Three Diocesan Priests receive Papal Honors

BRIDGEPORT—Three priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport have been honored by Pope Francis with the rank of Chaplain to His Holiness, carrying with it the title of Monsignor.

Monsignor Robert J. Crofut, Monsignor Donald A. Guglielmi, and Monsignor Robert M. Kinnally were notified of their new titles, effective January 6, 2023, by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano. The new Papal Honors are the first awarded to priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport since 2008, when the late Pope Benedict XVI recognized 14 priests.

Their elevation to the honor of Chaplain to His Holiness will be celebrated during a Mass and investiture ceremony set for Sunday, April 16, 5:00 p.m. at St. Aloysius Church in New Canaan.

“I am delighted that these three good men and priests have received this special honor from Pope Francis. It is an honor that is richly deserved by each of them based on their lives of faithful ministry and priestly fraternity,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

“Monsignor Crofut, Monsignor Guglielmi and Monsignor Kinnally have each in their own way lived a priesthood distinguished by outstanding and generous service to the diocese and to the lay faithful along with their personal commitment to grow in holiness. None has sought this honor, but they are all most worthy. In their ministries they have mentored other priests and seminarians, selflessly led parishes and also taken on roles that benefit the entire diocese.”

The title of Monsignor is granted by the Holy Father at the request of the diocesan bishop. Monsignors are recognized as part of the Papal Household and entitled to wear a distinctive cassock outlined in purple. Conferring of the title celebrates the priesthood and also builds up the Church in close union with the Holy Father.

Monsignor Robert J. Crofut has served under four bishops of the Diocese of Bridgeport beginning with his ordination to the priesthood by Bishop Walter W. Curtis in 1972. He is respected by the entire presbyterate, whether newly ordained, seasoned or retired, and provides sound counsel to priests who reach out to him for guidance. The holy manner in which he endured his health struggles some years ago remains to this day a source of encouragement and inspiration.

Born July 2, 1946 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Monsignor Crofut was educated in Bridgeport Public Elementary and Middle Schools until he attended Notre Dame High School in Bridgeport. He attended Saint Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and Christ the King Seminary in Saint Bonaventure, New York. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 6, 1972 by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis, S.T.D. His first assignment was to Saint Ambrose Parish. He served as parochial vicar of Saint Philip Parish in Norwalk, Assumption Parish, Westport and St. Lawrence Parish, Shelton. In 1998, he was appointed pastor of St. Andrew Parish, and in January 2003, was appointed pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish in Norwalk.

In addition to his parish assignments, Monsignor Crofut has held a variety of diocesan posts and appointments including Priest Council and Consultor; Spiritual Director of the Permanent Diaconate; Ministry of the Office of Clergy; Spiritual Adviser to the Charismatic Renewal, Priest mentor, and member of the Priest Pension Board and of Presbyteral Council Representing Retired Priests. He retired on June 30, 2017.

Monsignor Donald A. Guglielmi has served faithfully as a priest in the Diocese of Bridgeport. Known for his prayerfulness and holiness of life, he has been recognized by four Bishops to have extraordinary intelligence and teaching ability. Along with his service at several parishes, Father Guglielmi has served as the theological advisor to the Bishop and Censor Librorum, and most recently has been on faculty at Saint Joseph Seminary as both a sought-after spiritual director and professor.

Born July 13, 1949 in New Haven, he graduated from the University of Bridgeport with a degree in Political Science and Nursing. Prior to entering the seminary, he worked full time as a nurse at Yale-New Haven Hospital on an acute medical-surgical unit and as a Psychiatric Nurse Clinician—both experiences giving him an insight into human suffering and leading him to the priesthood. He completed his seminary studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary in South Orange New Jersey. He was ordained in St. Augustine Cathedral in December 1984, by Bishop Walter W. Curtis.

His first appointment was as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Wilton. He later served at Saint Lawrence Church in Shelton before being assigned to Rome in 1996 to study for his sacred license in spiritual theology (S.T.L.) at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). In 1998, he was named spiritual director of Kolbe Cathedral High School. In 2000, he returned to Rome to complete work on his doctoral thesis. In 2003, he received his doctoral in Spiritual Theology and was named Pastor of St. Mark Parish in Stratford.

He has served as a full-time Faculty Member of Saint Joseph’s Seminary Dunwoodie since 2015. In February 2020, he was named Censor Librorum. He retired in June 2022, but continues to serve as adjunct professor at Saint Joseph Seminary Dunwoodie.

Monsignor Robert M. Kinnally has demonstrated outstanding leadership and ability to work with others in various diocesan capacities, and has faithfully responded to many challenges that have required his judgement, prayerfulness and discernment.

He was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Bridgeport in July 2022 by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, after having served as diocesan Chancellor since June 2014. In December 2016, he was named pastor of St. Aloysius Parish in New Canaan.

Born in 1960 and raised in Yonkers, New York, he spent his summers in Brookfield where he attended St. Joseph Parish. He graduated Iona Preparatory High School in New Rochelle and earned degrees in English from Manhattan College and New York University, and a degree in Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of America.

Father Kinnally was ordained by Bishop William E. Lori in 2005, after a distinguished educational career in which he was Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Stanford University. He also taught special education at Iona College and was an Admissions professional at several colleges and universities in the New York and New England.

In the past, Father Kinnally served as diocesan Director of Vocations and Rector of St. John Fisher Seminary. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Sacred Heart University and as parochial vicar of St. Pius X parish in Fairfield. A professional musician, he served as music director and organist at parishes in Connecticut and New York prior to his ordination.

Please join us in offering our heartfelt congratulations to our new monsignori and God’s continued abundant blessings upon them and their ministry.