Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

Vietnamese New Year Honors Family

BRIDGEPORT—Children, parents, grandparents, extended family and friends filled St. Augustine Cathedral on February 15 as Bishop Frank J. Caggiano joined the Vietnamese community in welcoming the Vietnamese New Year. “This is the most important holiday of the year for our culture,” says Father Augustine Nguyen, episcopal vicar for Vietnamese in the Diocese of Bridgeport.
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“Don’t Jump” Campaign Challenges Physician-Assisted Suicide

HARTFORD—“Don’t Jump” is the rallying cry of a new media campaign that is being launched today to challenge the proposed legislation that would make it legal for a doctor to prescribe medication to end someone’s life in Connecticut. The campaign’s message aims to urge state legislators and residents against rushing to a decision about physician-assisted suicide without knowing all the facts and weighing the options.
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The Notre Dame Boys basketball Team is at it Again

FAIRFIELD—The Notre Dame-Fairfield boys basketball team is at it again. The Lancers are riding a nine-game winning streak heading into their regular-season finale tonight at New Fairfield. That’s nothing new for Notre Dame (14-5): the Lancers won 13 straight regular-season games last season and in the 2011-12 season, closed the season with 11 straight wins, then won the first two games in the South-West Conference tournament.
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Whose Life Is It Anyway: Thoughts on Physician Assisted Suicide

In college I wrote a medical ethics paper on a play entitled Whose Life Is It Anyway? That old paper came to mind recently when I learned that the campaign for physician assisted suicide has been gaining momentum. The renewed push to legalize “aid in dying,” or “death with dignity,” as various groups euphemistically call it, is the result of positive media coverage in the wake of a young terminally ill woman’s decision to end her life on her own terms and at the precise moment of her choosing.
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Repent and Believe in the Gospel

Ash Wednesday is one of the liveliest days in the life of an American Catholic parish. Before the Internet and voicemail, parish telephones would start ringing a few days before Ash Wednesday and often ring right through Ash Wednesday itself. These days—maybe because of technology—it seems that parish telephones ring a little less around Ash Wednesday. However, it is still likely that someone seeking ashes will frantically call a parish around 10:00 pm on Ash Wednesday night to see if ashes are still being distributed!
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God is calling each person and every nation to repent

“The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” With these two compelling sentences—as recorded in the Gospel of Mark—Jesus inaugurates his ministry and sums up what his mission is about: to break the shackles of sin that enslave humanity, to put us on the path of liberation from all oppression, and to teach us how to unconditionally love one another.
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Bishop Caggiano interviewed for PBS “Italian Americans”

Bishop No Comments

BRIDGEPORT—Among those interviewed, for the new PBS series “The Italian Americans” is new Bridgeport Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, a native of Brooklyn and lifelong resident until his installation as leader of the Church in Fairfield County in 2013. Born in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn on Easter Sunday March 29, 1959, the son of a longshoreman and the second of two children.
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St. Catherine’s Players presents Seussical

RIVERSIDE—“Oh, the thinks you can think” when Dr. Seuss’s best-loved characters collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper! Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza that brings to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including The Cat in the Hat played by Bonnie Kelley-Young, Horton the Elephant played by Tony Morello, JoJo, a child with a big imagination played by Alexis Killeen, Gertrude McFuzz played by Samantha Holomakoff, Mayzie LaBird played by Christina Kompar.
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St. Ann Corner Bookstore

BRIDGEPORT—St. Ann Black Rock’s Corner Store is now open for business! The Corner Store is packed with great Catholic treasures and gifts. A variety of crucifixes, books, cds, prayer aids, statues, jewelry, art, candles, medals and more fill every corner of our little store. Open for 30 minutes after each of the weekend Masses (Vigil and Sunday), the store is located in its own designated room inside the church.
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50 Years of Thanksgiving

NEW CANAAN—February 10, 1965, was a cold, rainy, snowy and sleeting day. Deacon Bill Scheyd was worried that he might not make it to his ordination Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport. His car was slipping and sliding as he made his way to become a priest, but he made it, and the diocese has been greatly blessed ever since.
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House Speaker announces Pope Francis will address Congress

WASHINGTON—House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced February 5 that Pope Francis will address a joint meeting of Congress September 24. The pontiff’s “historic visit” would make him the “first leader of the Holy See to address a joint meeting of Congress,” Boehner said in a statement, adding that he was “truly grateful that Pope Francis has accepted our invitation.”
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Unity in Diversity: Part II

When I told a friend of mine what I was going to write about in this blog post, she thanked me for telling her ahead of time, because if she had read it without having talked to me first, she may have wondered if an impostor had taken my place. Her exact words went something like, “I would have phoned you and said, ‘Where is Fr. Colin and what have you done with him?’” The topic that amazed her is liturgical dance, and that I am a proponent.
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Bishop’s homily greeted enthusiastically at ecumenical gathering

BRIDGEPORT—“Amens” and applause greeted Bishop Caggiano’s reflection at last Sunday’s “Unity in Diversity” service at St. John Episcopal Church in downtown Bridgeport. The “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,” celebrated this year from January 18-25, concluded in the Bridgeport area on Sunday afternoon, January 25, with a joyous two-hour worship service in which the Bishop and other religious leaders participated.
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BFF Sent to Us by God

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Swimming Upstream
One night during my college-carousing days, I’d had too much Boone’s Farm wine while I was out with my buddies, feasting on chili dogs and cheese fries. On our way home, I stumbled, fell and nearly hit my head against a ledge.

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Meeting Oneself

Potpourri
“You have to live your life forward, but you can only understand it backward.” (Soren Kierkegaard) I have now my full share of years and am perhaps close to port. Sometimes I think about my life as just another fleck of life, a speck amid the billions of history, who has his own small importance as an individual for a brief span of time.

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2015 Annual Catholic Appeal Video Released

“Building Communities of Faith,” the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal video has been released throughout the diocese. This year’s video focuses on Catholic schools, charities and other programs that help to build faith communities. It features poignant personal testimony by those who benefit from the appeal in ways that helped them through personal crisis while also deepening their faith.

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Fairfield Fire Prevention Contest Winner

Assumption Catholic School in Fairfield is proud to offer congratulations to Jeanette Ahutal. A student in the fourth grade, Jeanette was selected as the first place winner by the Fairfield Fire Department for her drawing for the Fire Prevention Poster Contest. She is shown here with Assumption’s principal, Gerrie Desio.

Spanish Speaking Catholics Urge Diocese to Strengthen Parishes

“If we don’t serve them, we’re going to lose them,” said a catechist from St. Charles Borromeo Church in Bridgeport of the growing number of Spanish speaking Catholics in cities and towns throughout the Diocese. Almost 200 men and women turned out for the second consultation session with the Hispanic community held Sunday afternoon at St. Mary Parish Hall in Norwalk.

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March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C.—“Every Life is a Gift” will be the theme of the 2015 March for Life this January 22. The March for Life began as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world. Read More ››

The Christmas We Need

Catholic by Grace
I have dipped my toes in the chaos of the Christmas-before-Advent scene. I’ve been to the mall once. I’ve landed on radio stations that play Christmas music around the clock—and quickly popped in my Rosary CD to escape the noise. I’ve seen enough of commercialized Christmas even though I have actively avoided it this year. Read More ››

Annual Knights’ Poster Contest

All Saints Students help “Keep Christ in Christmas” with annual Knights’ poster contest. In a celebration of the true meaning of the Christmas season, nearly 500 students from All Saints Catholic School recently submitted entries in the Knights of Columbus’ annual Keep Christ in Christmas poster contest.

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Bishop Empowers New Misconduct Board

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has announced the formation of a Ministerial Misconduct Advisory Board to review cases involving clerics accused of misconduct that involves adults or occurs in the exercise of his ministry.

The board will review cases in which the bishop must consider action regarding a priest or deacon’s assignment, including temporary or permanent removal or suspension.

The new advisory panel has been created independent of the Diocesan Review Board, mandated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which advises the bishop in his assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of minors and in his determination of suitability for ministry.

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Bishop Renews Safe Environments

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has reconstituted the Review Board of the Diocese of Bridgeport with the announcement of  board members and the reappointment of long-time members.

The Review Board was formed in 2002 by Bishop William E. Lori to oversee the implementation of the diocesan Sexual Misconduct Policy and to function as a consultative body to the bishop. Review Boards are required in all U.S. dioceses as a direct result of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Charter), established by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002 and revised in June, 2011. It is a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors, and it includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and the prevention of future acts of abuse.

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Judge, Federal Prosecutor, Family Therapist Appointed to National Review Board

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has Named Judge Mary. K. Huffman of Centerville, Ohio; Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald J. Schmid of Granger, Indiana, and Marriage and Family Therapist Nelle Moriarty of Rochester, Minnesota to four-year terms on the U.S. bishops’ National Review Board. Their terms begin in June.
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Bishop Renews Safe Environments

BRIDGEPORT—Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has reconstituted the Review Board of the Diocese of Bridgeport with the announcement of new board members and the reappointment of long-time members.

The Review Board was formed in 2002 by Bishop William E. Lori to oversee the implementation of the diocesan Sexual Misconduct Policy and to function as a consultative body to the bishop. Review Boards are required in all U.S. dioceses as a direct result of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Charter), established by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002 and revised in June, 2011. It is a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors, and it includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and the prevention of future acts of abuse. Read More ››

Five Years After the Landmark Dallas Charter

In the five years since U.S. Catholic bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People at their landmark June 2002 meeting in Dallas, TX, dioceses across the country have made significant strides to instill practices that will ensure the safety of people of all ages, anywhere in the Church.

The positive changes that followed the Charter were of great significance for Diocese of Bridgeport, not only because of its own abuse crisis, but because Bishop William Lori played an important role in drafting the Charter, which has guided the Church’s response to the crisis across the U.S.

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A Conversation with Erin Neil, M.S.W.

Erin Neil, M.S.W., is the founding director of the Office of Safe Environments for the Diocese of Bridgeport, which opened in 2003. When the 29- year old social worker stepped into the new position during the middle of the abuse crisis, one could easily have wondered how she would fare. But four years later, Neil has overseen a program that has gained national recognition and passed three independent audits.

On the fifth anniversary of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Fairfield County Catholic sat down with Neil to reflect on the challenges and successes.

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