DANBURY—Deacon Robert Blankschen passed away on May 10, 2023, at the age of 87.

“It is with great sadness I must inform you of the death of Deacon Robert Blankschen on May 10, 2023. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Blankschen and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano in announcing his passing.

Deacon Robert “Bob” Blankschen was born in Bridgeport, to the late Elton and Hazel Blankschen on October 20, 1935. He attended Stratford High School, where he met the love of his life, Agnes Delia LaSella. Bob was a veteran of the US Navy and proudly served on the USS Hollis and USS O’Hare. He worked at Connecticut Light & Power for 38 years and retired as chief electrician.

Deacon Blankschen was ordained a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Bridgeport on April 29, 1978, and served at St. Gregory the Great Parish, Danbury, CT. He also ministered at Glen Hill Center Nursing Home and the Dorothy Hospitality House. Bob was involved with the Marriage Encounter community. He enjoyed woodworking, traveling, and being with his family and friends.

Bob was predeceased by his son, Michael; his daughter-in-law, Jill; and his brother, Edward Blankschen. Bob leaves behind his beloved and faithful bride of 67 years, Agnes, and their children: Linda Bertozzi (Duane), Kathryn Bretz (Thomas), Robert Jr. (Lisa), David (Angelina), Kenneth (Karin), and James (significant other, Desiree); his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, his sister Gail LaSella; and brother Warren Blankschen (Denise).

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wed., May 17th, at 10:00 am, at St. Gregory the Great Church, Danbury, CT, with the Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, officiating. Burial will follow in St. Peter Cemetery. Visitation will be at the church on Tuesday, May 16th, from 4:00-7:00 pm.

Memorial contributions may be made to St Gregory the Great Church. To leave a condolence please visit

WESTPORT—Joan Marie Kelly, age 73, died at her home in Westport on Friday, May 5, 2023.

A lifelong Catholic, Joan was a pioneer in faith formation in the Diocese of Bridgeport, who was devoted to her faith and shared her extraordinary gifts as a scholar, teacher, and lecturer with all age groups.

Born in Taunton, Mass., on June 8, 1949, Joan was one of two daughters of Massachusetts State Police Adjutant Major John J. Kelly, and his wife, Agnes, both deceased.

Joan graduated from St. Joseph College in West Hartford, Conn. (now the University of Saint Joseph) and received a master’s degree in Theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington and a doctorate from the Graduate Theological Foundation at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

“For those of us blessed to have her in our lives, she was a friend, a colleague, and a staunch defender of the faith. She was the consummate Catholic teacher, living the Gospel, spreading the faith with her smile, quick wit, and endless charm. Even in her later years, Joan was in demand as a retreat leader and presenter,” said Dr. Patrick Donovan, Director of The Institute for Catholic Formation of the diocese.

For several years she served as the Director of Religious Education at St. Pius X Parish in Fairfield. As the Director of Catechesis for the Diocese of Bridgeport, she oversaw the religious education programs of young people and converts to the Catholic faith in 88 parishes across Fairfield County. Countless priests and deacons are indebted to Joan for her classes in the diocese’s deacon formation program, as well as the theological formation program for seminarians at the former St. John Fisher Seminary in Stamford. In recognition of her commitment to the teaching mission of the Catholic Church, Joan received the Papal Cross (Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice) from Pope St. John Paul II, the Holy See’s highest honor for the laity.

In recent years, Joan was a professor in the Catholic Studies Department at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, where she taught Biblical Studies (Introduction to the New Testament) and Great Books of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. She consistently earned high marks from her students for her enthusiasm, kindness, and commitment to their learning and success.

Joan is survived by her sister, Mary A. Vasile, and her husband, James, of Alexandria, Va. and many loving cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday May 16, 2023, at St. Theresa Parish, 5301 Main Street Trumbull, CT, at 11 AM. The funeral can be livestreamed by visiting and clicking the “livestream” banner.

Interment will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Anthony Shrine, 100 Arch Street, Boston, MA 02110.

Sister Julianna (Elizabeth Ann) Poole was born in Manhattan, on February 18, 1928, and Baptized at St. Bernard’s Church in New York City, on March 18, 1928. She died at Ozanam Hall, Bayside, NY, on May 4, 2023, aged 95. Her parents, George and Johanna (Kavanagh), immigrants from Ireland, later resided in St. Saviour Parish in Brooklyn, where she and her brothers, George and Henry, were educated by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

After pronouncing her vows as a School Sister in 1948, she taught in Bridgeport, Connecticut, before spending 12 years at schools in Puerto Rico. Later assignments as administrator at schools in Hartford and New Haven, were followed by ten years as Professor of Education at Fairfield University, and six as assistant in the Alumni Office. In her retirement Sister Julianna resided at Villa Notre Dame in Wilton.

A Wake service and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Andrew Church, Anton Street, Bridgeport, on Thursday, May 11 at 10:00; Wake Service at 10:30 and Liturgy at 11:30.

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 Martin A. Gleason Funeral Home, Bayside, NY.

Sister Jude Carroll, CSFN, passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 23, 2023.

Born Judith Ann Carroll, Sister Jude entered into the world on January 3, 1942, the youngest of three children born to John and Ruth (Adams) Carroll. Upon graduation from elementary school, Sister entered Stamford High School.

In June of 1959, she enrolled in the University of Connecticut and earned a degree in English. Sister Jude went on the work in the Social Security office for 11 years, rising from the position of claims representative to branch manager.

Sister Jude entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth on February 6, 1977. During her years in Nazareth, Sister earned a Master Degree in Religious Education from Fairfield University, Fairfield, and a graduate certificate in Spirituality from St. Joseph College, Hartford. Sister ministered as DRE in three parishes: St. Hyacinth Parish, Glen Head, N.Y., Our Lady of the Lakes, Oakdale, Conn., and St. Joseph Parish, Shelton. Sister also assisted with retreat activities at the House of Prayer, Riverhead, N.Y.

Sister Jude contracted polio at the age of eight, which left her with paralysis in her left leg. Later in life, she was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome, a debilitating muscular disease, an after-effect of polio, which attacks multiple areas of the body. As her muscular system progressively weakened, Sister retired from ministry in 2004. In August of 2017 she was admitted as a resident of St. John Paul II Facility, Danbury, a skilled nursing facility.

While at St. John Paul II Facility, Sister could be seen on her powered wheelchair visiting with patients, listening to and encouraging them and praying with and for them. She served as lector at the daily Mass and joined in the recreational activities offered at the facility. As her health continued to decline, she found herself less able to participate in activities of any kind. Eventually, Sister became bedridden which did not hamper her spirit. She continued to read her daily newspaper, keeping up with the current events. She looked forward to visits from her family and friends. After her hospitalization in March, Sister could no longer fight the disease and returned to St. John Paul II Facility, where she died in the afternoon of April 23, 2023.

Sister Jude was preceded in death by her parents, John and Ruth Carroll; and her sister, Barbara Baker. She is survived by her brother, Jack Carroll, numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Funeral services will be private. Online condolences may be left at .

BRIDGEPORT– Father Albert D. Audette, Jr. died on Sunday evening, April 1, 2023 at his home in Naples, Fla.  He was 90 years of age.

“Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Audette and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano in making the announcement.

A former fighter pilot, Fr. Audette will be remembered in gratitude by many throughout the diocese as a gifted and accomplished priest with a remarkable life story and a deep love for God, country and family.  He brought his great faith, life experience, energy and intelligence to his ministry of service in parishes in Bethel, Danbury, Brookfield and Stamford.

Albert David Audette, Jr. was born in Central Falls, R.I., on June 12, 1931, the son of Albert D. Audette, Sr. and Mary Kennelly Audette. He was baptized July 6, 1932, at St. Theresa Church in South Attleboro, Mass., received his First Holy Communion on May 18, 1941 at St. Patrick Church in Cumberland, R.I. and the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Theresa Church in South Attleboro, Mass. on May 12, 1942.

Father Audette attended St. Raphael Academy.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska and Master of Business Administration from George Washington University. He also studied at the Foreign Service Institute and the National Defense College.

Father Audette served in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1981. During these years, he attained the rank of Colonel. In the early years of his military career, Father Audette served as a jet fighter pilot (flying many missions in Vietnam during the war), test pilot and instructor pilot. Among the many honors he received during his military career, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Cross of Gallantry. Later, he served as an attaché to the Ambassador to Portugal.

On July 10, 1954, he married Mary Ann Poling at the Church of the Assumption in Topeka, Kan. They raised four children together. Sadly, Mary Ann passed away in 1989. After some time, Father Audette discerned a vocation to the priesthood and requested admission to serve in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Father Audette received his priestly formation at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pa. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport by Bishop Edward M. Egan at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport on May 29, 1993.

Following his ordination, his first assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish in Bethel, where he served until 1996. In January of 1996, he was assigned as administrator of St. Peter Parish in Danbury. Later that year, he was named pastor of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish in Brookfield. His next assignment was as pastor of St. Peter Parish in Danbury, where he served from 2002 until his retirement in 2007.

Upon his retirement, Father Audette took up residence at the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist in Stamford. He went back to school and obtained a Masters in Mental Health, and after receiving his degree, opened the Roman Catholic Center for Mental Health and Spiritual Direction in Stamford which focused on providing care for those unable to afford it.

In addition to his parish responsibilities, Father Audette served as Coordinator for Ministry to the Newly Ordained.

Father Audette’s Funeral Mass will take place at St. Joseph Church in Alexandria, Va. Father Brian Gannon will be the homilist. Interment will follow at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. The date and time will be announced at a later date.

Sam (Salvatore ) A. Cingari, Jr., a devoted family man, Founder, Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Grade A Markets and the Cingari Family ShopRite of Southwestern Connecticut, and a prominent figure in the Stamford community, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

He was born on October 15, 1930, of Italian immigrants, in Stamford, Conn., and was the youngest of six children. The Cingari family were active members of St. Mary Parish. Sam attended Rogers grammar school and graduated from Stamford High School in 1949. Sam was a lifelong Stamford resident whose boyhood was spent working beside his father who was a grocery peddler. In his teenage years he delivered groceries to many customers of his father’s now small corner market Grade A.

In 1949, Sam left Stamford for the first time to earn a degree in accounting at Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I. It was here that Sam met his wife, Catherine Franco, at church on their first weekend on campus. Sam and Cathy were married on September 1, 1952 and committed their lives to raising a family in their faith and serving their church and larger community. They were married for 66 years. Sam began his career as an accountant for a local accounting firm before joining his father and two brothers at Grade A Market where he worked every day up until his final days.

Sam was predeceased by his parents Salvatore and Rosa Cingari, his beloved wife Catherine (Cathy) Cingari and his siblings Catina Sciaba, Dominick P. Cingari, Joseph Cingari, Rocco Cingari and Mary Cutugno. Sam is survived by his six children, Rosemary, John (Tricia), Michael, Tom (Sue), David(Janine), Mary Donovan (Brian), 15 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren as well as many nieces, nephews and dear friends. Of all the titles Sam possessed, his most precious was his title “Papa” as he was known and loved by his beloved grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all their friends he so graciously welcomed into his home for the famous Sunday cookouts throughout the years.

As a lifelong Stamford resident, Sam was active at ShopRite/Grade A Markets, where he was always found greeting customers in the aisles and mentoring employees but also serving the people in the greater Stamford community at large. Sam was the driving force behind the customer-centered culture that is the trademark of the now -12 Cingari Family ShopRite supermarkets across Connecticut. As a grocer and philanthropist, Sam was especially dedicated to fighting hunger, a passion that eventually led to his being named Chairman of the Board of the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. Sam and his brothers were recognized as Corporate Citizens for their companies’ lifelong contributions enabling the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County to feed the hungry throughout their community. In 2003, they were also honored as Ambassadors to Humanity.

In addition, Sam served his community as an active member of the Board of Directors for St. John’s Towers, the low-income housing for the City of Stamford since 1992. He was also a member of the Board of Directors for St. Joseph’s Hospital from 1985-2000 and the YMCA for 25 years. Sam was a member of the Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra Board of Directors and a sponsor of the New York Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center for 45 years. He was honored as The Stamford Citizen Of The Year in 2001 and State Street Debating Society’s Man Of The Year in 2001. In addition, Sam was honored by the Knights of Columbus as the Grand Marshall of the 2006 Columbus Day Parade.

Sam and his family became active members of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Stamford, established in their neighborhood in 1964. Sam dedicated his time, talent and treasure assisting in the building of a church, school and parish community. Sam was a member of the first Parish Council and was elected Trustee in 1990 and served in this capacity for over 25 years. In 2005, Sam was awarded the St. Augustine Medal of Service by the Most Reverend William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport and in 2018, Pope Francis bestowed upon Sam the Papal honor of Knight of the Order of St. Sylvester Pope, for living a life of exemplary faith and excelling in business and society, which was awarded to him by the Most Reverend Bishop J. Caggiano of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Sam and Cathy Cingari have left a remarkable legacy steeped in virtue and values of faith, family, humble leadership, care and serving in Fairfield County, Conn. They have served and supported many organizations, and their children and grandchildren continue to honor their legacy. A legacy best described in the sacred words of Scripture so dear to Sam: “If God has been generous with you, he will expect you to serve him well. But if he has been more than generous, he will expect you to serve him even better” – Luke 12:48

Calling hours will be private. There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Catholic Church 566 Elm St., Stamford, Conn. on Wednesday, March 15, at 11 am. Burial will follow at St. John’s Cemetery in Darien immediately following Mass.

During this most solemn holy season of Lent, flower arrangements can not be accepted at the funeral home or the Church. Thank you for your understanding.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, you consider a donation in Sam’s honor to: The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, 461 Glenbrook Road, Stamford, CT 06906, or via

Arrangements are under the direction of Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home (203)-359-9999. To send online condolences to the Cingari family, please visit

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Father Thomas Frances Elliott, CSC, 82, died at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind. on February 20, 2023 after a short illness.

Father Elliott was born on March 24, 1940 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the oldest of two children of Joseph and Filomena (Lofaro) Elliott. Father Elliott graduated from North Tarrytown High School in North Tarrytown, N.Y. in 1957. After graduating from high school, he began studies at the University of Notre Dame.

At the age of 19, he began his life in Holy Cross at St. Joseph Hall as a candidate for the priesthood. He entered the Holy Cross Novitiate in Jordan, Minn. on August 15, 1960, professed first vows on August 16, 1961 and professed final vows on August 16, 1964.

After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, he began theology studies at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and graduated in 1969. He was ordained a Holy Cross priest on May 27, 1967 at St. Teresa Church in North Tarrytown, N.Y.

From 1969 to 1979, Father Elliott was assigned to the Formation Program at Moreau Seminary and also served as the Province Archivist, assisted at Holy Cross Parish in South Bend, Ind. and assisted at Fatima Retreat Center in Notre Dame, Ind. From 1980 to 1986, he was assigned as Associate Pastor at St. Stanislaus Parish in South Bend, Ind.

In 1986, he went to Boston, MA for training in Hospital Chaplaincy. He has served in various hospitals as chaplain, including Boston University Hospital in Boston, Mass. (1987-1990), O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif. (1990-1991), Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago (1991-1995) and St. Vincent Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn. (1995-2001). He served as Chaplain for the School of Sisters of Notre Dame in Wilton, Conn. from 2001 to 2021.

In 2021, Father Elliott retired to Holy Cross House in Notre Dame, Ind. He is preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Filomena Elliott. He is survived by his sister, Marianne (Bob) Morin, their six children, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

The Funeral Mass was celebrated on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame, Ind.. Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Mission Advancement, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online at

Joseph M.C. Kung (“Joe”), the Kung family stalwart and an ardent advocate for the persecuted underground Roman Catholic Church in China, passed away in the early morning hours of February 14, 2023. He was one month shy of his 91st birthday.

Born in Shanghai, China to a distinguished sixth generation Catholic family, he was the second of eight children of Dr. Vincent Kung, a surgeon, and Theresa Yao, a homemaker.

He lived a life of faith, courage, and principle. Always taking the long view, he fought for what was right and just for both his family and so many others.

At 18 years old in 1950, soon after the Communist took over China, he left Shanghai to be reunited with his father, who had fled to Hong Kong months earlier. As the border closed soon after, he could not see his siblings and his mother again for almost 30 years. His father died two years later, leaving him penniless and alone. Joe’s family remains forever grateful to Shanghainese family friends who assisted Joe during this time.

Joe is a proud beneficiary of the Refugee Relief Act of 1953. As a recipient of one of 2,000 visas granted to Chinese refugees, he relocated in 1955 to Ohio and enrolled at John Carroll University. He worked full time throughout his entire four years to put himself through school, graduating in 1959. He continued his education culminating with 2 MBAs – one each from (Case) Western Reserve University and Wayne State University. He was a CPA by trade.

Eventually, he returned to Hong Kong where he married his future wife, Agnes, in 1968. They were blessed with the birth of his four surviving children. A lifelong fervent American patriot, Joe is forever grateful to the United States for his many opportunities including the relocation of his young family to Stamford, Conn. in 1979 to the home that he lived in for the remainder of his life.

Aside from his four children, Joe is most proud of three accomplishments. First, the joy of facilitating the immigration of his mother and six siblings along with their immediate families to the United States. Seeing them happily retired and the next generation blossoming in the land of freedom was one of his greatest joys.

Second, keeping alive the memory of then Bishop (now Cardinal) Kung and successfully fighting for his release in 1987 after 32 years of incarceration in China for his religious beliefs and leadership.

Third, establishing in 1992 the Cardinal Kung Foundation not only to promote the persecuted Roman Catholic Church in China, but also to champion the cause for Cardinal Kung’s canonization.

Joe Kung testified to Congress on multiple occasions, convinced 54 members of Congress to sign a letter to China’s Premier pleading for Cardinal Kung’s release, served as an expert witness to gain asylum for over 30 individuals or families of verified persecuted underground Catholics, and supported hundreds of underground clergy and nuns in renowned European seminaries and universities. His dedication, supported by his Board of Directors, resulted in both awards and condemnation including the Cardinal Mindszenty Award and being named as the biggest enemy of the Chinese government approved Patriotic Association catholic church by one director of a major religious community.

Joe was also a hobbyist inventor, a founder of two companies, a lifelong lover of classical music, a connoisseur of sweets, and above all, a loving dedicated family man.

Joe was predeceased by his older sister Ming Zhu, his beloved parents Dr. Vincent Kung and Theresa Yao Kung, as well as his cherished uncle Ignatius Cardinal Kung. He is survived by his wife of 54 years (Agnes), four children and their spouses (Terese Kung & Tom Scally, John Kung, Francis Kung & Colleen Sharkey-Kung, and Mary Kung), and granddaughter Thea Kung; six siblings and their spouses (Min Sun & Hong Qi Kung, Margaret & Ignatius Chu, Michael and Amy Kung, Peter & Mary Kung, Margaret and David Pang, Martha Ming Kung & John C. Hung); nine nephews and nieces and their spouses, and eight grand nephews and nieces.

Friends may call at the Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home, 104 Myrtle Avenue, Stamford on Friday, February 24, 2023, from 4:30 to 7 pm (with eulogy at 5:30 pm). A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 10 am at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, 279 Atlantic Street, Stamford. Interment will follow at Queen of Peace Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Cardinal Kung Foundation

BRIDGEPORT– Deacon Brian J. Kelly, Ph.D., age 82, of Bridgeport, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, February 15, 2023. Born in Meriden to the late Joseph Kelly and Marguerite Bengston Kelly, he was a lifelong area resident and a U.S. Coast Guard veteran.

Dr. Kelly ran his own psychology practice with a focus on Dr. Murray Bowen Family Systems. He was an ordained Deacon and served for 30 years at St. Luke Church in Westport. He was also a longtime member of Fayerweather Yacht Club and served as the Chaplain for several years.

“It is with sadness I must inform you of the death of Deacon Brian J. Kelly, Ph.D. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Kelly and for the consolation of his family,” Bishop Caggiano said in his announcement to diocesan clergy..

He is survived by his children, Justin Kelly and his wife Judith, Bronwyn Kelly and her husband, Adam Woods and Whitney Kelly; sister, Patsy Kelly; grandchildren, Bryce Kelly and Wyatt and Vivian Woods; nephews, Patrick and Casey King; and dear friend, Linda “Charlie” Davison. He was predeceased by his brother, Dennis Kelly.

Deacon Brian will lie in repose at St. Luke Church, 49 N. Turkey Hill Rd. in Westport from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2023. The Deacons of the Diocese of Bridgeport will gather to pray at 6:30 pm.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Monsignor Robert Kinnally, Vicar General of the Diocese of Bridgeport, on Friday, February 24, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the church, with a reception immediately following the Mass in the church’s community room. Interment with Military Honors will be held privately at St. Lawrence Cemetery in West Haven.

To send an online condolence, please visit

BRIDGEPORT– Deacon James Michael Volpe of Sandy Hook passed away on Sunday February 5.

“It is with great sadness that I must inform you of the death of Deacon James M. Volpe. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Volpe and for the consolation of his family,” Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said in his announcement.

A native of Bridgeport, Deacon Volpe was ordained by the Most Rev. Edward M. Egan on December 17, 1988 at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport.

He was assigned to St. Ambrose Parish in Bridgeport and later served as Chaplain of Bishop Curtis Homes on Palisade Avenue in Bridgeport.

Born in 1952, Deacon Volpe was a member of the 1966 Class of St. Raphael School in Bridgeport. He graduated from Kolbe high School in 1970, and from Sacred Heart University in 1974. He also took graduate studies at Fairfield University. He retired in July 2011.

He and his late wife, Kathleen, were the parents of three grown children, Jessica Volpe of Ansonia, Sara Manrique (Edgar) of Derby, Rebecca Earl (Steven) of Arkansas, and eight grandchildren.

A wake will take place on Wednesday, February 8 from 4PM to 7PM at Cyril Mullins Funeral Home located at 399 White Plains Road in Trumbull.

The Funeral Mass is scheduled for Thursday, February 9 at 9:30 AM at Saint Margaret Shrine 2523 Park Avenue in Bridgeport. Interment will take place immediately following the Funeral Mass at Mountain Grove Cemetery in Easton.

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Deacon Gary Edward Carpenter, age 81, of Milton, Delaware, a retired Deacon for the Diocese of Bridgeport, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family Sunday, December 25, 2022 in Wilmington, DE.

Born in Bridgeport, the son of the late Hubert and Viola (Hurlburt) Carpenter, he was raised in Black Rock. He graduated from Black Rock School, Bassick High School, attended Salem College and received a BS in Graphic Design from the University of Bridgeport.

Deacon Gary was employed for many years as a Creative Art Director at the C.R. Gibson Company in Norwalk and used his talent to design the layout of Fairfield County Catholic. Gary volunteered for Young Life, a non-denominational ministry to middle and high school students in Darien, CT.

Gary was ordained to the Diaconate for the Diocese of Bridgeport in 1986 and was assigned to St. Stephen’s Church in Trumbull serving there for 27 years where he assisted with pastoral duties including the Parish Advisory Council, conducted Confirmation and First Holy Eucharist training, taught CCD and helped run the RCIA program. Gary was a leader in the Emmaus ministry at St. Stephens, sharing the love of God with high school students for many years.

When called on, Gary would also assist other parishes throughout the Diocese which he took great pleasure in doing. He was a 3rd Degree member of the Knights of Columbus-St. Stephen’s Council #13063. Gary led a Bible study group in Black Rock that led to the creation of the Black Rock Food Pantry with fellow member, the late Gerry Habansky. He had a smile that could not be forgotten and his sense of humor kept his friends and family laughing.

Gary loved God and loved others, he will be sadly missed by his beloved wife of 58 years, Joan (Lattin) Carpenter of Milton, DE; four loving children, Thomas Carpenter and his wife Kim of Southbury, James Carpenter and his wife, Julie of Wilmington, DE, Aaron Carpenter and his wife, Linda of Wilmington DE, and Caitlin Bell and her husband, Ben of Wilmington, DE; nine cherished grandchildren, Megan, Caleb, Rachel, Ashley, James, Michael, Molly, Liam, and Brady; a sister Sally Pennoyer and her husband, Ray of Beacon Falls; a sister-in-law, Carol Carpenter of MA and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother, Douglas Carpenter.

Deacon Gary will be received at St. Stephen’s Church Monday, January 2, 2023, at 3:30 p.m. and will lie in repose from 4-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Stephens Church. Interment will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery, Fairfield. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Black Rock Food Pantry, 5 King Street, Bridgeport, CT 06605

GREENWICH—James T. Larkin, of Greenwich died on November 22, 2022 at the age of 91, of acute leukemia.

Born in Quincy, MA on September 6, 1931, to Dr. Richard J. Larkin, DDS and Alice Murphy Larkin, Jim was a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross (’53) and Wharton Business School (’58), which he attended on the G.I. Bill.

He joined the Marine Corps in 1953 and became a company commander at 22 serving in Korea. After serving two tours of active duty and volunteer reserve service, he was honorably discharged as a Captain in 1965.

Jim’s professional career spanned 40 years in the media and financial services industries. He began his career at the American Broadcasting Company in 1958 and was one of the founding executives developing and expanding investments in 21 countries in Asia and Latin America.

In 1970 he joined American Express as a Vice President. Over the course of his 23-year tenure with American Express he held a series of senior roles in sales, marketing, payments and travel related services, and was instrumental in the rapid international growth of American Express Travelers Cheques. He traveled to nearly every market in which American Express was active and managed many of their most senior and critical relationships, eventually becoming Vice Chairman of American Express International. He retired in 1993.

Throughout his life, Jim was involved in many civic, not-for-profit and ecumenical works. He was founding Executive Committee member of Cooperation Ireland, which supported cultural exchange between youth from Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic to promote peace and understanding. He served on the board of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra; was a Trustee and Treasurer of the New England Genealogical Society; a Trustee of the Quincy Historical Society and a Trustee and Treasurer for the Naval War College Foundation, where he endowed a permanent award for academic excellence by a Marine Corps officer. From 2004-2009, Jim served as the Chairman of the Investment Advisory Council for the State of Connecticut. Devoted to ecumenical affairs, he was a contributor to the International Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and Catholic Church, and served as an Ecumenical Patriarchate delegate to the Peace Conference on Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1994.

His awards for public service include: the Cross of St. Andrew, awarded to a Catholic by the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch; Citation from the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut; the Meritorious Service Medal from the Naval War College Foundation; and the Fenwick Award as a Life Benefactor from the College of the Holy Cross.

He was a member of the Wardroom Club in Boston, the Greenwich Republican Roundtable, The Harpoon Club, the Metropolitan Club of New York, the Indian Harbor Yacht Club and a Life Member of the 1st and 3rd Marine Division Associations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Military Officers Association of America.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Susan Gardiner Larkin; his children Kate Larkin Laverge (Albert) of Riverside, CT, and grandchildren, Allie and Charlie, and James Larkin, Jr (Cecilia) of Santa Fe, NM and grandchildren, Carmen, Raphael, Madeline, Penelope, and William; brother David J. Larkin (Robin) of Edina, MN; sister Mary Jane Larkin of Quincy, MA; as well as many dear nieces and nephews. Jim was predeceased by his siblings, Richard J. Larkin, John P. Larkin, Michael Larkin, Alice Wedd Larkin, and Nancy Dowling Larkin.

A visitation will be held at Knapp Funeral Home (267 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT) on Tuesday, November 29th from 5-7 pm. A Mass to celebrate Jim’s life will be offered at St. Mary Church (178 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT) on Wednesday, November 30th at 10:00am. Burial with military honors will follow at St. Mary’s Putnam Cemetery (35 Parsonage Road, Greenwich, CT). The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, charitable donations may be made to Kids in Crisis.

BRIDGEPORT—Reverend Jose de Brito Alves died, this morning, September 6, in Portugal. He was 78 years of age.

“Many in our Diocese will fondly remember Fr. Alves for his long-time ministry to the Portuguese community at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Bridgeport,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano. “Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Alves and the consolation of his family.”

Jose de Brito Alves was born on May 25, 1944 in Portugal, the son of Manuel Jose Alves and Isaura Mendes de Brito, in the parish of Mei, municipality of Arcos de Valdevez, Diocese of Viana do Castelo.

From an early age he felt the call to the priestly life, attending the Braga Seminaries from 1955-1967.

On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima, he was ordained a priest on August 15, 1967, in the Sanctuary of Fátima, by Cardinal D. Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira.

On August 29, 1967, he was appointed by the Archbishop of Braga as parish priest of Cossourado and Linhares, municipality, archpriestship of Paredes de Coura. After two years, he was released from the parish of Linhares to take over the community of Sapardos, municipality of Vila Nova de Cerveira in June of 1969.

Father Alves requested permission from his bishop to come to the Diocese of Bridgeport to serve the Portuguese community of the city of Bridgeport. Bishop Walter Curtis agreed to receive Father Alves and in May 1975, he was appointed as the Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Bridgeport. He served in that capacity until 1996, when he was appointed Administrator of the parish. Father held this appointment until his retirement in 2019.

In his retirement Father Alves returned to the Diocese of Viana do Castelo, residing and collaborating pastorally in Arcos de Valdevez. On October 18, 2019, he was temporarily appointed parish priest of the parishes of Álvora and Portela, archpriestship of Arcos de Valdevez.

All services will be conducted for Father Alves in Portugal.

BRIDGEPORT—Reverend Nick A. Cirillo, pastor of St. Edward the Confessor Parish in New Fairfield, went home to the Lord on Sunday, August 28, 2022. He was 54 years of age.

“Father Nick faced his suffering and final illness with great courage and faith. He wanted all to know that he left this world filled with gratitude for all the goodness that God had shared with him, in his life and priesthood,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano. “Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Cirillo and for the consolation of his family.”

Nick Anthony Cirillo was born on August 16, 1968. He was baptized in Saint Andrew Church in Bridgeport. He also received his First Holy Communion and Confirmation at Saint Andrew.  Father Cirillo received his grammar school education in Bridgeport public schools and attended Notre Dame High School in Fairfield from which he graduated in 1986. He majored in religious studies and philosophy at Fairfield University receiving his Bachelor of Arts in 1990. 

Father Cirillo received his priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and was granted a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology.  He was ordained to the priesthood at Saint Augustine Cathedral on July 1, 1995 by Bishop Edward M. Egan.  

Immediately following his ordination, Father Cirillo was given a summer assignment at St. Lawrence Parish in Shelton after which he returned to Rome to complete his Licentiate. Upon his return to the diocese in 1996, he was once again assigned to St. Lawrence Church. This was followed by a six-year assignment commencing in 2005 at Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford while living at the St. John Fisher Seminary. He served as a spiritual director at both places.

He was named pastor of St. Edward the Confessor Parish in New Fairfield in 2011, where he served until his passing. 

Father Cirillo served several terms on the Presbyteral Council. He was also Dean of Our Lady, Queen of Confessors Deanery from 2017 until his passing. 

In 2008, when he was serving as spiritual director of St John Fisher Seminary, Father Cirillo wrote a memorable tribute to Father Joseph Linck who had passed away at the age of 43. Father Cirillo’s words of remembrance for Father Linck also beautifully commemorate his own final days and the courage of his priestly witness:  “He was faithful in life, providing a model of how to love of God above all things and to trust His providence. He was faithful even in death, showing us how to bear suffering with steadfast faith and reserved dignity. Even as illness claimed more and more of his strength, he struggled to offer whatever he could muster for the sake of his ministry and for the glory of God.” 

Father Cirillo’s body will be received on Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at St. Edward the Confessor Church, 21 Brush Hill Rd., New Fairfield at 3:00 pm and will lie in repose until 7:00 pm. At 7:00 pm a Mass will be celebrated for the repose of his soul with Reverend Robert Crofut as homilist. Bishop Caggiano will celebrate Father Cirillo’s Funeral Mass and serve as homilist on Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 11:00 am.                        

BRIDGEPORT– Deacon Roland Joseph “Rocky” Blier died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday August 10, 2022, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 91.

“It is with great sadness I must inform you of the death of Deacon Roland J. Blier,” Bishop Caggiano said in making the announcement.

“As a member of the inaugural class of Deacons in the diocese, Deacon Blier was a living sign of service who brought Christ to the workplace and to all those he accompanied in their faith journey. He was blessed with a long and fruitful life, which he freely shared with so many. Though successful in all that he did, Roland Blier found his true and deepest calling in his ministry. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Blier and for the consolation of his loving family.”

Ordained a deacon in 1978, by the Most Rev. Walter W. Curtis, second Bishop of Bridgeport, he served at St. Andrew Parish in Bridgeport and St. Thomas More parish in Darien. Deacon Blier took great joy in delivering the children’s sermons, managing to be completely compelling to the children while simultaneously delivering a pointed message to the parents.

Born in rural Van Buren, ME, to Joseph and Catherine (Ouellette) Blier, he was the fourteenth of 18 children. He attended Van Buren Boys’ High School briefly before leaving to help support his family, working odd jobs before enlisting in the Air Force in 1951.

While home visiting his parents in late 1954, he was introduced to Priscilla Violette. They were engaged by Valentine’s Day, 1955, and married in August. Three children and 19 moves later, he retired from the Air Force in 1974 with the rank of Chief Master Sergeant and moved to Bridgeport, CT. His distinguished Air Force career was followed by 21 years as a logistics engineer with Sikorsky Aircraft.

Deacon Blier greeting a parishioner 1997

Deacon Blier is remembered by family and friends for his commitment to doing good work and taking care of people and helping them get through difficulties in their lives. Among his honors and achievements are receiving a Bronze Star for his tour of duty at Bien Hoa, Vietnam; achieving the rank of Fourth Degree in the Knights of Columbus; and becoming a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre in recognition of his service to the Church. Additionally, he earned a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees well into his 50s.

Friends and family remember that in the end, when Parkinson’s took a lot of his language and his ability to tell the stories he loved to share. But what remained were phrases like, “I thank you!” “Love you, too.” And “Boy, that’s good!” along with his infectious full-face smile. He did what he always did right until the end, devotedly cheering people on and ensuring they were ok, making him a favorite among the good people who cared for him. He went peacefully, confident in a life well-lived and the love of people too numerous to name.

He is survived by his wife, Priscilla; his children, Peter Blier and wife Patty Blauner, Maggie McCarthy, and Helen Blier; 9 grandchildren: Ben Blier and wife Veronica Haakonsen, Noah Blier, Micki McCarthy, Kristin Bradbury and husband Andy, Patrick McCarthy and wife Kelly, Jackie Mizak and husband Dan, Kevin McCarthy, JB Parker-Blier, and Abbey Parker-Blier; and 6 great-grandchildren: Gabe McCarthy; Eleanor, Margaret, and George Bradbury; and Skyla and Willow Mizak.

The Funeral Mass will be held at 12 PM on Friday, August 19, 2022 at St. Andrew Church, 435 Anton St., Bridgeport, CT. It will also be livestreamed on the church’s Facebook Page. Calling Hours will take place Friday morning from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM in St. Andrew Church.

The Commerce Hill Funeral Home, 4798 Main St., Bridgeport, has been entrusted with the services. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that donations be sent to The Parkinson’s Foundation ( ) or Foundations In Education ( ). For online condolences, memorial tributes and to make a donation, visit us at