Congratulations to Archbishop-designate Leonard P. Blair

 

Bishop Leonard P. Blair will be installed as the fifth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford on December 16th.

With joy I welcome the news that Our Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Leonard P. Blair of the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, to be the new Archbishop of Hartford. I welcome Archbishop-designate Blair with respect and appreciation for the distinguished record he has already accomplished.

Archbishop-designate Blair, 64, has been the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo since 2003. Ordained a priest in 1976, he has an extensive pastoral background as a parish priest, seminary professor, Chancellor and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and as Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit. He has given extensive service for the Church in the Vatican. Archbishop-designate Blair will be warmly welcomed by the clergy, religious, and laypeople of the Archdiocese of Hartford.

The Installation of Archbishop Blair as Archbishop of Hartford will take place on December 16 in the Cathedral      of St. Joseph at 2 p.m.

I support Archbishop-designate Blair with heartfelt congratulations, prayers, and assurance that he shall have my assistance as he moves forward.

I personally testify that Hartford is a beautiful Archdiocese with tremendous developments that show us to be always seeking better experiences of Church. It has been a special privilege for me to serve for the last ten years as Archbishop.

In my retirement, I will be living in residence at the rectory of St. Augustine Church, South Glastonbury, Connecticut.

Please be assured of my prayers.

Connecticut Catholic Men’s Conference

I take this opportunity to offer a word of support to the upcoming Connecticut Catholic Men’s Conference.  As you may be aware, the Connecticut Catholic Men’s Conference has been a strong instrument of evangelization since its inception in 2008. 

The leadership of the Conference has chosen the theme Rebuild: Our Church, Our Faith, & Our Life…Following Pope Francis.  We follow Pope Francis in building upon the fruits of this Year of Faith, which concludes November 24, 2013.  The example of Pope Francis in these early months of his Pontificate has been remarkable.

The Conference seeks to strengthen the faith lives of the hundreds of men who come to the Conference to be stronger and more faithful fathers, brothers, and parishioners.  This is accomplished through the variety of speakers, the offering of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the opportunity to experience Eucharistic Adoration, and the culmination of the Conference with the celebration of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives, with clergy from all four dioceses in Connecticut.  The results these past five years have been most encouraging.

I would appreciate your help in encouraging men from your families and parishes to attend the 2013 Connecticut Catholic Men’s Conference at Goodwin College in East Hartford on Saturday, October 26, 2013.  More information on this year’s Conference can be obtained at www.ctcatholicmen.org.

Respect Life Month

As you are aware, October is Respect Life month.  There are many activities planned throughout the Archdiocese of Hartford in recognition of this month dedicated to promoting a greater respect for human life from the moment of conception to natural death. 

Respect Life Mass at the Cathedral:  Yesterday, Sunday, October 6, 2013, we marked the beginning of Respect Life month by commissioning our Parish Pro-Life Representatives.  It was a beautiful celebration held during the 11a.m. Mass here in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph.  During the Mass we also presented the Saint Gianna Beretta Molla Pro-Life Awards.  Saint Gianna was born in 1922 in Magnetta, Italy, and became a pediatric specialist.  She married and had three children.  Saint Gianna was diagnosed with a uterine tumor when pregnant with her fourth child and she chose to save the child, opting to remove the tumor rather than have an abortion.  Seven days after giving birth, she died from septic peritonitis.  Saint Gianna was canonized in 2004, with her husband, siblings, children, and grandchildren present for the ceremony.  

Here I am pictured with Brian and Amy Hoeing and family from Saint Joseph Parish in Meriden

Here I am pictured with Brian and Amy Hoeing and family from Saint Joseph Parish in Meriden

I was pleased to present the Saint Gianna Award to:

1. The Reverend John J. Bevins, Pastor of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbury, in recognition for his lifetime of advocating for life.

2.  Brian and Amy Hoeing and family from Saint Joseph Parish in Meriden for their active involvement in many pro-life activities including the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.  As a family they represent a complete dedication to human life. 

3. Samantha Bailey Loomis, a student from Branford High School, and a member of Saint Mary Parish in New Haven.  Samantha witnesses to the value of human life with her fellow students and her teachers.

40days for Life program in the Archdiocese.  Many of our parishes are currently engaged in the program “40 Days for Life.” It is a beautiful program. We began it on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, with a Mass in the Cathedral of St. Joseph, and it will continue in various parishes of the Archdiocese until November 3, 2013.  Already, at this date, three babies have been saved through our peaceful and prayerful presence at the abortion clinic in Hartford.  This is very encouraging news.

The program addresses the issue of abortion and involves the celebration of daily Mass in parishes, the exercise of Perpetual Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament in parishes, and the practice of fasting and peaceful prayer gatherings in areas near abortion clinics.

It is a national program begun in the year 2007, which has seen the involvement of 16,000 church congregations in our country. Reports document that some 7,536 babies’ lives have been spared from abortion, and those are just the ones we know about. Here in the Archdiocese of Hartford in the past five years, 60 babies have been saved.

The program reminds us that more than 50 million unborn infants have been put to death since the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions in 1973. People want society to be silent about these events, but we simply cannot say for future generations that we did not know what was going on, as was said of holocausts and genocides in world history in the past century.

In all the activities of 40 Days for Life, we recognize that we are involved in sacred time and that we are called to love everybody who is involved, even those exercising abortions or others who are merely spectators to what is happening in our country. We are to be people of assistance and of help, people of compassion and mercy, as Catholics following the cross of Jesus Christ.

 

Our Concerns on Health Care in regard to Obamacare

It seems that in recent weeks, given the possible government shut-down, there has been more talk about Obamacare and health care in the United States.  I think this renewed awareness provides a good opportunity to explain why the Catholic Church does not and cannot support Obamacare in its current manifestations.

It is important to note, first and foremost, that the Catholic Bishops of the United States have been supporting extensive health care since 1918.  In the Christian tradition, basic medical care is a matter of social justice and human dignity. Even now, even with the financial and structural flaws that critics believe undermine the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the bishops continue to share the goal of ultimately having real health-care reform and affordable medical care for all Americans. 

That does not mean, nor has it ever meant, that we would accept every component of whatever legislation is passed in this regard.  We currently sponsor some 15% of all the hospitals in the United States.  If they were to close down, health care in the United States would be in a disastrous situation.

Because we support a general program, it does not mean that we support every aspect of it.  Our convictions and beliefs should be respected in all these matters given the tremendous history of religious freedom guaranteed in the United States. 

If we were to adhere to every element of the law, we would then have to shut down our Catholic Charities institutions, our inner city schools, our soup kitchens, our food pantries, our housing programs, our nursing homes, etc.

The Catholic Bishops of the United States did make numerous attempts to impact the Affordable Care Act before it came out and since it was delivered.  There has been virtually no success in our attempts.  This point seems to be often overlooked.

Our government must subscribe to the founding documents of our democracy, the Declaration of Independence and the first and most important amendment in the Bill of Rights.  Thomas Jefferson made it clear when he stated, “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”  We know from history how strongly he assured the Ursuline Sisters that their work would be appreciated and free of government interference in the lands accumulated in the Louisiana Purchase.

To be clear, the Catholic Bishops of the United States do not support Obamacare as it is currently drafted.

The Federal Department of Health and Human Services and the President’s Office have been woefully misguided in thinking that they could charge the insurers of Catholic social service programs rather than the Catholic Church for their insurance.  If they had done their homework, which they clearly did not do, they would know that a great number of our Catholic service agencies are self-insured.  To think that the Catholic Church across the country could have taken up a fund to support the people in so many Catholic social programs is simply not realistic.

As a matter of fact, 20% of the nurses in the Civil War, both on the Union side and on the Confederate side, were Catholic Sisters.  Where would education in the inner city be today if Catholic schools in the inner city had to shut down?  Dropouts in public schools in the inner cities of our State range in the area of 37-40% compared to our Catholic schools which have a minimal percentage of dropouts, significantly less than 1%.  To add to that fact, our inner city schools are showing results on mastery tests that in many cases are two grades above their peer schools.  Yet, various organizations strive to assure that our schools get no help from civil government.  Where is their concern for the commonweal?

It is important for Catholic leaders and Catholic people in our country to speak up on so many of these issues.  You may recall just a few years ago when the Connecticut Legislature tried to pass Senate Bill 1080, which would have restructured the governance of all Catholic parishes (382 in Connecticut) reducing them to boards of 7 to 13 people with no input from the pastor and only minimal representation from the bishop.  So it is with other Bills that would have caused tremendous damage to us except for the fact that we had a large and articulate involvement of our leaders and people.

I do believe that the Church is now being attacked again.  The Catholic Church daily contributes to the welfare of the U.S. society through our schools, our social services, and our hospitals, not to mention our parishes.  These institutions, which have been part of the Church’s ministry since the earliest days of our country, arose from our religious convictions.  They should not be told by government to abandon or compromise those convictions in order to continue serving their own employees or the neediest Americans.  Nor should individual Catholics or others be told they cannot legally purchase or provide health coverage unless they violate their conscience.

It should also be noted that in some places, like here in the Archdiocese of Hartford, the Catholic Church is already providing medical care for the uninsured through the outreach and ministry of our Malta House of Care mobile vans.  We care for those most in need.  By  becoming the safety net for those who would otherwise not have access to the health care system—providing free clinic visits as well as free  lab work, radiological imaging and ongoing necessary medications—we are reducing racial and ethnic health disparities and providing more  equitable access to integrated primary care. Our patients have been diagnosed with a number of chronic conditions and are being provided with ongoing treatment plans. They are now on a road to better health and their success has a positive effect on their families and their communities as a whole.

We must stand up for our rights and for the value of the services we provide, both professionally and by volunteers, to help people across our country, particularly those in need.  This legislation reminds us how urgent it is that we insist on conscience protections in our laws, and that the Obama administration respect religious freedom as we’ve known it, as the Constitution and federal law protect it.  This is of critical concern not just in regard to contraceptive insurance, but also in insurance for surgical sterilization and pills that promote abortion and protecting human dignity at the end of life.

 

 

 

Pope Francis, Installation of Bishop Caggiano, and Family Day Dinner

Pope Francis

I am not surprised by Pope Francis’ comments in his recent interview which was published in La Civiltà Cattolica, the Jesuit periodical.  The teaching of the church is clear on the issues of abortion, homosexuality and contraception.  At the same time, he is calling on us to widen the focus of our energies.  He is motivating Catholics to become a more active, united, compassionate, and merciful people.  He wants the Church, for example, to help those people who are suffering from injustices such as: homelessness, sickness, unemployment and war.

It should be noted that the Church sponsors a wide variety of services: pastoral services, social services, medical services, and educational services.  After government we are the largest provider of these services in the social, educational, and medical realms, and no one comes close to us in terms of pastoral services.  We serve millions and millions of people of all faiths and backgrounds.  

We bring people to Christ in many ways.  By reaching out to people in word and deed, we share with them the real love of Christ, and in so doing we hope that others will then embrace his way of life.  As Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments”. So, the commandments are the roadmap for a good life. However, the Church’s mission is not just to be moralists, or ethicists, but it is the Church’s mission to lead all people to know the love of God.  

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano installed as new Bishop of Bridgeport

On July 31, 2013, we heard the good news that Pope Francis had appointed Bishop Caggiano as the Fifth Bishop of Bridgeport.  This past Thursday, September 19, 2013, I was privileged to be the installing prelate for the Installation of Bishop Caggiano as the new Bishop of Bridgeport. 

Bishop Caggiano has established a distinguished record of achievement over the years since his ordination as a priest in 1987 in Brooklyn, New York, and his ordination as an Auxiliary Bishop in Brooklyn in 2006.

Bishop Caggiano is highly admired by the clergy, religious, and lay people who know him for all of his dedicated leadership in parishes as parochial vicar and pastor, for his teaching responsibilities at various Catholic universities, and for a wide variety of administrative services that he has managed, including that of Vicar General in the Diocese of Brooklyn.

We pray for him as he begins his new role here in the State of Connecticut and we look forward to working with him.  May God bless him and all the people of Bridgeport abundantly for many years to come.

Family Day Dinner is Monday, September 23, 2013

This year, “Family Day” will be celebrated nationally on Monday, September 23rd. The Archdiocese of Hartford is once again participating in this initiative, and encouraging all families in Connecticut to participate.

In today’s fast-paced world when work days are longer, and after school activities take up so much time, it is very challenging for families to find the time to eat dinner together, but the effort needs to be made, because studies clearly show that family dinners are a vital tool in raising happy, healthy, drug-free children.  Chances are that one family dinner a week may turn into two, and maybe three.  I pray that all of your family dinners will be blessed by God’s love and help you appreciate your time together.

This is the third year that the Archdiocese will promote the initiative.  Every year it gets bigger.  Last year, Catholic Charities hosted “Dinner and a Story” on “Family Day” for families at nine of their family center locations throughout the Archdiocese, and they are doing it again this year.  Visit their website for details www.ccaoh.org.

Family Day last year also inspired a Family Day Contest among Catholic school students, who were asked to create an original poster portraying what family dinner meant to them. The winner was Mikayla Naranjo, whose poster was chosen to promote “Family Day” throughout the Archdiocese this year.  She is a seventh grade student at St. Mary-St. Michael School in Derby.  I am pleased to share that poster with you here below:

Join Pope Francis in a Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria

Catholics in the Archdiocese of Hartford and around the world are being summoned by our Holy Father Pope Francis to participate in a Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria on Saturday, September 7, 2013.

The tremendous devastation in Syria is unfathomable and the use of chemical weapons is abhorrent. One hundred thousand people have been killed, while four million others remain refugees in their own home land, and two million more are refugees outside of Syria. What is happening there is a crime to all of humanity. It is critical that we join Pope Francis and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by acts of prayer and fasting for the cause of peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world.

In an address at the Vatican on Sunday, September 1st, Pope Francis discussed the situation in Syria by saying: “I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me. How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake in that martyred country, especially among civilians and the unarmed! I think of the many children who will not see the light of the future! With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable! Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.”

I will celebrate a special Mass for Peace on WCCT (Channel 20) at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. In Rome, Pope Francis will host a prayer gathering at St. Peter’s Square asking for peace in Syria and throughout the world from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. E.S.T.

Many of our parishes will celebrate Masses for these intentions. Our Lady of Pompeii in East Haven will offer a service, which will include prayers for peace, the Liturgy of the Word, communal recitation of the Holy Rosary, Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament as well as periods of silence. At the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, a time of prayer and Adoration will begin after the 12:10 p.m. Mass and go through 4:00 p.m.

We need to remember that peace is God’s gift to mankind. It is a fundamental right. As we read in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). It is important that we encourage our world leaders to obtain a ceasefire, initiate serious negotiations, provide impartial and neutral humanitarian assistance, and encourage building an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all citizens, including Christians and other minorities.

In the midst of this chaos, I am reminded of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Battery Park in New York City in 1979 where he gave a speech about freedom. With the Statue of Liberty as his backdrop, the Pope said, “On this spot, I wish to pay homage to this noble trait of America and its people: its desire to be free, its determination to preserve freedom, and its willingness to share this freedom, to remain a moving force for your nation and for all the nations in the world today!”

May our reverent actions on Saturday move our nation to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria.

For a prayer for peace, visit: archdioceseofhartford.org.

As always, be assured of my prayers.

Justice for Immigrants

We are in the midst of yet another opportunity for our nation’s leaders to make history in regard to immigration reform.  Congress currently has the best opportunity in almost 30 years to pass immigration reform. 

This is a historic moment for our country and her leaders.  As citizens of this great land, we cannot let this moment pass.  On a moral level, we must urge our political leaders to recognize the injustice that occurs everyday in America, the accepting by our government of the work and taxes of our migrant brothers and sisters, without offering these children of God protections in our laws, which they so willingly seek.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including myself, urge all parishioners throughout the Archdiocese of Hartford and throughout our great nation to urge the 113th Congress to support immigration reform that will:

  • provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country;
  • preserve family unity by reducing backlogs and waiting times for family reunification;
  • protect the vulnerable populations including refugees, asylum seekers, and unaccompanied children;
  • restore due process for individuals caught up in the immigration system;
  • address the root causes of migration, such as persecution, and economic disparity.

Now is the time to act!  We ask you to contact your members of Congress and your Senators to ask them to support immigration reform. 

Visit www.justiceforimmigrants.orgfor more detailed information.  You can also send a direct pre-written, instant e-mail to your Congress members through this website. 

This is a sample of the instant email that can be sent through the website www.justiceforimmigrants.org

Or you can call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask for your Members’ offices. 

The ultimate message they need to hear is that you are in support of bipartisan immigration reform legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship and preserves family unity.  Please ACT today and encourage others to do so as well.

Happenings of Summer

Knights of Columbus Convention

This past Monday through Wednesday was the 131st Annual Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus.  I was privileged to attend the convention and witness first hand their deep commitment to the Church.  It is always a special opportunity for the Knights and their families to reflect on the past, and express profound gratitude to God for all that has been accomplished, as they look to the future and contemplate what can still be done.  Supreme Knight Carl Anderson delivered the annual report to the delegates in attendance and chronicled the record-setting activity that the organization completed in the last fraternal year.

The Knights and their families donate more than $167 million to charity, and perhaps just as impressive is the fact that they provide more than 70 million hours of volunteer service to their communities and various charities.

As you are aware, the Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the world.  They preserve carefully the four principles of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism.  The supreme knight in his annual report highlighted various charitable programs carried out by Knights in more than a dozen countries, to show their deep commitment to making a difference in the world. These activities ranged from providing new winter coats to children, to helping amputee victims in earthquake-devastated Haiti, to stocking food pantries, to helping victims of disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, the recent explosion in West, Texas, and the tornados in Oklahoma.  The list goes on and on.

This is nothing new for the Knights of Columbus.  Since their founding by the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, a priest of our Archdiocese, in 1882 as a fraternal benefit society, the Knights of Columbus have sought to help families obtain economic security and stability through their life insurance program and through their commitment to contributing time and energy worldwide to service in their local communities. 

The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being studied by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society.  

The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council here in New Haven, Connecticut, to more than 14,000 councils and 1.8 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan.  The history of this fraternal organization shows how the foresight of one priest, the now Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, working with others, can bring about such change in helping to make people’s lives better.

Becoming a Knight of Columbus can transform your life and strengthen your family. As a Knight, you have the opportunity to support your parish, give back to your  community, grow in your faith and gain exclusive access to the top-rated  insurance program to protect your family.  These are just some of the reasons you should consider becoming a knight, visit www.kofc.org for more information.

New Vicar for Religious and Director of the Office for Religious

This month also marks the beginning of the appointment of Father John S. Golas as the new Vicar of the Office for Religious and Sister Mariette Moan, ASCJ, as the new Director of the Office for Religious.  I express my deep gratitude to Father James F. Kinnane for his many years as Vicar of the Office for Religious and to Sister Mary Kelly, CSJ, for her years as Director of the Office for Religious.  Father Kinnane will continue to serve the Archdiocese in his work in the Metropolitan Tribunal Office, while Sister Mary Kelly, CSJ, will enter into her well deserved retirement, remaining active in various ways.  We are profoundly grateful to both of them for their dedication to the Religious Communities of Men and Women who serve here in the Archdiocese. 

As the Vicar for Religious, Father Golas will work with members of the Religious Communities of Men and Women who have chosen Consecrated Life.  He will work with them in matters that pertain to their own Charisms, or talents, and how they are lived out in the Archdiocese of Hartford.  He will assist members of Consecrated Life in preparation for canonical processes, provide pastoral care, coordinate the Annual Retirement Appeal Fund for religious, and bring pastoral concerns of the Archbishop to members of Consecrated Life.

Father Golas will assume this position in addition to his assignment as pastor of Saint Paul Church in Glastonbury and Saint Augustine Church in South Glastonbury.  Prior to this assignment, he was at Saint Mary Star of the Sea Church in Unionville. He will work with newly appointed Executive Director Sister Mariette Moan. The two will coordinate between the Office for Religious and the Archbishop.

Father Golas has served the people of the Archdiocese of Hartford with dedication and enthusiasm for over three decades.  As the new Vicar of the Office for Religious, he will share his talents and commitment with those who have chosen Consecrated Life, and will continue to set an exemplary example throughout the Archdiocese.

We also are pleased to welcome Sister Mariette J. Moan, ASCJ, as the new Director of the Office for Religious.  Sister Mariette will be responsible for coordination between my office and members of Religious Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.  She will serve as a resource for the members of Consecrated Life organizations, provide opportunities in the Archdiocese for members of Consecrated Life to celebrate jubilees and the World Day for Consecrated Life, maintain data on members ministering in the Archdiocese, and prepare reports to be reviewed by the Vatican.

 A member of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sister Mariette will assume her new position while continuing in her role as Director of Alumnae and teacher of theology at Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden.

Sister Mariette has several degrees, including a Bachelor of French from Southern Connecticut State University; a Bachelor of Philosophy from the Pontifical University of Saint Anselm in Rome; a diploma in Spirituality from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, also in Rome; a diploma in Pastoral Liturgy from Saint Paul University in Ottawa; a Master’s Degree in Music Education from New York University as well as graduate studies in Theology and in Liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Rome.

Sister Mariette Moan is a welcome addition to the archdiocesan staff.  I am confident that her wealth of knowledge and desire to help others succeed will serve those who have chosen a consecrated life, and benefit all people throughout the Archdiocese who are served by members of Religious Communities.

Year of Faith Pilgrimages

I would like to remind you that we have two more pilgrimages planned in celebration of the Year of Faith.  The deadlines are approaching!

The pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, will take place on Monday, August 26, 2013.  We will depart from the New Haven area (Our Lady of Pompeii Church, East Haven), and the Hartford area (Saint Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield), and journey to the Shrine beginning at 8:00 a.m. and returning around 6:00 p.m.  More information can be found at http://www.archdioceseofhartford.org/news/yearoffaith/pilgrim-dmercy.pdfDeadline for this pilgrimage is August 19, 2013.

The pilgrimage to the Catholic Shrines of America will be held from October 23, 2013, through October 25, 2013.  The trip includes round trip deluxe coach transportation from Bloomfield (and possibly the New Haven area as well if there is enough interest), 2 nights in fine hotels in Washington, D.C., and in Baltimore, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, comprehensive visits to the St. John Neumann Shrine in Philadelphia, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, and the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg.  More information can be found at http://www.archdioceseofhartford.org/news/yearoffaith/pilgrim-washdc.pdfDeadline for this pilgrimage is set for August 12, 2013.

I hope and pray that you will consider joining us on one or even perhaps both of these pilgrimages.  All participants will of course receive one of the rosaries we brought back from the pilgrimage to Italy which were blessed by Pope Francis.

 

These rosaries come in a leather pouch bearing the Coat of Arms of Pope Francis. They were blessed by Pope Francis at the general audience we attended while on our Year of Faith Pilgrimage in Italy.

Welcome Bishop Caggiano

This past week we learned that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, named Bishop Frank J. Caggiano as the new bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport.  Here is the statement I issued upon the announcement of his appointment:

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano

“With deep appreciation and elation we thank our Holy Father Pope Francis for his appointment of Bishop Frank J. Caggiano as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport (Fairfield  County).  Bishop Caggiano has established  a distinguished record of achievement over the years since his ordination as a  priest in 1987 in Brooklyn, New York, and his ordination as an Auxiliary Bishop  in Brooklyn in 2006.

Bishop Caggiano is highly admired by the clergy, religious, and lay people who know him for all of his dedicated  leadership in parishes as parochial vicar and pastor, for his teaching  responsibilities at various Catholic universities, and for a wide variety of  administrative services that he has managed, including that of Vicar General in  the Diocese of Brooklyn.

We know that he will be an invigorating leader here in the State of Connecticut and look forward to working with him.  May God bless him and all the people of Bridgeport abundantly for many years to come.”

The Installation Mass for Bishop Caggiano will take place on Thursday, September 19, 2013.  The place and time have yet to be announced.  It will be a privileged opportunity to welcome Bishop Caggiano to Connecticut.

Year of Faith Pilgrimages

I just want to remind you that we have two more pilgrimages planned in celebration of the Year of Faith.  The pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, will take place on Monday, August 26, 2013.  We will depart from the New Haven area (Our Lady of Pompeii Church, East Haven), and the Hartford area (Saint Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield), and journey to the Shrine beginning at 8:00 a.m. and returning around 6:00 p.m.  More information can be found at http://www.archdioceseofhartford.org/news/yearoffaith/pilgrim-dmercy.pdf.

The pilgrimage to the Catholic Shrines of America will be held from October 23, 2013, through October 25, 2013.  The trip includes round trip deluxe coach transportation from Bloomfield (and possibly the New Haven area as well if there is enough interest), 2 nights in fine hotels in Washington, D.C., and in Baltimore, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, comprehensive visits to St. John Neumann Shrine in Philadelphia, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, and the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg.  More information can be found at http://www.archdioceseofhartford.org/news/yearoffaith/pilgrim-washdc.pdf.

I hope and pray that you will consider joining us on one or both of these pilgrimages.  All

These rosaries come in a leather pouch bearing the Coat of Arms of Pope Francis. They were blessed by Pope Francis at the general audience we attended while on our Year of Faith Pilgrimage in Italy.

participants will of course receive one of the rosaries we brought back from the pilgrimage to Italy which were blessed by Pope Francis.