Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

“Become a Living Gospel,” Bishop Tells Newly Ordained

“The very reason you were created was to come to this moment to be one with Christ,” Bishop Caggiano said to the two men about to be ordained at St. Augustine Cathedral this morning.

More than 750 people filled the church, some sitting on fold-up chairs, to witness the ordination of Philip Lành Phan, a native of Vietnam, and Eric William Silva, a Trumbull resident, to the priesthood.

Read More ››

Reaching Out to Our Young People Not in Our Pews

Our Young Adult Open Gym night, held every Tuesday in St. Joseph School gym from 8-10 p.m., draws many college guys home for the summer, along with the senior high school students and young working guys in their twenties who turn out regularly for the pickup basketball games. Last Tuesday there were 15 young men there, largely ages 16 to 24, most of whom I knew from St. Joseph Parish or School.

Read More ››

Family Visit from Afar

Father Hyginus Agu, parochial vicar at St. Andrew Parish in Bridgeport and a chaplain at Bridgeport Hospital, never expected a visit from his parents. Serving in this diocese for eight years now, Father Agu is originally from Nigeria and his father is over 90 years old.

Read More ››


 

New Wing Rising at Queen of Clergy

RESIDENCE FOR RETIRED PRIESTS—Bishop Caggiano, Vickey Hickey, administrator of Queen of Clergy, Andrew Schulz, director of real estate for the diocese, and Msgr. William Scheyd, episcopal vicar for retired priests, look over drawings for the Queen of Clergy expansion on Strawberry Hill Avenue in Stamford. The new 16-suite wing is expected to be completed this Fall. There are 80 priests in the diocese over the age of 75.

RESIDENCE FOR RETIRED PRIESTS—Bishop Caggiano, Vickey Hickey, administrator of Queen of Clergy, Andrew Schulz, director of real estate for the diocese, and Msgr. William Scheyd, episcopal vicar for retired priests,look over drawings for the Queen of Clergy expansion on Strawberry Hill Avenue in Stamford. The new 16-suite wing is expected to be completed this Fall. There are 80 priests in the diocese over the age of 75.

The long-awaited new wing of the Catherine Dennis Keefe Queen of the Clergy Residence in Stamford is taking shape and is expected to be completed in September.

“This is a very exciting time for the diocese and for our retired priests who are looking forward to moving into their new home at Queen of the Clergy Residence,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

Read More ››

ACA Over $10 million

June has always been a key month for the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) as it pushes toward its yearly goal to support the major programs and ministries of the diocese.

“June is traditionally the end of the public phase of the Appeal,” said William McLean, chief development officer of the diocese. “While people are welcome to make pledges throughout the end of the year, the June tally is crucial in helping the diocese budget and plan for the new year.”

Read More ››

Bishop Ordains Three to the Transitional Diaconate

“Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become,” Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said at St. Augustine Cathedral in downtown Bridgeport when he ordained three men as transitional deacons on Saturday.

Harry Alfredo Prieto, 29, and José Abelardo Vásquez, 32, both natives of Bogotá, Colombia, and Timothy A. Iannacone, 26, a native of Norwalk, Ct, took their final steps on their way to the priesthood in front of family, friends and priests throughout the diocese.

Read More ››

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen? Not on This Night!

Gamely sporting hair nets, potato peelers, oven mitts, and plastic aprons, over 30 young adults showed up at New Covenant Center (NCC) in Stamford to prepare 150 dinners that would be served the next day to hungry clients.

The inaugural event, dubbed “A Social Night of Service,” brought together “under 30s” from many different towns, parishes and backgrounds. Yet there was a single common denominator: to help feed the hungry.

Read More ››

Statement of Courage International Regarding the Massacre at Pulse Orlando

Like all people of good will, Courage International condemns the atrocious violence perpetrated at Pulse Orlando in the early hours of June 12, 2016.

We make our own the words of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which insisted nearly 30 years ago:“It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.”

Read More ››

Bishop Caggiano’s Reflections: The light and Beauty of Alaska

There is another aspect of life here that is striking. I had not realized before my arrival that during the summer months, the sun is visible in the sky for most of the night. In fact, the sun was still visible last night past 11:30 PM and when I arose this morning at 4:00 AM, the sky was already bright with light! During the winter months, the opposite is true. The sun rises after 9:30 AM and sets by 4:00 PM.

Read More ››

A Prayer for Bikers

Parishioners of Our Lady of Peace Church and other local residents gathered on Saturday, May 21st for a bike blessing followed by a brief ride along the shore and a lunch special at Stanziale Restaurant on Main Street.

“God I know that you are real. Thank you for being in the wind with me even before I ask,” begins the Biker’s Prayer, which was led by Fr. Nick Pavia, Pastor.

Read More ››

Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Reading 1. Genesis 14: 18-20
Reading II. 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26
Gospel. Luke 9: 11b-17 (Loaves and Fishes).

The feast of the Body and Blood of Christ used to be called the feast of Corpus Christi, from the Latin words which literally mean the Body of Christ. The feast commemorates not just the Body of Christ but also the fact that it was given up or sacrificed for us. That’s probably why each of the Mass readings features a priest who makes an offering to God.

Read More ››

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.

Read More ››

Bishop Issues Pastoral Letter on the Synod Journey of Faith

News No Comments

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.

Read More ››

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/.

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

News No Comments

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.

Read More ››

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.

Read More ››

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.

Read More ››

Ads No Comments

Recognizing Everyday Miracles

Tony Magliano, best known as an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist, enters the children’s book genre with “Cracks in the Sidewalk.” In it, Magliano stays true to his vocation by instilling the seeds of social justice, “sharing, fairness and love for life,” into the minds and hearts of young readers, inviting them to “deepen their awareness of the many wonders that surround them.”

Read More ››

White Mass Speaker to Focus on Ethics of genetics

DANBURY—The  22nd annual White Mass and breakfast honoring health care professionals will be held on Sunday, April 12, 8:30 am at St. Aloysius Church in New Canaan. The Mass, open to the general public, will be celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano. Breakfast will follow at Woodway Country Club in Darien. Father Kevin Fitzgerald, S.J., associate professor of bioethics at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine and an expert in ethical issues related to cloning and genetic testing, will be the featured speaker.
Read More ››

Edward Cardinal Egan’s Signature Achievement

Edward Cardinal Egan’s signature achievement for vocations to the priesthood is St. John Fisher Seminary. Since its founding in 1989, nearly 100 men have been ordained who spent some time at Fisher during their priestly formation. On June 20, 2014, Cardinal Egan was the homilist at the Mass celebrating Fisher’s 25th anniversary. Excerpts from the homily that he gave that evening are contained below. It was one of his last official visits to the Diocese of Bridgeport.
Read More ››

Come Celebrate the Fraternas!

TRUMBULL—On March 25, the Fraternas (Marian Community of Reconciliation) will mark the 24th anniversary of their founding with a Thanksgiving Mass. All are invited to attend this special Mass, to be held at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Trumbull at 7 pm. Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will be the principal celebrant.
Read More ››

St. John’s Flock: A Group for Young Professionals

STAMFORD—On a cold winter evening at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, a group of young adults gathered together for an evening of prayer and pizza. On this night, and every first Monday of the month, the members of St. John’s Flock meet for an hour of contemplative prayer and Eucharistic adoration, followed by a delicious group dinner at a local restaurant. It’s this unique combination, a mix of faith and fellowship that attracts members to the group.
Read More ››

Beating Swords Into Plowshares

“In the days to come, the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills,” writes the prophet Isaiah. “Many peoples shall come and say: Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain … that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths. …
Read More ››

St. Mark School Surprises Principal

STRATFORD—An ordinary day at St. Mark School was turned into an extraordinary day for principal, Donna Wuhrer. Through creative and heart-warming activities, the faculty and students at St. Mark School paid a special, surprise tribute to their principal. At morning assembly, the faculty presented her with a tiara and declared the day as “We Love Mrs. Wuhrer Day.”
Read More ››

During Lent, Pope Offers Handy Tips for Preparing for Confession

VATICAN CITY—As Catholics are encouraged to make going to confession a significant part of their lives during Lent, Pope Francis offered some quick tips to help people prepare for the sacrament of penance. After a brief explanation of why people should go to confession—”because we are all sinners”—the pope listed 30 key questions to reflect on as part of making an examination of conscience and being able to “confess well.”
Read More ››

Appeal Co-Chairs Live Their Faith

NEW CANAAN—When she first became interested in the annual appeal of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Julie Taylor was most drawn to the diocesan Respect Life ministry. “As a mother, it was totally the support of life,” says Julie, this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal co-chair with her husband, Rowan. The couple are the parents of four daughters, now ages 20, 16, 15 and 4 years old, and are members of St. Aloysius Parish.
Read More ››