment, including temporary or permanent removal or suspension.

The new advisory panel has been created independent of the Diocesan Review Board, mandated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which advises the bishop in his assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of minors and in his determination of suitability for ministry.

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Bishop Renews Safe Environments

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has reconstituted the Review Board of the Diocese of Bridgeport with the announcement of  board members and the reappointment of long-time members.

The Review Board was formed in 2002 by Bishop William E. Lori to oversee the implementation of the diocesan Sexual Misconduct Policy and to function as a consultative body to the bishop. Review Boards are required in all U.S. dioceses as a direct result of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Charter), established by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002 and revised in June, 2011. It is a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors, and it includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and the prevention of future acts of abuse.

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