Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

TRUMBULL—Can’t make it to Washington DC for the MARCH FOR LIFE on JAN 21 in Washington, DC?

Please join us for a Holy Hour for Life THIS FRIDAY NIGHT!

at St. Catherine of Siena, Trumbull

Friday, January 21, 7-8 pm (in person or by Livestream)

A time of Eucharistic Adoration during which a Pro-Life Scriptural Rosary will be prayed. Concludes with

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Everyone is welcome.  Especially for those who cannot travel to Washington, DC  for the March for Life, but would like to join in the prayers for and witness to the sanctity of life.

 

STAMFORD—The Irish-American Cultural Society of Stamford (IACSOS) today announced plans to move forward with the scheduled, annual Grand Marshal’s Dinner on Friday, March 4, 2022, and the 27th annual Stamford St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 5, 2022.

“The permits have been approved and plans are well underway to make this year’s event the very best ever,” said Parade Chairman Michael P. Feighan. “These past two years, dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, have been very challenging, but these events are beloved by the Stamford community and beyond. They are harbingers of spring and good things to come. They are a celebration of how people of Irish descent have positively impacted and continue impact this community. We are being optimistic, but if Omicron or some other variant presents a threat in late February, we will pivot to keep everyone safe. We have our fingers crossed,” he continued.

This year’s Grand Marshal will be Roger J. Fox who was born and raised in Stamford, has been a financial advisor Merrill Lynch for 47 years and has extensive community involvement as a volunteer leader, coach, and outstanding citizen. “At the Grand Marshal’s dinner, we will also posthumously honor past-parade chairman James P. Bartley,” said Feighan.

With participation from more than 80 community marching units, pipe bands, dancers, and school organizations, the Stamford St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the city’s and the area’s premier spring event, and it is the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Fairfield County. Best Things Connecticut has ranked the parade among the top ten events in the state  for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and described it as “a truly authentic Irish experience.”

The Parade and its associated events are run by the IACSOS which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is completely funded by the private sector. The IACSOS receives no funding from the city of Stamford and relies heavily on sponsorships and the contributions of individuals and local businesses.

The Grand Marshal’s Dinner will take place Friday evening, March 4th (6:30 p.m. cocktails, 7:30 p.m. dinner) at Serafina at the IC, 1620 Newfield Avenue, Stamford. Grand Marshal’s Dinner tickets may be purchased for $130 through February 23rd. After that date, the ticket price will be $150.

The Stamford St. Patrick’s Day Parade will kick off at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, 2022 in downtown Stamford. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, making a donation, purchasing dinner tickets, having your organization march in the parade, participating as a volunteer or if you have a media request or have any other questions, please contact Michael Feighan at (203) 614-9448 or by e-mail at StamfordSPDP@gmail.com.  A parade map and more information is available at www.stamfordstpatricksdayparade.com.

RIVERSIDE—An SCSC Presentation Via Zoom

It’s Not All About You

Thursday, January 13, 2022, from 7- 8:15 pm

When we find ourselves at a career inflection point, our thoughts often turn inward first. What do I want? What do I need? What will make me more fulfilled in my work? While these introspective questions are very important and can help determine direction, they should not be featured prominently in conversations with our Career Champions, those who can hire, promote or enable our career growth. Jim Daly, Executive and Career Transition Coach, will recommend how to better engage our Career Champions in a way that’s more about them. During this interactive session, Jim will explore 3 critical actions for a more successful job search.

Assessing the challenges and opportunities – do your homework

Clarifying your value proposition – identify your assets

Delivering an aligned message – to the decision-makers or influencers

This will be a thought-provoking and inspiring interactive session with takeaways you can implement right away!

Join us and bring your questions! RSVP required: Please RSVP to meeting Chair Chris Brugo at cbrugo@gmail.com by Monday, January 10. You’ll receive an email response with the Zoom link prior to the meeting.

About our Presenter: Jim Daly founded Janus Coaching to bring the business leadership, coaching skills, and practical experience gained in his career to help others navigate career success. He’s served as Chief HR Officer for multiple companies and has held human resources leadership positions for several Fortune 500 corporations including Standard & Poor’s, Kraft General Foods and News Corporation. Jim is a Certified Executive Coach with Columbia University and co-founded and leads the Daly Group for HR leaders in transition.

The St. Catherine’s Support Circle was formed in 2009 to support people seeking jobs in a challenging economic environment. The group continues to encourage participation by both job seekers and those interested in providing their advice and support. To read about helpful information and recommended resources for job seekers, visit the parish website www.stcath.org, first link to Community Life, and then link to the SCSC page. The SCSC Steering Committee includes professionals who have experience in diverse areas including human resources, executive search, career coaching, clinical career counseling, general management, education, marketing, public relations, finance, accounting and IT. If you have similar experience and would be interested in joining fellow professionals on the committee, please contact SCSC Chairman Bob Sloane at rsloane@optonline.net.

NORWALK—St. Matthew Church will celebrate a Dedication Mass for the Msgr. Walter C. Orlowski Recreation Wellness Center on Sunday, December 12 at 12 noon. Following Mass, there will be a ribbon-cutting, blessing, reception and open house. Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will celebrate the Mass and blessing, and will be joined by Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling and State Senator Bob Duff.

The Center is named in honor of St. Matthew Church’s late pastor, Msgr. Walter C. Orlowski, who began the project in 2018, and whose vision was to create an intergenerational gathering place for wellness in body, mind and spirit.

“While the Rec Center building is nearly finished, it is just the beginning of the many, many lives it will touch,” wrote Father Jeff Couture, current pastor of St. Matthew’s. “Every time I walked in here, I imagined the echo of kids’ laughter, the bouncing of a ball, the swooshing of net, and how wonderful it will be to have kids filling this Rec Center.”

The 18,000 square-foot two-story Recreation Center houses a court/fieldhouse, indoor walking/running track, universal workout room, tumble room for toddlers and Newman Lounge, designed by the architectural firm, Doyle & Coffin Architecture and developed by Lecher Development.

“This building began as Msgr.’s dream, but it has become ours,” Father Couture wrote. “You and I have adopted it as our own dream, and it will be all of our legacy as a parish.”

(For more information, visit: www.stmatthewnorwalk.org/recreation-center)

BRIDGEPORT—This Friday is the Feast Day of St. Francis Xavier. Foundations is Faith’s St. Francis Xavier Fund for Missionary Parishes will be hosting Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral at 12:10 pm.

The St. Francis Xavier Fund is one of nine programs overseen by Foundations in Faith. It supports nine of the diocese’s urban parishes: six in Bridgeport, and one each in Danbury, Norwalk and Stamford. It receives funding from donors and the We Stand With Christ campaign.

What sets the fund apart from the rest of Foundations in Faith’s eight other funds is its ability to provide emergency assistance quickly. While the other funds might have application periods once or twice a year, if a parish qualifies for the St. Francis Xavier Fund, they can essentially request assistance whenever they need it.

And if approved, they’ll get that funding right away. If a priest requests funding for an emergency project early in the week and his project is approved, work could begin on it by the end of the week.

For more information on the St. Francis Xavier Fund, visit: foundationsinfaith.org.

NEW CANAAN—Calling all Latino young adults between the ages of 18-38!

You are invited to join in on a day of praise & worship, adoration, talks, fellowship, and Mass!

The event will take place at St. Aloysius Church, 21 Cherry St, New Canaan, from 10 am-4 pm.

(For more information contact Father David Roman at: frdavid@starcc.com)

About St. Aloysius

The parish was founded in 1896 to serve the  Catholic families that were settling in the greater New Canaan area. More than one hundred 120 years and three church buildings later we are just shy of 3,000 families strong and our mission as Church remains the same: bring Christ—who is present to us in Word and in Sacrament—to all.

Photos by Amy Mortensen

STAMFORD—The speaker series at Holy Spirit Parish in Stamford is back! On Monday, September 20 at 7 pm, Diane Foley will present “From Darkness Into Light.”

The Foley Family’s final communication with their son, journalist James Foley, was one week before he was kidnapped on November 22, 2012 in northern Syria. The family never heard his voice again.

Jim was murdered on August 19, 2014 in the Raqqa region of Syria. After the brutal and public execution of her son, Diane Foley was tempted to be bitter, but instead she clung to God, something she encourages all to do, no matter their cross.

Come hear Diane’s amazing faith witness!

(The Church of the Holy Spirit is located 403 Scofield Rd. in Stamford. For more information, visit: www.holyspiritstamford.org)

BRIDGEPORT— Incoming 8th through 12th graders are invited to audition for a spot in the diocesan youth choir, C4Y. Incoming 7th graders will also be accepted for auditions if they have a note of recommendation from their music or choir teacher.

“I’m so looking forward to hearing the singing talents of these students at auditions. They’re going to make this upcoming year of music truly spectacular,” said Emily Lomnitzer, coordinator of C4Y.

C4Y auditions were held Wednesday, June 2 and Thursday, June 3 from 4:30-6 pm in room L13 at the Catholic Center (238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport). Make-up sessions will run throughout the summer, the first one occurring on Wednesday, June 9, 1-4 pm. Sign up for a slot at the C4Y webpage (www.bridgeportdiocese.org/c4ysings/youth-choir-catholic-diocese). There are many spots still available!

The final choir roster will be sent out by the end of June and rehearsals are planned to begin in August. Please email Emily.Lomnitzer@diobpt for more information or for questions.

(Follow the Instagram page for updates: @C4YSings.)

WILTON—Just in time for Holy Week, the Our Lady of Fatima community has released a virtual presentation of the Stations of the Cross for children and families.

This virtual presentation features the words, artwork and voices of the children of Our Lady of Fatima—both the parish and the school!

The children followed along with booklets that they created, which can be found at the entrances to the church for parishioners to take home.

Click here to view the video!

About Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima, located in Wilton, Conn., strives to be a voice of truth and clarity in the Catholic faith. The community worships God and celebrates the gift of Jesus Christ in Word and Sacrament. Unified by the Holy Spirit, they commit to the on-going conversion to Christ in themselves and in the parish. They are committed to extending Christ’s unconditional love to all, especially the neglected, the oppressed, the aged and the wounded of heart. They welcome all to share in the richness of our Catholic heritage.

(For more information visit: olfwilton.org.)

 

TRUMBULL- Among the seminarians of the Diocese of Bridgeport, there is a long-standing tradition that takes place at mealtimes. Everyone stands at their chair and, as we say grace together before our meal, we begin with this prayer:

Father, in your plan for our salvation, you provide shepherds for your people. Give your church the spirit of courage and charity. Raise up worthy priests for your altars and ardent but gentle servants of the Gospel. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Perhaps one of the greatest myths about vocations to the priesthood is that they just simply happen. We don’t often think about where priests come from until God forbid, there is no priest there when we need them. But we must begin to think about and pray for vocations before that day ever comes. As Jesus reminds us in the Gospel, “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few, so pray to the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest” (Luke 10:19).

On Wednesday, January 27th at 7:00 pm, faithful from around the Diocese will join Bishop Caggiano at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Trumbull to do just that: pray that the Lord sends an abundance of laborers to his vineyard in the Diocese of Bridgeport. During a time of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, we will pray that young men throughout our Diocese will be open to hearing the call that God has placed deep in their hearts to become the living instrument of His love and mercy that priests are formed to be. Perhaps more importantly, we will pray that God gives these young men the courage to echo the beautiful words of our Blessed Mother, “be it done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38)

Originally, the Holy Hour for Vocations was scheduled for early December but was postponed due to inclement weather.

There is no way around it: we need priests! So, we invite you to join us on the evening of January 27th to offer this time of prayer. Together, as the seminarians of our diocese have done each and every day, let us pray with fervent hearts that new shepherds may be raised up for the Church in Bridgeport.

Please observe all necessary social distancing requirements, and remember that masks are mandatory.

TRUMBULL- Among the seminarians of the Diocese of Bridgeport, there is a long standing tradition that takes place at meal times. Everyone stands at their chair and, as we say grace together before our meal, we begin with this prayer:

Father, in your plan for our salvation, you provide shepherds for your people. Give your church the spirit of courage and charity. Raise up worthy priests for your altars and ardent but gentle servants of the Gospel. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Perhaps one of the greatest myths about vocations to the priesthood is that they just simply happen. We don’t often think about where priests come from until God forbid, there is no priest there when we need them. But we must begin to think about and pray for vocations before that day ever comes. As Jesus reminds us in the Gospel, “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few, so pray to the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest” (Luke 10:19).

On Wednesday, December 16 at 7:00pm, faithful from around the Diocese will join Bishop Caggiano at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Trumbull to do just that: pray that the Lord sends an abundance of laborers to his vineyard in the Diocese of Bridgeport. During a time of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, we will pray that young men throughout our Diocese will be open to hearing the call that God has placed deep in their hearts to become the living instrument of His love and mercy that priests are formed to be. Perhaps more importantly, we will pray that God gives these young men the courage to echo the beautiful words of our Blessed Mother, “be it done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38)

There is no way around it: we need priests! So, we invite you to join us on the evening of December 16 to offer this time of prayer. Together, as the seminarians of our diocese have done each and every day, let us pray with fervent hearts that new shepherds may be raised up for the Church in Bridgeport.

Please observe all necessary social distancing requirements, and remember that masks are mandatory.

TRUMBULL—

Due to Sunday’s heavy rain and Monday’s high winds, this year’s All Souls Day Mass is CANCELLED.

FAIRFIELD COUNTY—The coronavirus pandemic has posed unique challenges for all. For the Class of 2020, this meant not getting to enjoy the usual rites of passage as they reached the culmination of their either middle or high school years. Schools throughout the diocese found innovative ways to still celebrate their students—through social distanced graduation ceremonies, giving students the opportunity to take pictures with their family on campus, and more. Here are just a few snapshots of graduation ceremonies in a pandemic.

St. Rose of Lima

NEWTOWN—St. Rose School’s eighth-grade graduation ceremony which took place on Friday, June 26 in the school parking lot. Mr. Gjoka, principal, Mrs. Petrillo, eighth-grade homeroom teacher, Mrs. Bokuniewicz, dean of student life and Msgr. Bob, pastor, along with the class parents, worked very hard to make the celebration possible despite these different times.

Chairs were arranged alphabetically for every student and their parents. The ceremony was limited to parents and siblings only to adhere to safety measures. Every student and guest wore a mask.

There are 24 graduates, all going off to a variety of high schools including Newtown High School, Immaculate High School, St. Joseph High School, Canterbury, Fairfield Prep, Hopkins School and The Gunnery. Several of the students received merit scholarships based on their entrance test scores.

St. Joseph High School

TRUMBULLSt. Joseph High School conferred diplomas upon 213 students on Saturday, July 11, 2020. The Class of 2020 achieved a 100 percent college acceptance rate, with 99 percent going on to four-year schools, and earned for themselves over 25 million dollars in scholarships and tuition assistance.

The Blessing and Conferral of Diplomas was held at Dalling Field on the school’s campus. Parents were confined to their cars, while the graduates were socially distanced in masks on the lower field, in conformance with the CDC and State of Connecticut guidelines. During the ceremony, pre-recorded videos from Ms. Vicki A. Tesoro, first selectman of the Town of Trumbull and Mr. Christopher Wilson, chairman of the board of St. Joseph High School, offered their congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2020.

Your graduation is not like any other. But then the Class of 2020 is unlike any other,” remarked recently retired head of school, Dr. William Fitzgerald during his speech. “Ironically, in February, we were talking about how to get the iPhones out of your hands. Today, we are looking to you—the social media generation—to understand what continuous learning is all about. This spring has showed us, that in many ways, this is already your world and we are just catching up.”

Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy

WILTON—On Friday evening, June 12, 2020, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy held commencement exercises for its graduating eighth-grade class. Featured commencement speakers were Clara and Gerry Davis, parents of a graduating student and Stanley Steele, school principal. The event included a Mass celebrated in the church parking lot and homily offered by Our Lady of Fatima Church pastor, Father Reginald Norman.

The graduates will attend the following high schools in the fall (listed alphabetically): Fairfield College Preparatory School, Immaculate High School-Danbury, Lauralton Hall-Milford, New Canaan High School, Norwalk High School, Notre Dame High School-Fairfield, Saint Joseph High School-Trumbull and Wilton High School.

NEWTOWN—St. Rose School’s eighth-grade graduation ceremony took place on Friday, June 26 in the school parking lot. Mr. Gjoka, principal, Mrs. Petrillo, eighth-grade homeroom teacher, Mrs. Bokuniewicz, dean of student life and Msgr. Bob, pastor, along with the class parents, worked very hard to make the celebration possible despite these different times.

Chairs were arranged alphabetically for every student and their parents. The ceremony was limited to parents and siblings only to adhere to safety measures. Every student and guest wore a mask. The church organist piped an opening song, “Here I Am Lord” through the speakers and closed it out with “Pomp and Circumstance.”  Msgr. Bob began the ceremony with a prayer and Gospel reading. He also offered words of wisdom and encouraged the students to use their 2020 vision to make the world a better place. Mr. G, Mrs. Petrillo and Mrs. B all spoke at various times.  Mr. G called each student to receive his/her diploma which Msgr. Bob presented to them. The President of Student Council Thomas Phelan, and the President of National Junior Honor Society Evie Komninakas, each gave engaging, insightful speeches. At the end of the ceremony the students processed, alphabetically, to their lawn signs that were set up on the grass in front of the school. They stood beside their sign and at the count of three tossed their caps into the air. Then, according to safety rules, each family returned to their cars.

The sun was shining and it was a lovely ceremony—certainly different from years past but all the more memorable because of it.  Family and friends were very happy to tune into Facebook Live—there was even family from Portugal watching.  So everyone was together in spirit!

There are 24 graduates, all going off to a variety of high schools including Newtown High School, Immaculate High School, St. Joseph High School, Canterbury, Fairfield Prep, Hopkins School and The Gunnery. Several of the students received merit scholarships based on their entrance test scores.

About St. Rose

St. Rose of Lima Catholic School is a Christ-centered community committed to academic excellence in an atmosphere that nurtures the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical and moral development of each child.

The dedicated staff partners with families to prepare students to be responsible leaders in a global society by fostering integrity, service and respect. By creating a sense of family where all are welcome, St. Rose School encourages each child to develop his/her gifts and to become Christ’s compassionate heart and hands in the world. Their learning community is centered on four core values. These are: respect, integrity, academic excellence and service.

The community’s spirituality is fostered through close connection with St. Rose of Lima Church. Students attend weekly Mass and we are blessed by the continual presence of Monsignor Robert Weiss and the other parish priests.

(For more information on St. Rose of Lima school, visit their website at: www.stroseschool.com.)

For a complete list of cancelled or postponed events, please see our website. Click here.