HARTFORD – Archbishop Leonard P. Blair is urging the faithful of the Archdiocese of Hartford to pray for peace in Iraq on Aug. 17.
In a posting on the archdiocesan website, the archbishop says that the date has been designated as a special day of prayer in our country for peace in Iraq.
“Parishes have undoubtedly been praying for this intention already, but I ask that every parish include this petition in the Prayer of the Faithful next Sunday, and I invite everyone to make this a daily intention.
BLOOMFIELD – Consecrated life, and specifically, milestone years spent by women in consecrated life, were celebrated Oct. 11 at the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary.
The event was billed as the archdiocesan Mass for the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. The Year of Consecrated Life, announced by Pope Francis, begins Nov. 29.
People recite a decade of the rosary during the 25th anniversary celebration of the Diocesan Rosary Rally on Oct. 12 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.
Archbishop Leonard P. Blair spoke. “The Importance of Prayer and the Power of the Rosary” was his topic.
The event also included adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. (Photo by Aaron Joseph)
From left, Evan Zimnoch, Ryan Purdy and Josh Neff, all students at St. Bridget School in Cheshire, get a feel for Apple iPads that were issued to all middle school students there at a ceremony on Oct. 8 at the school.
The iPad purchase was made possible by a $50,000 grant in July from a foundation that requested anonymity.
WETHERSFIELD – The congregation of the close-knit, but far-flung, Korean Catholic Community of Connecticut (KCCC) “goes the distance” to share faith, culture and fellowship. Members travel from 35 locales across Connecticut and the Springfield, Mass., area to attend Korean-language Mass in Sacred Heart Church.
For nearly 40 years, the group has moved from church to church and town to town to meet its growth needs or those of a host parish. The only such group in Connecticut, and one of few in the New York-Boston area, the KCCC began with a handful of families at St. Mary’s in New Haven in 1978, relocated in the mid-’80s to St. Lawrence in West Haven and moved in 2001 to Wethersfield.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In official reports of the closed-door talks at the Synod of Bishops on the family, an emerging theme has been the call for a new kind of language more appropriate for pastoral care today.
"Language appeared many, many times," Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, the briefer for English-speaking journalists, told reporters Oct.7, the assembly's second working day. "There's a great desire that our language has to change in order to meet the very complex situations" the church faces.
HARTFORD – Malta House of Care will sponsor a new fund-raising event at a new venue in October. “A Little Night Music Under the Stars” will be held from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 28 at Infinity Music Hall and Bistro, 32 Front St.
“We have created and successfully grown a signature fund-raiser, ‘Celebrating Wonder Women,’ but we wanted to bring the message of our mission before broader audiences and more men,” said Barbara “Bobbie” Bartucca, executive director of the Malta House of Care Foundation Inc. “We believe that ‘A Little Night Music’ will do that.”
TOTOWA, N.J. (CNS) -- Father Benedict J. Groeschel, who was a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a leading pro-life figure and popular author, retreat master and preacher, died Oct. 3 at St. Joseph's Home for the elderly in Totowa after a long illness. He was 81.
"We are deeply saddened by the death of Father Benedict. He was an example to us all," said Father John Paul Ouellette, who is also a Franciscan friar and the order's community servant.
"His fidelity and service to the church and commitment to our Franciscan way of life will have a tremendous impact for generations to come," he said in a statement released Oct. 4 by the order's community office in the Bronx, New York.
A wake was planned for Oct. 8 at St. Adalbert's Church in the Bronx, with a wake to be held Oct. 9, followed by an evening vigil, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey.
HARTFORD – New parish pro-life representatives gather near Archbishop Leonard P. Blair as he blesses candles as part of the annual Respect Life Mass celebrated Oct. 5 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.
Archbishop Blair also commissioned the new parish pro-life representatives and presented the candles to the pro-life representatives from all parishes.
The First Sunday of Lent, Feb. 21 this year, was a brilliant day. In a cloudless sky, the sun shone in all of its splendor through the magnificent stained glass windows of St. Joseph’s Cathedral for our Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. People were seated throughout the cathedral to pray for and encourage our catechumens (those preparing to receive the sacraments of Baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist at the Easter Vigil) and our candidates (those preparing to make their Profession of Faith and receive the sacraments of confirmation and the Eucharist at the Vigil).
Jean Barillet, the French artist who developed the windows, could not have imagined a more spectacular scene. As we sang the opening hymn, “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,” by Ludwig van Beethoven, the radiant colors played out over the congregation. The first verse of the hymn sings beautifully, “Fill us with the light of day.”
Our Archdiocese is richly blessed with people who trace their ancestries to countries all over the world. The stained glass illuminated that stunning communion. Much more than exterior lighting was at work; the Holy Spirit was clearly lifting our souls. The convictions expressed in the prayers, the hymns, and the responses gave splendid evidence of the emotions felt in the celebration.
“Christ Be Our Light” was a telling hymn for the celebration. The windows of the cathedral play out that theme. The rear windows on the east side portray shepherds and kings bringing gifts to the Infant Jesus, Simeon welcoming him to the Temple, and Jesus speaking in the Temple at the age of 12. Light begins to emerge in those windows and consequently is developed in other windows depicting Jesus teaching, preaching, and working miracles. The light becomes dramatic in the west windows up front, portraying Jesus instituting the Eucharist at the Last Supper and then dying on the Cross to effect our salvation.
The triumph of Jesus as Light and Lord is seen in the Resurrection on the east front windows: Jesus appearing to Peter and John, to Mary Magdalene, and to the Apostles Easter night.
Through the journey of our catechumens through Lent to Easter, we are all reminded of our commitment to Jesus our Light. As the catechumens receive through this sacred season the Creed, the Bible, the Our Father, and the Commandments, we renew our own appreciation for these gifts of earth-shaking value.
In our pilgrimage from winter to spring, we understand the importance of fundamentals. We have seen recently in the Winter Olympics the incredible skills of athletes on the ice and in the snow; we observe major league baseball players in spring training, the abilities of college basketball players preparing for the “Final Four,” the talents of virtuosi preparing for musical concerts. All of these developments are possible because of concentration on fundamentals.
The fundamental exercises of the spiritual life are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. When all is said and done, Lent is the time for more intensive return to the basics. The word “Lent” comes from the Anglo Saxon word “lencten,” meaning “spring.” Lent is our springtime of our souls. Public and private prayer, particularly our participation in the sacrament of penance and in the celebration of the Eucharist, the religious act of fasting, and the practice of almsgiving are central to following Jesus Christ. We all have dreams, visions, and aspirations. In God’s love, it is behavior which enables us to follow the Lord to Easter.
I take this opportunity to thank you for the wonderful ways you undertake the exercises of Lent. Even before Lent began, you contributed $1,085,296 to Catholic Relief Services for the relief of the victims of the horrific earthquake in Haiti. Thirty-eight parishes have not yet made their reports, but the generosity is already impressively clear.
It is very early for the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal 2010, but the donations up to now are evidence of significant commitment. The total is $1,447,872, which is $310,612 ahead of the amount at this time last year. March is a critically important month for the Appeal. You have my profound gratitude for the tremendous ways you meet the needs of the Archdiocese and those who otherwise might fall through the cracks without the help of the Appeal.
We continue to move forward as a family of faith. We pray for and support the catechumens and candidates who are preparing to become full members of the Catholic Church at Easter. Our prayers, fasting, and almsgiving are roots for our lives, developing our character as we are more strongly united with Jesus Christ Our Lord.
The windows of the cathedral follow the Lord to Easter. They also illumine our eyes as windows of our souls. Pope Benedict XVI says in his Lenten Message this year, “Because people are created in God’s image, they not only need food, water, shelter, and jobs; they need God and they need love.”
We follow the light and love of the Lord. A favorite expression of Pope John Paul II was that of Saint John of the Cross, “In the twilight of our lives we will be judged on love.” May Lent be a season of special blessings in God’s love for all of us. Thank you for sharing this wondrous communion in God’s light.