Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

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

FAIRFIELD—Linda Michaud, 71, of Fairfield, passed away peacefully at her beautiful home on Friday, October 16, 2020, surrounded by her loving family after a brave battle with metastatic breast cancer.

Linda was known to many in the Diocese of Bridgeport as a clinical social worker for Catholic Charities in Bridgeport and Norwalk for over 30 years. She is also fondly remembered for her work as victim assistance coordinator for the diocesan Safe Environments program.

Linda was the beloved wife of Joseph McGee. Just last year, they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with their closest loved ones. Linda was the devoted mother to Chelsea McGee and her husband Steven Hurd and Kiera McGee. She was the beloved “Winnie” to her grandson Colin Hurd.

Linda also leaves her sisters, Patrice (Roger) Lebert, Alison Michaud (Joseph Mandese) and Kimberly Michaud (Claire Borrelli). She also leaves behind her cherished nieces and nephews and their spouses and children, her dear cousins, colleagues, and lifelong neighbors and friends. Linda was born in Fairfield on November 4, 1948 to the late Paul and Mary Gerrity Michaud.

Linda’s profession as a social worker and her service to others was central to who she was as a person. As a licensed clinical social worker she assisted survivors of sexual abuse survivors coming forward with a complaint of sexual abuse as a minor by a person from the Church, and she arranged for them to meet with the bishop. She was a compassionate listener and she brought a great deal of comfort and healing to survivors and their family members.

Her desire to help others and to share their journey towards health and peace was embedded in who she was as a person. These values, her warmth, her non-judgemental attitude, and her ability to provide a safe and open space for those she loved were a cornerstone to both her work but more so, who she was and how she lived her life.

Linda also loved a bargain and had a great eye for design. She loved tending to her garden, cooking, entertaining and welcoming her friends and family into her home. She would readily share her opinions and values often with wit. Her love also extended to her animals, most recently her golden retriever, Lea, who never left her side during her illness. Above all, she was the happiest when she was around her family and friends.

Linda’s family would like to extend their gratitude and appreciation to her devoted doctors, the nurses at St. Vincent’s Infusion Center and Wound Care Center, as well as her team of visiting nurses.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Vincent’s Swim Across the Sound, c/o St. Vincent Medical Center Foundation, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport, CT 06606 or to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, PO Box 9057, Bridgeport, CT 06601. To send an online condolence, please visit www.shaughnesseybanks.com.

 

BRIDGEPORT–The Reverend Frank A. Winn, who became a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport after a successful career in advertising, died in Providence, Rhode Island, August 31 after a long illness.

“Fr. Winn will be affectionately remembered by many across the diocese, particularly at St. Paul Parish in Greenwich, for his humble and joyful service. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Winn and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

He was 79. Born in Providence, son of Joseph R. and Margaret M. (McDonell) Winn, Father Winn grew up in North Scituate, R.I., and attended LaSalle Academy in Providence and Scituate Junior-Senior High, graduating in 1958. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree in English and religious studies at Fordham University.

Following a long career as an advertising executive in Manhattan, Father Winn heeded a spiritual calling that would keep him active in the Catholic Church for the next 25 years. After receiving a master’s degree in theology from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, N.Y., in 1992, he completed a one-year residency program in Hospital Chaplaincy at Cabrini Hospital in New York and at Bridgeport Hospital, then serving in both cities providing pastoral care. After chaplaincy service,

Father Winn studied for the priesthood at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Mass., a spiritual community dedicated to educating older seminarians.

He was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Edward M. Egan at St. Augustine Cathedral, Bridgeport on May 23, 1998.

Following ordination, Father Winn was appointed parochial vicar at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Ridgefield, where he said his first Mass on Sunday, May 24, 1998. He later served at St. James Parish in Stratford and went on to serve as parochial vicar of Assumption Parish in Fairfield.

In 2005, Bishop William E. Lori appointed Father Winn as pastor of St. Paul Church in the Glenville section of Greenwich where he served until his retirement in 2015.
Father Winn also served as Territorial Vicar for Vicariate 1 (Greenwich, Stamford and Darien) from 2006 through 2009.

In announcing his retirement due to ill health, Father Winn reflected on his long and joyous service at St Paul, telling his beloved parishioners, “Many of you know the priesthood was a second career vocation for me, and these last 11 years here at St. Paul have truly been the best years of my life. This has been my home and all of you have been my extended family – it was a good match; God has been good to me.”

Father Winn is survived by a sister, Marilyn Winn Seymour and her husband, David, of North Kingston, R.I; a brother, Joseph R. Winn Jr., and his partner, Elizabeth A. Laposata, MD, of Providence; nieces Jennifer Hodge and husband William, and Jane Dickinson and husband Blake; four grand nieces; and a grand nephew.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial and Fr. Thomas Lynch will deliver the homily on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. in St. Paul Church, 84 Sherwood Ave., Greenwich, CT. Burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery will be private. Relatives & friends are invited and may call at the church on Saturday from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. prior to the Mass. Due to COVID restrictions and limited seating and masks and social distancing are required.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the MS Society of Rhode Island in memory of John E. Seymour, Father Winn’s nephew and godchild.
Arrangements have been entrusted to THE CRANSTON-MURPHY FUNERAL HOME of WICKFORD. For online messages of condolence, kindly visit www.CranstonMurphy.com

BRIDGEPORT—Reverend F. William Verrilli passed away on Saturday, July 25, 2020. He was 68 years of age.

“Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Verrilli and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, who praised Father Verrilli for his commitment to lifetime learning and faithful service as an educator and a judge in the Diocesan Tribunal.

Father William Verrilli was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on August 4, 1951. His parents were William R. Verrilli and Florence Caseria Verrilli. He is survived by a sister, Sister Marie Verrilli, SND.

Father Verrilli was educated at Blessed Sacrament School and Madison School in Bridgeport and graduated from Fairfield College Preparatory School in 1969. He continued his education at Fairfield University earning his degree in 1973. Fr. Verrilli studied for the priesthood at Theological College, Catholic University in Washington DC. He was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis at St. Augustine Cathedral, Bridgeport on May 5, 1979.

After his ordination, Father Verrilli first served as Parochial Vicar of St. Andrew Parish in Bridgeport. In 1980, he began his career in our diocesan high schools, teaching at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull for many years, later as Spiritual Director at Trinity Catholic School in Stamford and faculty member of Notre Dame High School in Fairfield.

Father Verrilli was given leave to pursue a licentiate degree in Canon Law at Catholic University of America in Washington DC in 1999. Upon the completion of this degree in 2001, he spent many years as a Judge in the Tribunal of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Father Verrilli’s body will be received at St. Andrew Church, Bridgeport on Thursday, July 30 at 4 pm and will lie in repose until 7 pm. Bishop Caggiano will celebrate the Funeral Mass on Friday, July 31 at 11 am. Interment will be at St. Michael Cemetery in Stratford.

Condolences can be sent to Father Verrilli’s sister, Sr. Marie Verrilli SND, care of The Catholic Center, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport CT 06606.

DANBURY– Reverend Bernardo Rodriguez passed away on July 16, 2020. He was 66 years of age.

“Through his work as a hospital chaplain, his service in prison ministry, and his ministry to migrant workers, Father Bernardo reached out in a special way to those who were suffering, and he brought the healing of Christ to all he served. Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

Father Bernardo Rodriguez was born in Lleida, Catalonia, Spain, on April 28, 1954. His parents were Eulogio Rodriguez and Patrocinio Chicano. He is survived by a sister, Manoli Rodriguez and a nephew, Josue Martinez Rodriguez.

Father Rodriguez studied for the priesthood at the Pontifical University of Saint Pacian, Barcelona where he received the degree of Master in Pastoral Ministry. He was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Ramon Malla Call in Lleida, Spain on October 11, 1980.

After his ordination, he first served as Parochial Vicar of Nuestra Senora de! Puig. In 1981, he began work in prison ministry for the first time, serving as the chaplain at the federal jail in Lleida, Spain. In 1986, he continued that work at the National Jail in Panama City, Panama.

Father Rodriguez came to the United States in 1987 where he began work as parochial vicar at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Bridgeport. He was incardinated into the Diocese of Bridgeport in 1989. In 1991, he was transferred to Our Lady of Montserrat in Stamford, serving first as parochial vicar, then as parochial administrator, and lastly as pastor beginning in 1993. He served in that position until 1997. Father Rodriguez then spent a year in ministry to migrant workers in Orange County NY.

He returned to the diocese in 1999 to begin work as Catholic chaplain to Bridgeport Hospital, residing at St. Patrick Church in Bridgeport. Returning to prison ministry in 2001, Father Rodriguez worked in Prison Chaplaincy and Seaport Ministry at Bridgeport Correctional Facility and Garner Prison. His most recent assignment was as Assistant Chaplain at Danbury Hospital and part-time Parochial Vicar of St. Peter Parish in Danbury.

Father Rodriguez’s body will be received at St. Peter Church, Danbury on Wednesday, July 22 at 3:00 p.m. and will lie in repose from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Bishop Caggiano will celebrate the Funeral Mass on Thursday, July 23 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be private.

Condolences can be sent to Father Rodriguez’s sister, Manoli Rodriguez, care of The Catholic Center, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport CT 06606.

DANBURY—Reverend Paul F. Merry passed away on the morning of July 15, 2020. He was 73 years of age.

“Father Merry is fondly remembered by many across the diocese as a kind and humble man and a true servant priest who worked tirelessly and gave of himself sacrificially in his ministry to others. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Merry and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

Most recently Father Merry had served as Chaplin of Saint John Paul II Center for Health Care, Danbury, and In-Residence Priest at St. Peter Church in Danbury.

Paul Francis Merry was born in Stamford, Connecticut, on December 20, 1946, son of Francis and Mary (Tierney) Merry. He was baptized January 12, 1947, at St. Cecilia Church in Stamford, CT.

He attended St. Mary Grammar School, Stamford and St. Basil Preparatory School, also in Stamford.

Father Merry began his priestly formation at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield CT, continued at St. John Seminary and completed his theological studies at the North American College in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport by the Most Reverend James A. Hickey at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on December 17, 1971.

He first served as Parochial Vicar of St. James Church in Stratford (1972-1976). In June 1976, he was appointed as the Priest Chaplain to Sacred Heart University. During this time, he resided at St. Andrew Church in Bridgeport and St. Stephen Church in Trumbull. From 1982 to 1985, he served as pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Chiclayo, Peru.

Returning to the diocese in 1985, Father Merry was assigned as parochial vicar at St. Mary Church in Bridgeport. He was named pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Bridgeport in 1989. Since 2007, Father Merry has served as the chaplain at Pope John Paul II Care and Rehab Center, residing at St. Peter in Danbury.

Throughout his years of priestly ministry in the Diocese, Father Merry also served on the Presbyteral Council, as Auditor Notary for the Marriage Tribunal, the Diocesan Advisor to the English Language Cursillos.

Father Merry’s body will be received at St. Peter Church, Danbury on Monday, July 20 at 3:30 pm for a private prayer service for the family and will lie in repose from 4 pm until 7 pm

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will celebrate the Funeral Mass on Tuesday, July 21 at 11 am, and Father Michael Boccaccio will be the homilist.

BRIDGEPORT—The Reverend Stephen J. Balint passed away on May 16, 2020. He was 81 years of age.

A prayer service will be held at Saint Ann Parish in Bridgeport on Tuesday, May 26th at 11:00 AM led by Monsignor William J. Scheyd, P.A. Interment will follow immediately at Saint Michael’s Cemetery in Stratford.

Stephen Joseph Balint was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on December 21, 1938, son of Stephen Joseph Balint and Helen I. (Varga) Balint. He attended Saint Stephen Parochial School in Bridgeport and Fairfield College Preparatory School. He began his priestly formation at Saint Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Connecticut and then continued on to Our Lady of Angels in Albany, New York. He was ordained to the Priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis at Saint Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport on May 22, 1965.

Father Balint served as Assistant at Saint Joseph Parish in Danbury from 1965–1967, and Saint Ambrose Parish in Bridgeport from 1967–1970. In 1970 he remained at Saint Ambrose Parish with the new title of Associate Pastor of the Team Ministry. The Team Ministry was an experiment new to the Diocese at that time. Father Balint continued in that position until 1971 when he became Coordinator of Catholic Boy Scout Activities in the Norwalk-Ridgefield area.

From 1968-1971 Father Balint was the Council Chaplain for the Pomperaug Council B.S.A. and through his many years of service to the Connecticut Yankee Council in the B.S.A. went on to receive a number of honors and awards. He retired from the Diocese of Bridgeport on January 15, 2014.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a future date with Bishop Frank J. Caggiano as the principal celebrant. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Balint.

STAMFORD—Rev. Canon Albert W. Watts, a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport for over 60 years, passed away on Friday morning May 1 in Stamford Hospital. He was 88 years old.

His death follows the loss of his brother, Msgr. Roger Watts who passed away on April 22, at the age of 91. Both men, known to many as the “Brother Priests,” were ordained on the same day, June 5, 1959, in St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport by the Most Rev. Lawrence Joseph Shehan, first Bishop of Bridgeport.

“Father Albert Watts had a great love for the Church, his fellow priests, and his beloved brother, Msgr. Roger Watts, with whom he shared his priestly ministry. They continued to work joyfully and faithfully throughout their retirement to serve the People of God in our diocese. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Canon Watts and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

Writing about the gift of a vocation in 2014, Father Albert Watts recalled the day when he and his brother, Roger, were ordained to the priesthood. “It is like yesterday that Bishop Lawrence J. Shehan (later Cardinal) laid hands on us during ordination 55 years ago as we lay side by side on the sanctuary floor while our parents in the front pew watched and listened as the choir prayed the Litany of Saints. There are some families that are blessed with God having called two brothers to the priesthood. But it seems we were especially blessed because we were called and ordained as priests together on the very same day, June 5, 1959, at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport.

“Even at our age, we know God will bless whatever we give, and we believe we will then have even more left over to give, even to the next generation of priests to come. The message we give is that from the first moment of our ordination we have opened ourselves totally to him who was saying, “Follow me.” And we have never lost anything by following. Do not be afraid of what Christ asks; he takes nothing away and he gives every-thing because the reality is that when we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return.”

Father Albert Watts was appointed Defender of the Bond in the Diocesan Tribunal in 1989 and Pro-Synodal Judge in 1981.

Among his assignments in Diocesan parishes, Father Watts served as pastor of St. Ambrose Parish, Bridgeport from 1977 to 1980, and served as parochial vicar at St. Augustine Cathedral Parish, Bridgeport; St. Cecilia Parish, Stamford; and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, East Norwalk. His out-of-state assignments include appointments as parochial vicar in Queen of Peace Mission, Lakeland, GA, and St. William’s Parish, Tewksbury, MA.

A native of Fall River, MA, he studied at Our Lady of Hope Seminary, Newburgh, N.Y.; the oblate College in Washington, D.C.; and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.