Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

BRIDGEPORT—Monsignor Andrew G. Varga, pastor of St. Luke Parish in Westport, passed away on Monday afternoon, March 7, 2022. He was 69 years of age.

“Monsignor Varga had an abiding love and appreciation for the people of his parish and a generous heart toward all those in need and will be deeply missed. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Msgr. Varga and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano in making the announcement.

Msgr. Varga was appointed pastor of St. Luke Church in Westport in 1997, a position he held for 25 years. He also served the diocese as a territorial vicar and as a member of the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport on May 6, 1978.

Andrew George Varga was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on November 3, 1952, son of Andrew and Gizella Varga. He was baptized on November 30, 1952, at St. Stephen Church on Spruce Street in Bridgeport. He made his First Holy Communion and received the Sacrament of Confirmation at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Stratford.

He attended Saint Holy Name of Jesus School, Fairfield College Preparatory School in Fairfield and Fairfield University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Monsignor Varga received his priestly formation at the Theological College of the Catholic University of America, receiving a Master of Arts in Theology.

Following his ordination, his first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Matthew Church in Norwalk (1978-1983). In 1983, he was transferred to St. Theresa Church in Trumbull where he had served as a deacon. In 1991, Monsignor Varga was assigned to St. Leo Church in Stamford. In February 1992, he was assigned as temporary administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Brookfield before formally being made pastor in August of the same year.

In 1982, he was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree from the School of Religious Studies in the Department of Theology at the Catholic University of America. Throughout his years of priestly ministry in the diocese, Msgr. Varga served on both the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors. Bishop Caggiano appointed Msgr. Varga as territorial vicar for Vicariate II in 2014.

He chaired the Diocesan Liturgical Commission for many years, served on the Sacred Arts Committee and was an active team member of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, speaking at workshops around the country.

In addition, Msgr. taught homiletics in the Permanent Diaconate Formation Program for many years. Monsignor Varga was a member of the committee appointed by Bishop William Lori for the preparation and catechesis for the new English translation of the Roman Missal in 2011.

In 2008, Msgr. Varga received the great honor of being named chaplain to His Holiness.

Monsignor Varga’s body will be received at St. Luke Church in Westport on Thursday, March 17 at 3 pm and will lie in repose until 7 pm. At 7 pm, Mass will be celebrated for the repose of Msgr. Varga’s soul. The principal celebrant will be Msgr. Thomas Powers, vicar general; the homilist will be Father Skip Karcsinski.

Bishop Caggiano will celebrate the Funeral Mass on Friday, March 18 at 11 am. The homilist will be Deacon Brian Kelly. Interment will be private.

DANBURY—Deacon Daniel N. Myott, 84, of Danbury, beloved husband of Phyllis Myott, died peacefully at Bethel Healthcare on Thursday, January 27.

“It is with great sadness I must inform you of the death of Deacon Daniel Myott, “ said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.  His joyful life of love for family, Christian witness and service is a model to celebrate. He will long be remembered and cherished by the faithful of St. Gregory the Great Parish. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Daniel and for the consolation of his family, “ said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano in announcing Deacon Myott’s passing.

He was born in Portland, Maine on September 15, 1937, son of the late Norman and Madeline (Huston) Myott. Dan was a Veteran of the United States Air force during peacetime, where he served as Staff Sergeant for the 131st Tactical Fighter Squadron, stationed in Germany and in Northern Africa. Dan’s degree in electronics and passion for engineering led to a 37-year career at scientific instrument maker PerkinElmer, where he worked in various positions in sales and service.

During a snowy day off in an early PerkinElmer training program in the Poconos, Dan skied up to a tow bar line and met the love of his life, Phyllis Becker. Dan and Phyllis married after a whirlwind courtship, and embarked on the adventure of their lives after children Felicia, Michelle and Paul arrived in short order. Their life together spanned 57 years and was wreathed in love, laughter and faith, and culminated in the arrival of Dan’s pride and joy, his nine grandchildren—triplets Daniel, Katharine and Joseph Dixon, William, Adele and Timothy Whitlock, and MaryKate, Amanda and Christopher Myott. Dan has bequeathed to each of them his love of skiing, camping, travel, fast cars, sailing and family vacations at the ocean. But the greatest gifts he has passed along is how closely he cherished family and friends and his infectious sense of humor.

Dan was a man of deep faith and was ordained a Deacon in the Catholic Church in 1992. He served at St. Gregory the Great parish, where he and Phyllis have been devoted parishioners for over 50 years. Dan lived his vocation fully and was happiest serving others—he felt his calling was to serve the least among us, and he spent countless volunteer hours at the Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen, Shelter for the Homeless, and Americares. His favorite parish ministries were administering the sacrament of baptism and ministering to the aged at Glen Hill Center. He will be greatly missed and remembered fondly by the St. Gregory the Great family, who supported Dan after he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2007.

In addition to his cherished wife of 57 years, Dan will be deeply missed by his three children, Felicia Dixon, Michelle Whitlock, and Paul Myott, his loving son-in-law Thomas Dixon, as well as by his devoted grandchildren, his brother, Stephen Myott and his wife, Linda, and Dan’s sister, Susan Downes. He will also be missed by a wonderful circle of friends, with whom he shared a truly unique bond. Finally, he will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know his warm smile and caring embrace.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Gregory the Great Church on Monday, January 31 at 11 am.  Cremation and interment in St. Peter Cemetery will take place at a later date.

The family will receive friends at the church on Sunday between the hours of 3-6 pm.

In keeping with Dan’s loving nature and desire to serve the needy, in lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be directed to St. Gregory the Great Church, Deacon Dan Myott Memorial, 85 Great Plain Rd. Danbury, Conn. 06811. All contributions will be used for parishioners with financial need.

Visitation

3-6 pm

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Cornell Memorial Home

247 White Street

Danbury, Connecticut, United States

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Mass of Christian Burial

11 am

Monday, January 31, 2022

St. Gregory The Great Church

85 Great Plain Road

Danbury, Connecticut, United States

Need Directions?

View Map | Text Directions | Email Directions

Burial

12 pm

Monday, January 31, 2022

St. Peter Cemetery

71 Lake Avenue Ext

Danbury, Connecticut, United States

203.743.9626

Father Robert J. Maty, remembered by many as the long-time pastor of the former St. John Nepomucene Parish in Bridgeport, passed away on Monday, January 17, 2022. He was 90 years of age.

He was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Lawrence J. Shehan, first Bishop of Bridgeport, at St. Mary’s Church in Bridgeport on May 25, 1957. During his many years of ministry, Father Maty served on the Priests’ Retirement Board, the Priests’ Council and as a member of the Board of Consultors.

Father Maty was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on November 15, 1931. He was baptized at St. John the Baptist Greek Catholic Church on November 29, Bridgeport Connecticut in the Byzantine Rite. As a result, Father Maty received First Communion and Confirmation on the same day. He transferred to the Latin Rite in 1953.

Father Maty attended grammar school at Sts. Cyril and Methodius School in Bridgeport and high school at Fairfield College Preparatory School in Fairfield, Connecticut, graduating in 1949. He attended college at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield from 1949-1951. Father Maty studied philosophy at St. Bernard Seminary in Rochester, New York, continuing there for his theology studies, which were completed in 1957. He was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Lawrence J. Shehan, Bishop of Bridgeport, at St. Mary’s Church, Bridgeport on May 25, 1957.

After his ordination, Father Maty first served as assistant at St. John Nepomucene Church in Bridgeport. In 1960, he served for one year as a teacher at Notre Dame High School while continuing to reside and assist at St. John Nepomucene Church.

From 1961-1967, he taught at St. John Nepomucene Commercial High School. In 1967, he was transferred to St. Benedict Church in Stamford, serving as assistant. From 1968-1974, he served as assistant at Holy Name Church in Stratford and St. Thomas the Apostle in East Norwalk, and, for a brief time, the administrator of St. Gabriel Church in Stamford. He returned to St. John Nepomucene as Assistant in 1974 and in 1978, Bishop Walter W. Curtis appointed him pastor of that church serving in that capacity until its closing in 1991.

He next served as parochial vicar at St. Teresa Parish in Trumbull from 1991-1996. Upon his appointment as director of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith, he took up residence at Holy Rosary Church in Bridgeport. He retired from active ministry in 2001, but continued to assist at Holy Name Church in Stratford for a number of years.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will celebrate Father Maty’s Funeral Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Stratford on Friday, January 21 at 10 am. There will be no viewing. Interment will be at St. Michael Cemetery in Stratford.

SCRANTON—Sister Barbara Nogiewich, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. St. Barbara) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She was born on February 22, 1939, in Huntington Station, NY, and given the name Margaret Ann. She was the daughter of the late John and Josephine Burcyk Nogiewich. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 7, 1956, and made her temporary profession of vows on March 12, 1959, and her final profession of vows on March 12, 1964.

Sister Barbara served as a teacher in the following schools: St. Joseph Elementary School in Danville, PA, from 1959 to 1960 and 1962 to 1966; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Pittston, PA, from 1966 to 1974; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Clinton, MD, from 1974 to 1980; Our Lady of Mercy Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1980 to 1982; St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1982 to 1988; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in, Forest Hills, NY, from 1988 to 1991; Epiphany Elementary School in Sayre, PA, from 1991 to 1994; Monsignor McHugh Elementary School in Cresco, PA, from 1994 to 1995; and St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT, from 1996 to 1999.

Sister also served in child care at St. Mary’s Home in Cresson, PA, from 1960 to 1962; lovingly cared for her mother in the family home in Huntington Station, NY, from 1999 to 2012; instructor in the Educational Enrichment Institute at the IHM Center in Scranton, from 2012 to 2019; and support services at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 2014 to 2019.

From 2019 until the time of her death, Sister Barbara was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education, and a Master of Science degree in elementary education, both from Marywood College.

She is preceded in death by a brother, John.

She is survived by a sister, Barbara Ann of Huntington Station, NY; a niece and cousins. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

Interment will be at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA. Due to restrictions related to the coronavirus, the funeral mass and graveside service are private.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.

STAMFORD—Monsignor Nicholas V. Grieco, founding editor of Fairfield County Catholic and first Director of Communications for the Diocese of Bridgeport, passed away on November 27, 2021, at the Catherine Dennis Keefe, Queen of the Clergy Residence in Stamford, where had had been residing since retiring in 2010. He was 88 years of age.

“Monsignor Grieco served the people of the diocese well and faithfully in a variety of assignments in parishes and on the diocesan level. Many recall his optimism, his collegiality and his commitment to religious education and evangelization. As we celebrate his life of service, let us also pray for the repose of the soul of Monsignor Grieco and the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

In 2009, Msgr. Grieco celebrated his 50th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination in a Jubilee Mass Celebration held at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Weston, where he was serving as pastor.

Nicholas Vincent Grieco was born in Brooklyn, NY, on April 7, 1933. He was baptized at Saint Frances de Chantal Church in Brooklyn, NY on June 4, 1933. He attended Saint Frances de Chantal Parochial School and LaSalle Academy. Monsignor Grieco’s home parish was administered by the Society of the Fathers of Mercy, and after discerning his vocation to the religious life and the priesthood, he entered the Society. He attended college at Our Lady of Mercy Seminary in Lenox Massachusetts. Monsignor Grieco next studied philosophy at the Catholic University of America. For the first two years of major seminary, he attended Athenaeum Pontificium Angelicum in Rome, later completing his theological studies at Catholic University in Washington, DC.

Monsignor Grieco was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend John McNamara at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on June 6, 1959. The following year, as a result of changes in the Society, Monsignor Grieco requested exclaustration from the Society which was granted in July of 1960. Most Reverend Lawrence Shehan, the Bishop of Bridgeport, permitted him to report for an assignment in the Diocese, and consequently, he was incardinated in February of 1964.

Monsignor Grieco’s first assignments were at St. Edward the Confessor Church in New Fairfield and Sacred Heart Church in Stamford. In August 1966, he took up residence at St. Raphael Rectory in Bridgeport and began his ministerial assignment as Spiritual Director of Notre Dame Girls’ High School in Bridgeport. In 1967, Bishop Walter Curtis appointed him as Diocesan Director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine with residence at St. Peter Church in Bridgeport.

In 1972, Monsignor Grieco was appointed Director of the Division of Religious Education in the Department of Religious Education as well as the Vicariate Director of Religious Education for Vicariate III. In 1979, he was also named Secretary of Evangelization for the Diocese.

Monsignor Grieco began work as Assistant at St. Maurice Church in the Glenbrook section of Stamford in 1973. His next assignment was as the Director of Diocesan Communications in 1975 with a change of residence to St. Stephen Rectory in Trumbull. During his tenure as Director, Monsignor Grieco became the founding editor of the Fairfield County Catholic. The paper grew out of his work with “Instant Info,” a monthly newsletter published by the diocese. It began as largely calendar items and brief notices but became so popular that he started to include longer stories. The newsletter then evolved into Fairfield County Catholic, which published its first issue in January of 1984.

In 1986, papal honors were conferred on Monsignor Grieco when he was named Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II.

While continuing his work as Secretary for Communications, Monsignor Grieco moved to St. Thomas Aquinas Parish as a resident in 1987. In 1992, he was named pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Weston, once again while continuing his work in Communications. After a long and fruitful active priestly ministry, Monsignor Grieco retired in 2010 and took up residence at the Catherine Dennis Keefe Queen of the Clergy Residence in Stamford and for many years continued to assist in parishes in the area.

In addition to the works mentioned above, Monsignor Grieco served as a member of the Diocesan Commission of the Sacred Liturgy of Music and Art in 1966, the Priests’ Council from 1976-1978, and the College of Consultors from 1998-2003.

A wake will be held on Thursday, December 2 from 6-8 pm at Saint Cecilia Church located at 1184 Newfield Avenue in Stamford. Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will celebrate Monsignor’s funeral Mass on Friday, December 3, at 10 am, at Saint Cecilia Church. Monsignor Thomas Powers, Vicar General, will preach. Burial will take place at St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale, Long Island, New York.

BRIDGEPORT—On Easter Sunday, April 16, 1933, Lorraine Agnes was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut to Clifford Stephen, a native of Chicago, and Theresa Butkus Quinn of Fairfield, Connecticut. Her big brother, three years old, “loved to steal into her room and try to hold her.” Sadly, that September he died of appendicitis. Five years later, another brother, Clifford John, arrived. He was the brother she had begged her mother for, because “all her playmates had baby brothers.” Big sister Lorraine was baptized at Assumption Church, in Fairfield. Later, First Communion and Confirmation were celebrated at Holy Family Church, also in Fairfield.

After starting in public schools, Lorraine and Cliff were registered at St. Ann School in Fairfield, in the sixth and second grades, with the Sisters of Charity. “From the first day of school with the Sisters, I knew that that is what I wanted to be,” she later wrote. For high school, Lorraine first enrolled at St. John Commercial, a two-year school conducted by SSNDs in Bridgeport offering both an academic and business curriculum.

There she learned about the SSND Aspiranture in Fort Lee, New Jersey, at the Academy of the Holy Angels. Quite excited by the reports she heard, Lorraine asked her mother’s permission to go there, but “she was very unresponsive and said no. She did not want me to leave home for school, but after a talk with one of the Sisters she gave her consent.” Her father died very suddenly during the summer of 1949, the time of her graduation from St. John’s. “But this did not change my mother’s decision,” Lorraine wrote. She graduated from the Aspiranture in 1951 and entered the Candidature in Baltimore the following August.

During her two years as a Candidate, Lorraine taught primary grades in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Taneytown, Md.  From this last experience, she wrote, “from the example of my Superior, I began to realize the meaning of being a Sister and determined to imitate her as far as I was able.” At Reception in 1953, she received David Marie as her religious name. After first profession in 1954, she taught at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Baltimore for three years and then volunteered for Puerto Rico in 1957. This began eight happy years as teacher and principal at the grade school of the Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in Miramar, and four years as a teacher in Fajardo, and at Santiago Apostol and Notre Dame High School in Caguas.

Of her Miramar years, David wrote, “From the Sisters in Miramar I received such wonderful inspiration and example in both the religious life and professionally. I owe my deepest gratitude to these Sisters who were the instruments of the Divine Teacher. It was a perfect time for preparing to take perpetual vows.”

Returning to the States in 1970, Lorraine served as vice principal at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, Conn. for two years, before becoming a teacher at the Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, N.J.

After receiving her bachelor of arts in English from the College of the Sacred Heart in Santurce, P.R., Lorraine earned two Master’s of Arts degrees—in administration from Fairfield University in 1971, and in Religious Education from Fordham University in 1976. In 1973, she began a new ministry as director of Religious Education at Immaculate Conception Parish in Norwood, N.J. for seven years. During this time she made community with SSNDs in Closter, N.J., before the council asked her to become administrator at the newly-licensed Lourdes Health Care Center in Wilton.

As director of Religious Education, Lorraine later served at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Weston, and Sacred Heart in Georgetown, Conn; as pastoral minister she was responsible for the RCIA program at Resurrection Parish in Rye, N.Y.; and for parish outreach and community building at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Bridgeport, Conn. From 2008 to 2021, Lorraine served as receptionist, registrar and life skills coordinator at Caroline House, a sponsored ministry of the Atlantic-Midwest Province offering ESL and other life skills to immigrant women from several countries.

Lorraine also offered spiritual talks, retreats and other prayer experiences to varied adult and youth groups during these years. Her extremely generous spirit, love for the needy and spiritually hunger and her manifold talents can be deduced easily from the breadth of her ministries. She was also an avid golfer until this past spring.

Only in late 2020 did Lorraine retire to VND. In July 2021, she needed care at Ozanam Hall in Bayside, N.Y. and moved into community with our Sisters there.

Lorraine died at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Queens, on August 11, 2021. Her funeral was celebrated at St. Margaret’s Shrine in Bridgeport, her parish church, on August 14. It was arranged by Sister Daniella O’Sullivan, a former community member, and attended by sisters from Villa Notre Dame and colleagues and friends from the Bridgeport area. Burial followed immediately at St. Mary Cemetery in Bethel, Conn.

By Sister Kay O’Connell

BRIDGEPORT—Sister Theresa Torsone, a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, died on October 14, 2021, at The Watermark in Bridgeport, Connecticut, at the age of 80. She was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, on April 1, 1940.

After pronouncing her vows as an SSND in 1960, as Sister Johnette, she taught at St. Anthony School in Passaic, New Jersey. In 1980, Sister Theresa began over three decades at St. Matthias School, Ridgewood, New York. In her retirement she resided at Villa Notre Dame in Wilton, Connecticut, until the community moved to The Watermark, in August, 2021.

Wake will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Danbury Road, Wilton, from 4 to 7 pm on Friday, October 22. Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Saturday, October 23, at 11 am. Burial will take place at St. Mary Cemetery, Bethel, Connecticut.

Memorial contributions may be made to the School Sisters of Notre Dame Development Office, 345 Belden Hill Road, Wilton, CT 06897.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Cornell Memorial Home, Danbury, Connecticut.

BRIDGEPORT—Father Joseph Saba, who served the diocese as a teacher, chaplain, parochial vicar and pastor died on Sunday, September 19, 2021. He was 78 years of age.

“Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Saba and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano in announcing Father Saba’s passing. “Let us keep him in our minds and hearts as we commend him to our Lord, and also pray for all of those who are sick and struggling with illness.”

Joseph John Saba, Jr. was born in Port Chester, New York, on April 3, 1943. He was the son of Joseph John Saba and Lucy Gatto Saba. He was baptized at St. Roch Church in Greenwich Conn. on May 23, 1943. He attended Hamilton Avenue Grammar School in Greenwich, and Saint Mary High School, also in Greenwich. He began his college work at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Conn., and studied Philosophy and Theology at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, New York.

Father Saba was ordained a deacon in the Chapel of Christ the King Seminary by Most Reverend Bernard J. McLaughlin on April 19, 1969. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport by Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis at St. Augustine Cathedral on May 9, 1970.

Following his ordination, his first assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Mary Church in Norwalk. In 1971, he was assigned as a full-time member of the faculty of St. Mary High School in Greenwich. Two years later, he was appointed as resident chaplain at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich while continuing his work as spiritual and religion director at St. Mary High School.

Father Saba was released from his ministry in the diocese to serve as a chaplain in the United States Army, a position he held from 1977 until 1995. During these years, he served overseas in Korea and Germany. Here in the United States, he was stationed in Alabama and Louisiana.

Upon his return to the Diocese of Bridgeport, he was assigned to St. Peter Church in Bridgeport, and later St. Andrew in Bridgeport, as a parochial vicar. In 2000, he was appointed the administrator of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Bridgeport, becoming pastor a year later. He retired in 2009.

As per his direction, all services for Father Saba will be private. Condolences can be sent to Father Saba’s sister, Kathleen Saba McGoldrick, c/o Joseph Saba 111,448  Ritch Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830.

ALBANY—Sister Marie Burns died at St. Louise House, Albany, N.Y., on July 29, 2021. She was born April 5, 1933 in Trenton, N.J., to Mary Margaret (McLaughlin)and George Joseph Burns and grew up with two brothers and two sisters.

Her early education took place in local Catholic schools. On graduating from Cathedral High School in Trenton in 1951, she spent eight years as the secretary in the Chancery office for the Diocese of Trenton. She entered the Daughters of Charity from St. Anthony’s Parish, Trenton, in April 1960 in Emmitsburg, Md.  Following initial formation, Sister Marie served at St. Vincent’s Infant Home, Timonium, Md.; Kennedy Child Center, New York, N.Y.; St. Joseph’s Villa, Richmond, Va.; Labouré Center, Boston; and Seton Center, Troy, N.Y. Sister Marie then served as Executive Director at Kennedy Child Study Center in New York (1981 to 1986; where she served as the Local Community Superior from 1984 to 1986); and at the Astor Home for Children, Rhinebeck, N.Y. (1986 to 1992; where she served as the Local Community Superior from 1986 to 1992). Sister Marie ministered as the Board Chair at St. Elizabeth Ann Residence, Troy, N.Y. (1992 to 1993); then served at Sacred Heart Residence in Cohoes, N.Y. (1993); and in administration at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. (1993 to 2000; where she served as Local Community Superior from 1997 to 2000). Sister next served at the DePaul Provincial House in Albany (March to June 2000); Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Bayside, N.Y. (May to August 2000); Sisters Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y. (2000 to 2005); and as an educator and trustee at St. Vincent’s College in Bridgeport, Conn. (2005 to 2013). In July 2013, Sister returned to Albany where she served in the ministry of prayer at St. Louise House until the time of her death.

Sister Marie’s business acumen and management skills helped her to rise to the highest executive levels while continuing to promote the service of the most disadvantaged and persons with special needs. She was known as a strong force in the Daughters of Charity, who was deserving of recognition as a true servant of persons in need.

Sister Marie passed away peacefully at St. Louise House after a period of declining health. Sister Marie was predeceased by her parents; her two sisters, Patricia Guscior and Jeanne DeVaney; and her brother, Rev. John Burns, SJ. She is survived by her brother, Joseph Burns; four nieces and one nephew; many friends, and her Sisters in Community.

A Wake Service was held on August 5 at St. Louise House, 96 Menands Rd., Albany, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial followed on Aug 6 in the chapel, with interment at St. Agnes Cemetery, Albany, NY 12204.

Donations may be made, in lieu of flowers, to the Daughters of Charity, 4330 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63108.

Ronald J. Bianchi, age 78, of Trumbull, beloved husband of Lynette Carosella Bianchi, passed away on Saturday, July 24, 2021 with his loving family by his side. Born in Hartford on December 13, 1942, he was the son of the late Armando and Rose Santamaria Bianchi. He was a graduate of Suffield Academy and Fairfield University and held a Master’s degree in Guidance from Fairfield University and a Sixth Year degree in Educational Administration from the University of Bridgeport.

After 37 ½ dedicated years, Ron retired as Senior Vice President of St. Vincent’s Medical Center and the President of the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation. He was instrumental in creating the Swim Across the Sound and growing it from a grassroots event into a major fund raising endeavor and was very proud of the support the Swim provided to so many people impacted by cancer. Ron raised over 350 million dollars in his career as Foundation President to support the medical center.

He was well respected in the field of philanthropy. He truly loved the hospital and his role there. Throughout his lifetime, he was a member of many organizations both community and professional. He was the recipient of multiple awards from many different groups. He served on the Board of the United Way and other community boards, and was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a District Deputy. He was a kind, gentle, soft-spoken person who always had an encouraging word and a smile for anyone he met. Quietly and without fanfare, he helped countless people navigate through difficult times in their lives.

He was a true gentleman. Ron was a longtime member of the Brooklawn Country Club and recently of the Tashua Knolls Senior Men’s Club.

But above all things, he was a dedicated and loving husband, brother-in-law and uncle, who will be deeply missed by all.

In addition to his beloved wife, Lyn of 53 years, survivors include his sister-in-law, Pamela C. Madonia and her husband Peter, niece and nephew, Jennifer Madonia and her husband Dennis Colclough and Marc P. Madonia and his wife Amy, as well as many cousins, dear friends and co-workers. He also leaves behind his beloved Norwich Terriers, Corky, Lili and Stryker.

Relatives and friends may greet the family on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 from 4-7 p.m. at the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Rd., Trumbull. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. directly in St. Theresa Church, 5301 Main Street, Trumbull. Interment will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Trumbull. Memorial Contributions may be made to Swim Across the Sound c/o St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport, CT 06606. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.abriola.com

Source: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/ctpost/name/ronald-bianchi-obituary?pid=199645592

SCRANTON—Sister M. St. Mel Wright, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Thursday, May 20, 2021, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She was born on June 26, 1929, in Baltimore, Md.; and given the name Barbara Catherine. She was the daughter of the late Lealon Burgess and Catherine Halloran Querney Wright. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1949, and made her temporary profession of vows on May 8, 1952, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1955.

Sister St. Mel served as a teacher in the following schools: St. Ephrem Elementary School in Brooklyn, N.Y., from 1952 to 1954; St. Peter Catechetical Center in Wellsboro, Penn., from 1954 to 1955; St. Patrick Catechetical Center in Milford, PA, from 1955 to 1957; St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, Conn., from 1957 to 1965; St. Pius X Elementary School in Coeur d’Alene, Ind., from 1965 to 1971; Archbishop Neale Elementary School in La Plata, Md., from 1971 to 1978; and St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md., from 1978 to 1979.

Sister also served as director of candidates for the IHM Congregation from 1979 to 1982; sector coordinator for the IHM Congregation, from 1982 to 1990; core group member at IHM Spiritual Renewal Center in Cresco, Penn., from 1990 to 1994; coordinator of the Marian Convent in Scranton, Penn., from 1994 to 2005; assistant administrator of the IHM Center in Scranton, Penn., from 2005 to 2010; and pastoral care volunteer at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Penn., from 2010 to 2013.

From 2013 until the time of her death, Sister St. Mel was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education/English, and a master’s degree in special education/elementary education, both from Marywood College.

She is preceded in death by four brothers, Clayton, Lealon, Jack and James; and a sister, Dorothy Stumpf.

She is survived by a sister, Peggy Wright of Bowling Green, Ky.; nieces and nephews. She is also survived by the members of the IHM Congregation.

Interment will be at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, Penn. Due to restrictions related to the coronavirus, the funeral mass and graveside service are private.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.

Deacon Vincent J. Heidenreich of Greenwich passed away on Monday, March 22 at the age of 79.

“It is with great sadness I must inform you of the death of Deacon Heidenreich. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Vincent and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

Deacon Vince was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Bridgeport in 1990 and since that time had been assigned to St. Catherine pastoral staff. He also served as the property manager for St. Catherine.

Vincent J. Heidenreich was born in Pittsburgh on June 15, 1943. His father was a general practitioner and his mother a nurse. He is the eldest of twelve, seven boys and five girls. He was educated in parochial schools, grade, high and at The Catholic University of America.

Deacon Vince spent 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry. One of his earlier promotions to pharmaceutical marketing management prompted the relocation of his family to Greenwich in July 1978, and first joined St. Catherine of Siena Parish.

In 1983, he joined the healthcare division of BBDO on Madison Ave., supervising the development of prescription-drug advertising. His last eleven years in the industry were as advertising head at Bayer Pharmaceutical. He retired from Bayer in November 2000.

Deacon Vince served as director of Religious Education at Notre Dame Parish in Easton from 2001-2011. He was very involved in marriage-preparation work for the diocese and for the parish. Among the joys of his diaconal service, Deacon Heidenreich identified the privilege of presiding at the weddings of his son, Vincent, Jr. and daughter, Beth, the baptizing of grandchildren and his many grandnieces and grandnephews in Pittsburgh.

On Friday, March 26, visitation will take place at St. Catherine of Siena Church located at 4 Riverside Avenue in Riverside from 9:30-10:30 am. Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will be the Celebrant for the Funeral Mass at 11 am following visitation. The Funeral Mass will be live-streamed and that link will be available on the parish website.

Those interested in attending in-person, please register at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/805094EAFAE2AA4F58-funeral1  

Condolences may be sent to: The Heidenreich Family c/o  St. Catherine of Siena Parish4 Riverside Avenue Riverside, CT 06878.

Click here for Greenwich Time obituary.

TRUMBULL—Reverend Joseph F. Palacino, age 93, of Trumbull passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at Bridgeport Hospital.

Ordained at age 55, after serving his country as a veteran of two wars, working as a chemist and running owning his own market, Father Palacino is remembered for his kindness, compassion and willingness to accompany others on their journey of faith.

“Father Palacino had a long, remarkable and blessed life, and equally important he was a blessing to all those who knew him and were served by his gracious and loving ministry,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano. “We should all live so well, so long, so faithfully as Father Joe.”

Father Palacino is best remembered by many parishioners of St. Jerome Parish in Norwalk, where he served his final assignment. In a beautiful tribute to Father Paladino published in the December 26, 2020 parish bulletin, Father Dave Blanchfield, retired pastor of St. Jerome’s, fondly recalled Father Palacino’s courage, kindness and decency.

“Although when he came to us he was already 67, he stayed working as a full time priest for another 21 years. Our retirement age is 75, but Father Joe loved the people of St. Jerome so much that he stayed on until health issues at age 88 forced him to retire,” said Father David Blanchfield, who continues to live in residence at the parish.

“A turning point in his life was when he was drafted for the second of two wars. After already serving as a sailor during the last days of World War II, he was again drafted as a soldier in the Korean conflict. As part of God’s plan and because he was a practicing Catholic, he was assigned to guard the Catholic chaplain when he was giving what we then called ‘the last rites’ to soldiers on the battlefield. In those moments, he got to see both the power of the Sacraments as well as the difference a priest can make in people’s lives,” said Father Blanchfield.

Father Palacino was born in Bridgeport on June 14, 1927, a son of the late Luigi Palacino and Provvidenza (Allegra) Palacino. Father Palacino is survived by his loving sister, Mary Grace Corica, of Trumbull and a devoted brother, Frank Palacino and his wife Martha, of Ocala, Fla., as well as many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews and great-great-nieces and nephews.

He was also predeceased by three brothers, Liborio, Salvatore and Angelo Palacino. Father Palacino was educated at Central High School in Bridgeport before serving honorably in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. He later graduated from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. and was proud to be a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Assembly 100 of Norwalk for many years.

Throughout his life, Father Palacino had many occupations, including owner of Palacino’s Market and he was a chemist for nearly 20 years before he embraced his calling as a priest.

Father Palacino studied Theology at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corner, Wis., before being ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis at St. Augustine Cathedral, Bridgeport on December 4, 1982.

After his ordination, Father Palacino first served as parochial vicar of St. Joseph Church in Shelton. In 1987, he was transferred to St. Augustine Cathedral Parish. In 1994, Father Palacino moved to his last assignment, St. Jerome in Norwalk, where he continued to serve even after his retirement.

Father Palacino’s body was received at St. Jerome Church to lie in repose. Parishioners and friends observed social distance guidelines and greeted the family. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday, December 7, by Bishop Caggiano. Interment with military honors followed in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Trumbull.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jerome Church or Father Joe Appalachian Project Scholarship c/o Notre Dame High School, 220 Jefferson St., Fairfield, CT 06825.


Editor’s Note: Fairfield County Catholic regrets the inadvertent omission of Father Palacino’s obituary in the January issue of the paper. We are proud to remember this remarkable priest servant who brought the healing of Christ to so many people in the diocese.

NORWALK—(updated Tuesday, December 22, 5:10 pm) Msgr. Walter C. Orlowski, beloved pastor of St. Matthew Parish in Norwalk, passed away suddenly on the morning of Monday, December 2). He was 68 years old. (Arrangements have been announced and are listed below).

“It is with a deep sense of sadness and of profound loss that we announce the passing of Msgr. Walter Orlowski, beloved pastor of St. Matthew Parish. His passing is an even more difficult cross to bear for his parish family and all those who loved him,  coming as it has just a few days before Christmas,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

“Throughout his ministry, his spirit of joy and compassion gathered an entire community around him and brought healing and affirmation to so many lives. His death is a great loss to parishioners, his brother priests, and to the entire community. He will be deeply missed by all,” the bishop said.

On September 14, 2019, when the parishioners of St. Matthew’s celebrated his 25th year as pastor and the 40th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, the bishop praised Msgr. Orlowski’s in the presence of his parishioners:

“You, my friends, are absolutely blessed to have a true spiritual father who has been here nearly a quarter of a century. One who has guided you, laughed with you, cried with you, walked with you, has come to love you— probably more than he could love anything or anyone else. You have responded to his vision because you have seen the genuineness of Msgr. Walter and what he wants: the best for you and for the Church.”

Walter Cajetan Orlowski was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on April 6, 1952, son of Walter and Jeanne M. Orlowski. He was baptized May 4, 1952, at Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Bridgeport. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas School, Fairfield and Bullard Havens Technical School in Bridgeport.

Msgr. Orlowski began his priestly formation at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield Conn., continuing at St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., where he completed his theological studies. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport on May 5, 1979.

Following his ordination, his first assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport (1979-1984). In July 1984, he was transferred to St. Mary Church in Bethel where he served until 1990. From 1990-1994, Msgr. Orlowski served as parochial vicar at St. Luke Church in Westport.

In July 1994, he was named the fourth pastor of St. Matthew Parish in Norwalk and he brought great enthusiasm and energy to his ministry. Under his leadership, on September 29, 1995, the groundbreaking for the new parish center became a reality with a Mass of Celebration officiated by Most Rev. Bishop Edward M. Egan.

In late 2003, the church underwent an expansion, increasing the seating capacity and creating a family room that allowed families to more fully participate in Mass. On June 26, 2004, Bishop William E. Lori presided at the rededication of St. Matthew Church.

On November 4, 2007, a Jubilee kick-off Mass was held to celebrate St. Matthew’s 50 year anniversary. There was a year-long celebration with spiritual and social events, which concluded on November 15, 2008, with a Mass and gala. On June 1, 2019, St. Matthew Parish celebrated the groundbreaking for an 18,000-square-foot two-story recreation center that will feature a basketball court, indoor walking/running track, and college lounge for a Catholic Newman Center Club.

“We’re building on what we already have, to give people the training space and programs they need to encourage health in body, mind and spirit,” according to Msgr. Walter C. Orlowski. “It’s all about creating a parish even more welcoming than ever before—one that can be the center of people’s lives. It’s all for the good, all for God’s people.”

On the occasion of his 40th anniversary as a priest, Msgr. Orlowski addressed the congregation during his homily for the  Mass of Thanksgiving. On that day, priests, religious, dignitaries and five generations of parishioners packed the church. The procession into church included representatives of from the 1,016 baptized by Monsignor while at St. Matthew, 2,252 First Communicants, 1,599 young adults he prepared for Confirmation and 407 couples who received the Sacrament of Matrimony.

“I’ve spent more than a third of my life here at St. Matthew,” said Monsignor. “There has never been a day or week when one of you hasn’t come up to me with a prayer, word of support or a hug. It has meant the world to me “When I gather together with you, I know I am with family,” he said.

“It is you who inspires us,” he said to the faithful. “It is you who makes us better priests. It is you who fills us with your great spirituality that you possess in the community of St. Matthew. 40 years of priesthood has been a magnificent gift; I am blessed by you. 25 years and I have never felt alone—you have been there every step of the way. All of the great people of St. Matthew—it is you who make this place work. And I am grateful to God for you. God will take care of you, trust me,” Monsignor said.

Throughout his years of priestly ministry in the diocese, Msgr. Orlowski served both on the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors. He also served as vicar for Vicariate V as well as Dean of the Mother of Divine Grace Deanery, covering Norwalk, New Canaan and Darien. Msgr. Orlowski served as priest president of the board of All Saints Catholic School in Norwalk, and as a board member of Elderhouse of Norwalk. In addition, Monsignor served as mentor to many new pastors, a member of the Vocations Team and lastly as minister for priests. In 2007, he received the great honor of being named chaplain to His Holiness.

His words to young men considering the priesthood sum up the values he brought to his ministry as a priest:  “Someone who’s thinking of a vocation to the priesthood should have a big heart and be willing to give of himself,” says Father Orlowski. “The priesthood requires prayer, study, and above all service. If you’re willing to do that, the priesthood offers great peace and great joy that nothing else on earth can give.”

ARRANGEMENTS: Msgr. Orlowski’s body will be received at St. Matthew Church, Norwalk on Monday, December 28 at 1 pm, followed by a Mass reserved to family, clergy and religious. The principal celebrant will be Msgr. Thomas Powers, vicar general; the homilist will be Msgr. William Scheyd. Concelebrating clergy are asked to bring diocesan vestments and remember that masks must be worn.

Starting at 3 pm, Msgr. Orlowski’s body will lie in repose until 6 pm for public viewing, Bishop Caggiano will celebrate the Funeral Mass on Tuesday, December 29 at 11 am. Interment will be private.

Condolences can be sent to the Orlowski Family c/o St. Matthew Church, 216 Scribner Ave, Norwalk, CT 06854. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Msgr. Orlowski and for the consolation of his family.

NEW HAVEN—Andrew Thomas Walther, president and chief operating officer of EWTN News, died Sunday evening in New Haven, Connecticut. Remembered first as a loving husband and father, in his life’s work he was dedicated to serving the Catholic Church and defending persecuted religious minorities throughout the world. Walther was 45 years old.

In June, Walther joined EWTN News as president and COO. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with leukemia. During the course of his treatment, Walther continued to lead the EWTN News team and to serve both his family and the Church.

“Andrew Walther’s death is a source of great sadness for all of us at EWTN and for me personally. Although Andrew had only been in his role as President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News since June, he had already accomplished so much. He had also been a friend and collaborator for many years before joining the Network. His death is a great loss for all who knew him, for EWTN and for the Church,” Michael Warsaw, chief executive officer and EWTN board chairman, remembered November 2.

From 2005 until 2020, Walther worked for the Knights of Columbus, where he was Vice President for Communications and Strategic Planning. In that role, he served as an advisor to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, while overseeing numerous initiatives for the Catholic fraternal organization, including a pandemic response campaign earlier this year and other crisis response projects.

Taking leadership roles in media and religious freedom advocacy, Walther also oversaw the Knights’ polling and book publishing operations, which included several New York Times bestsellers. Together with his wife, Maureen, he co-authored “The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History,” a book released this year.

Long devoted to the canonization cause of Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, Walther died one day after McGivney was formally beatified by the Church.

Walther’s work on behalf of Middle Eastern Christians is especially noteworthy, and was particularly close to his heart.

He played an essential role in a Knights of Columbus effort to assist persecuted and refugee Christians, through a fund that has distributed more than $20 million in aid, especially in Syria, Iraq, and the surrounding region. The same effort offered on-the-ground assistance to Christians rebuilding lives, churches, and even towns destroyed by ISIS, including an effort to completely rebuild the Iraqi town of Karamles on the Nineveh Plain.

Walther’s work in the region has been widely praised by bishops and other Christian leaders across the Middle East.

Born November 30, 1974, he was a California native and a lifelong Catholic. Walther earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Classics from the University of Southern California, where he taught writing for several years, and was recognized with the university’s Excellency in Teaching Award.

Walther began his career as a Catholic journalist writing for the National Catholic Register two decades ago.

“He was a man of deep faith and extraordinary gifts who always used his talents to serve others. He leaves behind a tremendous legacy that includes years of service to the Church, to the cause of persecuted Christians around the globe and to building up the culture of life. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Maureen and their four young children. He was a tremendous man and a wonderful friend whom I will miss greatly. That his death came on the Solemnity of All Saints is a great consolation to us all,” Warsaw recalled.

Friends say that while he was accomplished outside the home, it was his family that brought Walther the most joy. Walther and his wife Maureen married in 2010, and are the parents of four children.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

By Catholic News Service