The Hartford Bishops’ Foundation Raises Over 770K for the Cathedral of Saint Joseph
HARTFORD, Conn. (Dec. 7, 2016) – A gala organized by The Hartford Bishops’ Foundation to benefit the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Hartford, raised $770,075, at its first annual gala. The event, which was held at the Riverview in Simsbury on Saturday, December 3, was attended by nearly 500 people. It was hosted by Archbishop Leonard P. Blair. Chairman and CEO of Webster Financial Corporation and Webster Bank Jim Smith and his wife, Cathy, served as gala Co-chairs. President and CEO Oz Griebel of the MetroHartford Alliance was Master of Ceremonies.
The Cathedral’s immediate needs became the foundation’s first project, and The Forward with Faith capital campaign was conceived with four major goals for the Cathedral in mind:
- Create a new Cathedral Hall featuring education and community meeting facilities, dining area and mausoleum by renovating the lower Cathedral.
- Develop a Cathedral Square to include a welcome plaza, pedestrian mall, memorial park area, public gardens and a gathering place for the entire community.
- Restore the steeple and bell tower and illuminate the steeple and Cross that crowns it.
- Repair the front plaza and open the majestic bronze doors so all who pass by the Cathedral can witness its beauty inside.
The estimated goal to complete the Cathedral project is $12 million. In his remarks to those who attended the gala, Reverend James A. Shanley, rector of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph said, “In this Advent and Christmas season, the words of Isaiah the prophet are heard sung in Handel’s Messiah and proclaimed during the liturgy. What we do tonight helps make his prophecy become a reality. The valleys in people’s lives are exalted; the mountains that stand in the way of God coming to his people and people finding their way to God are made low. Crooked ways are made straight and rough places, plain. As God reaches down from heaven to us this Christmas, so do we reach out to one another through the Cathedral ministry and in so many other ways.”
The mission of The Hartford Bishops’ Foundation, Inc. is to develop innovative ways to support parishes, schools and ministries throughout the Archdiocese as well as the Archdiocesan Center at Saint Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield. Renewing and restoring the Cathedral of Saint Joseph is the foundation’s first initiative.
The Archdiocese of Hartford created the foundation to strengthen the local church’s ties to business, government and community leaders in a common effort to improve the lives of people who live in Hartford, New Haven and Litchfield counties. The Hartford Bishops’ Foundation has recruited 33 board members to-date, including General Chair Jim C. Smith, chairman and CEO of Webster Financial Corporation and Webster Bank, and Chairs James P. Torgerson, CEO Avangrid, Inc. and James M. Loree, president and CEO, StanleyBlack&Decker.
The Archdiocese of Hartford spans Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven Counties. It is presently comprised of 212 parishes, numerous outreach ministries and activities, and 53 Catholic schools.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Maria Zone
Director of Communications
Archdiocese of Hartford