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HARTFORD – As Connecticut lawmakers began to consider proposed legislation that would make doctor-assisted suicide legal in the state, the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference launched a media campaign to help “people get all the facts before making a rash decision on physician-assisted suicide.”

ShipDay3 webSt. James School student Nicholas Guenther, who acted as a minister during the school’s fifth-grade ship day, receives his sailing papers (classwork) from captain Peyton Carpenter.

MANCHESTER – To immerse students in an important aspect of early American history, St. James School fifth-grade teachers Denise Wojtyna and Diane DiBenedetto transformed a classroom into an emigrant ship for a day.

20150218cm01806 webPope Francis gives ashes during Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome Feb. 18. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

ROME (CNS) -- Lent is a journey of purification and penance, a movement that should bring one tearfully back to the loving arms of the merciful Father, Pope Francis said at an Ash Wednesday Mass that began with a procession on Rome's Aventine Hill.

20150217cm01766 webCoptic Christian women attend a Feb. 17 service in Cairo for the Egyptians said to have been beheaded in Libya. (CNS photo/Mohamed Abd El Ghany, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis called for prayers for the Egyptian Christians beheaded by Islamic State militants in Libya and asked that God recognize these men killed for their faith.

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Anya Joseph, a second grader at St. Mary School in Milford, models the clothing and accessories she sported for the school’s Mismatch Day, one of a number of activities at the school in celebration of Catholic Schools Week Jan. 25-31.

20150213cnsto0043 web This architectural rendering shows how the Museum of the Bible planned for Washington will look. (CNS photo/courtesy Smith Group JJR)

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- On a gray and overcast morning in Washington, just a short walk from Capitol Hill, construction work began on a museum intended to promote engagement, education and discussion of the Bible.

karner2 adj webMaggie Karner of Bristol snuggles with her with her dog, Moose, in one of the profile pictures on her Facebook page. She plans to continue her campaign against physician-assisted suicide.

HARTFORD – Bristol resident Maggie Karner became a recognized voice against physician-assisted suicide after making a strong case for life in a YouTube video addressed to Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old from Oregon whose own video had announced over social media her decision to choose physician-assisted suicide.

20150203cnsto0001 webPeople carry a banner of Archbishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador, El Salvador, March 22, 2014. (CNS photo/Roberto Escobar, EPA)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – After decades of debate within the church, Pope Francis formally recognized that Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero was killed "in hatred of the faith" and not for purely political reasons.

ArchMASrM webArchbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford stands with Mother Abbess Lucia Kuppens and Sister Mariette Moan, vicar for religious, after the election on Feb. 1.

BETHLEHEM – Mother Lucia Kuppens was elected Mother Abbess of the community of contemplative Benedictine women at the Abbey of Regina Laudis on Feb. 1. She succeeds Mother Abbess David Serna, who now holds the title Abbess Emerita.

Archbishop's Desk

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  • Making the right choice: the challenge of Lent

    In the Book of Deuteronomy, as Moses comes to the end of his life and mission, he recites the Law...

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Milestones

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  • Hospital looks ahead to merger, looks back on former archbishop’s leadership

    HARTFORD – Archbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell and the late David A. Lentini were recipients of...

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Youth

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  • St. John Paul II School to close

    NEW BRITAIN – St. John Paul II School, which serves students in prekindergarten through eighth...

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It was born of desperation. My husband and I had two children under the age of 2, and I was so exhausted, I couldn’t see straight. As a mother at home, it was not uncommon for me to work 100 hours in a week. Peter often joked that he went to work to get some rest.

One day, I reached my limit. "Peter," I pleaded during a rare moment of quiet, "I need one night a week when I don’t have to cook dinner. I don’t care if we have Wheaties for dinner; I just need a night off."

Peter completely understood. "What do you think about sending out for pizza on Friday nights?" he proposed. The idea sounded wonderful, and so we began.

I lasted three weeks.

I am extremely thrifty, so the thought of paying someone else to cook and deliver my dinner at an exorbitant price seemed downright immoral.

It occurred to me that we had friends who made their own pizza, so I began picking their brains and fiddling with recipes. I searched out suppliers for mozzarella, tried pizza stones, experimented with toppings. It didn’t take long for me to create a decent homemade pizza.

Call me slow, but it was six months before it dawned on me: "Wait a minute. The whole reason we’re having pizza on Friday nights is so I don’t have to cook."

But it was too late; we were hooked on our homemade pizza. None of us wanted to give it up.

Thus was born a tradition. Our typical pizza includes sourdough crust, homemade sauce with tomatoes from South Glastonbury farms, and an assortment of toppings including grilled hamburger, toasted garlic and homemade pesto. I cook in bulk and freeze all but the dough.

Half a dozen years passed. In an extraordinary turn of events one summer, I found myself in the Intensive Care Unit of St. Francis Hospital, battling a catastrophic illness. When I returned home, I was confined to bed for several months. Our parents generously cared for our four small children during the early weeks. After that, the families pitched in to hire live-in help for a month and a half.

On our caregiver’s final day, Peter asked if she would create homemade pizza for us. Later, after a grateful good-bye, Peter fed the kids an early dinner and put them to bed. In the quiet of the evening, he and I sat down for the first homemade pizza since the crisis began.

But instead of eating, we just sat there and wept. The previous months had been such a dark time. My illness had dragged me to the brink of death, then saddled me with a grueling recovery. Peter was having nightmares. Yet there we were, staring at homemade pizza, which was our beacon of normalcy. After months that had been anything but normal, we were glimpsing the delicious ordinariness of life. We hadn’t realized how much we’d missed it.

Peter and I sat together that evening and poured out our gratitude to God. We prayed that God would help us cling to this thankfulness, that it not be washed away in the frazzle of life. We wanted to remember the sweetness of each day. We wanted to remain grateful.

Twenty years have passed, and hardly a Friday night goes by that I do not whisper that same prayer of thankfulness to God. Hardships abound, but God’s bounty abounds all the more.

And to think that all this gratitude arose from a weary young mom who needed a break from cooking.

Regina Cram lives in Glastonbury and is a freelance writer.

Events Calendar

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01:30 PM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, United States
Caritas Christi Center's ongoing centering prayer program will continue from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the center. Sister Carolyn Severino, ASCJ, [...]
04:00 PM
Our Lady of the Angels Convent, Enfield, Enfield, United States
The Felician Adult Day Center will have its annual Snowflake Raffle from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 28 at Our Lady of the Angels Convent, 1315 Enfield St., Enfield. Baskets will be available for viewing from [...]
06:45 PM
Lauralton Hall, Milford CT, Milford, United States
MILFORD – Lauralton Hall will celebrate its ethnic heritage while raising funds on Feb. 28 at its annual Irish Night. The school was founded by the Sisters of Mercy, a congregation founded by [...]
Date :  February 28, 2015

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