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.
More than 80 people wanted to know the answers to these and other questions during a discussion Oct. 25 at St. Mary Parish Center, led by certified public accountant Matthew A. Byrne, fiscal coordinator for external affairs for the Archdiocese of Hartford. The discussion was part of a series on financial transparency and accountability in the Catholic Church, sponsored by the Farmington Valley affiliate of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF).
Finances in every diocese are governed by a Code of Canon Law, Mr. Byrne explained. This code calls for the establishment of a finance council for each diocese. The council’s duties include preparing a diocesan budget, examining the annual report and offering counsel to the bishop on fiscally related items.
Finances at the parish level are governed by the pastor, with guidance from the diocese, Mr. Byrne said.
“The Archbishop is responsible for the Archdiocese. The [pastor] is responsible for the parish,” he said.
As detailed in a book called The Temporal Goods of the Church, which interprets the Code, Mr. Byrne explained, “The goods do not belong to any individual, but are administered by the pastor.” These administrative duties are in addition to the pastor’s roles as preacher and sanctifier, and include managing a budget; keeping up property; paying salaries, insurance and debts; making investments; and doing assessments. A pastor’s role as fiscal administrator often prompts him to recruit lay people to help.
A few other points Mr. Byrne covered included:
Q. What happens when a parish closes or merges with another?
A. The assets revert to the Archbishop, who decides how best to distribute them.
Q. Why do parishes usually become linked rather than merge into a single parish?
A. Merged parishes may present future liability problems because of the properties they administer.
Q. What pitfalls does a parish face when accepting a bequest of real property?
A. The new owner or administrator of real property assumes all liabilities attached to that property.
Differences in accounting methods at the parish level have made it difficult for parish reports to be consolidated at the diocesan level. As a result, Mr. Byrne spearheaded a drive to standardize parish accounting and data management methods.
“Some pastors manage two or three linked parishes,” Mr. Byrne said. “Why have two or three different accounting systems?”
A new, standardized, front-end system was first tested in six parishes and includes a data-base of parishioners, school tuition, payroll and bar-coded offertory envelopes. “We feel this is the future for parishes,” Mr. Byrne said. “We have this in about 25 parishes now.”
The research for the new system was funded by the Archdiocese. A parish’s up-front cost to convert to the system is about $2,500 plus equipment, if needed.
During the discussion period, a parishioner asked about retirement funding for priests. Mr. Byrne said the pension “is almost 100 percent fully funded” in a separate trust. Administrators meet twice a year to set funding for contributions. “It is in very good shape,” Mr. Byrne said.
Asked about the availability of a publicly disclosed summary of fiscal accountability at the archdiocesan level, Mr. Byrne said, “That day will come. We’re not there yet.” An independent audit is conducted annually, however, he said.
The second in the two-part discussion series on financial transparency and accountability in the Catholic Church featured Jack McCarthy, a retired partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Mr. McCarthy chaired the effort to produce the financial transparency report by the Archdiocese of Boston. He discussed the challenges of communicating the complex issues in that report in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse crisis and parish closings.