Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

ACA Reaches Halfway Mark

The Annual Catholic Appeal has reached over 50% of goal with more than 12,000 donors participating in the campaign, which was launched in January. To date the campaign has raised over $6 million of the $11 million goal needed to fund the major ministries and programs of the Diocese of Bridgeport. The number of donors is up 3,000 from last year at this time. The theme of the 2016 Annual Catholic Appeal, “Renewed in Faith, Hope and Charity,” is resonating with parishioners across the diocese.

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Bishop Issues Pastoral Letter on the Synod Journey of Faith

In this Pastoral Letter, released on the Solemnity of Easter, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano provides a summary of the vision and mission that arose from Synod 2014 as the diocese works to implement its initiatives in the coming months and years. The Bishop tells us that the new initiatives underway in the diocese from strategic planning to the Diocesan Leadership Institute “remain rooted in, and return to, the vision of the Synod. Only in this way will they bear lasting, spiritual fruit.”

The Bishop writes that “the Synod journey of faith” provides the “roadmap for realizing the New Evangelization” in the diocese.

He also reflects in a more personal way on the “wonderful opportunity of grace “ that the Lord has provided the diocesan family that came together in the 18-month Synod journey.

“It is a great sign of hope that our Church remains faithful to our Lord. Despite the challenges we face, we can and will confidently and joyfully move forward,” writes the Bishop, who expresses his gratitude to all those who have participated in this journey of faith and the ongoing process of renewal in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Read the Pastoral Letter

Good Friday

GOOD FRIDAY multi-parish procession of Stations of the Cross led by Bishop Frank Caggiano will begin 10 am on Fri., March 25, at St. Mary Parish, Bridgeport. East Main Street will be closed for the procession, which includes St. Mary’s, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Charles Borromeo and Our Lady of Fatima.

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Lenten Concert

LENTEN CONCERT by the St. Cecilia Consort, a Fairfield County-based Sacred music ensemble, performing Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater as a Lenten Musical Reflection: Fri., March 25, 7 pm, Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Fairfield. For more info or to hear audio samples visit stceciliaconsort.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/FairfieldSacredMusic/.

Global Knowledge at Geography Bee

DANBURY—The Knights of Columbus McGivney Council #29 in Danbury held its Sixth Annual Regional Catholic Geography Bee on March 12, with 26 students in grades 5 through 8 representing ten schools (Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton, St. Mary in Ridgefield, St. Joseph in Danbury, St. Peter in Danbury, St. Gregory the Great in Danbury, St. Mary in Bethel, St. Joseph in Brookfield, St. Rose of Lima in Newtown, Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, and Greenwich Catholic School) grappling with 112 questions about world, North American and regional geography.
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Jubilee of Mercy observances

In addition to establishing the Centers of Mercy throughout the diocese, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has announced a list of dates on which he will lead the diocesan observances of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy:

Diocesan celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday April 3, at 2 pm St. Augustine Cathedral, Bridgeport
Bishop Caggiano will celebrate Mass and dedicate the new Divine Mercy Shrine on the Cathedral grounds. The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy will also be prayed. Special invitees include the diocesan WYD pilgrims and also those youth who are not going to WYD.

Jubilee for Religious Tuesday, May 17, 4:30 pm St. Luke Parish, Westport
The bishop will celebrate Mass with and for the women and men Religious throughout the diocese, particularly honoring jubilarians.

Jubilee for the Disabled Sunday, June 5, 2 pm, McClinch Family Center, St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Trumbull
At this handicapped-accessible facility, Bishop Caggiano will especially welcome faithful from throughout the diocese who are developmentally or otherwise disabled.

Jubilee for Workers and Volunteers of Mercy Sunday, September 4, 12 noon Location TBD
In a bilingual Mass in conjunction with the feast day of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the bishop will honor, thank and pray with the employees and volunteers of Catholic Charities, together with the volunteers in the Catholic Service Corps and other workers
and volunteers of mercy.

Diocesan Pilgrimage for the Year of Mercy to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C. Saturday, November 5
At this Mass, to which the whole diocese is invited, Bishop Caggiano will consecrate the Diocese of Bridgeport to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Each parish will be asked to send a delegation. Organization has begun to prepare publicity and arrange for bus transportation. Cost for the day (not including meals) is estimated at $75. The day will also include a visit to the St. John Paul II National Shrine, across the street from the Basilica.

Jubilee for Prisoners Sunday, November 6, 7 pm
Bishop Caggiano will celebrate Mass at the Garner Correctional Institution. This event will not be open to the public.

Conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Saturday, November 19, 4 pm St. Augustine Cathedral, Bridgeport
At this Mass celebrated by Bishop Caggiano on the Vigil of the Solemnity of Christ the King, the last Sunday in the Church year, the bishop will close the Holy Door at the Cathedral.

As at the opening of the Holy Door at the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy, special invitees will include the youth of the diocese together with members of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, with involvement from the Order of Malta.

An app for Catholics? The Bridgeport Diocese has you covered in Connecticut

Looking for a Catholic church in Fairfield County?

You can find one on your smartphone or tablet with the Diocese of Bridgeport’s new app. You can also hear sermons and speeches by Bishop Frank Caggiano at your leisure, or find a support group sponsored by the diocese or a parish. Naturally, it has a section for youth, but it’s meant for all Fairfield Catholics.

“People throughout the diocese have told us that they want to see the church on social media, which is the new marketplace of communication in our culture,” Caggiano said in a release. “Our youth along with many adults have urged us to use social media to engage, inform and inspire people of faith.”

The app is the responsibility of the diocese’s newly named social media leader, John Grosso. It includes opportunities for giving service, information about the diocesan synod and videos about the Catholic faith.

“Reflecting a renewed push by the bishop to engage the youth as an integral part of our church, there is an entire section of the app where young people can find opportunities to engage in their parish and the diocese, from information on youth groups, to mission trips, and a section titled, ‘Ask the Bishop,’” Gross said.

But more broadly, “Our hope is that the app will serve as a tool for evangelization and enrichment in our lives as Catholic Christians in today’s culture,” he said. The app is available for iPhone and Android devices.

Neither the Archdiocese of Hartford nor the Diocese of Norwich has an app yet, although Norwich spokesman Michael Strammiello said, “We’ve discussed it. … It’s on our imagination board. … It’s likely we will be far along in 2015. This is the year we want to do it.”

Faith Formation Develops Renewal Best Practices

ACA News No Comments

The 2016 Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) “Renewed in Faith, Hope and Charity,” assists in responding to the challenges of the Fourth Diocesan Synod. The synod listened to the voices of the faithful in the Diocese of Bridgeport, recognized the need to strengthen and support family life, to create energetic parish outreach to engage youth and to renew the ministry of faith formation throughout the diocese.

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A Dad’s View: The Hennesseys Make Confession

We made a family confession. I know that sounds like we subjected ourselves to some bizarre public humiliation ritual. We didn’t.

The director of religious education at our parish graciously arranged for interested families to come for the sacrament together on a Saturday morning. Our priests graciously gave their time. The Hennesseys graciously dragged their carcasses out of bed.

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The Law of Life

Life as we know it is inextricable from change. Nothing stays still. Everything that has its beginning on earth must someday come to an end; all flesh is grass. As we all come to know, no happiness lasts. There is the problem of “beauty that must die” (G.M. Hopkins, “The Leaden Echo”).There is no uninterrupted joy. Life goes on, closing over happiness as readily as it moves to ease sorrow. As Robert Frost said, “I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” To accept life is to accept change and loss.

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