BRISTOL – The annual gathering formerly known as the Religious Education Congress lived up to its new name, Faith and Evangelization Congress, with help from a keynote speaker who focused on building the Church.
Ryan Hinton, assistant director of the archdiocesan Office of Religious Education and Evangelization, which sponsored the event on Nov. 9, noted that the gathering was open to all parish ministries, including directors of religious education, catechists and youth ministries.
“But we hope to include ‘John and Jane Catholic,’ to welcome them into deepening and sharing their faith. [The event] is about evangelization and spiritual growth,” he said.
CROMWELL –The executive director of Courage International, a Catholic apostolate for people with same-sex attraction, provided a foundation for the Church’s teaching on homosexuality at the 2013 Pope John Paul II lecture on bioethics on Nov. 6 at Holy Apostles College and Seminary.
Father Paul N. Check told an audience consisting mostly of seminarians that while the Church teaches that homosexual behavior is disordered, its way of reaching out to the individual homosexual person is with “pastoral charity.”
AVON – A full house of approximately 300 people filled the hall at the Church of St. Ann on Nov. 10 for “A Forum: The Catholic Church in the Public Square.” It was designed to discuss issues of religious freedom, rights of conscience and the First Amendment.
Written questions from the audience were posed to panelists Michael C. Culhane, executive director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference, and Jim Vicevich, a WTIC-AM radio talk show host, Roman Catholic and avowed Libertarian. Chris Keating, capitol bureau chief of the Hartford Courant, served as moderator.
SOUTHINGTON – Pope Francis is setting the standard for reimagining, rebuilding and repairing the Catholic Church as it enters the 21st century.
Jack Jezreel, founder and president of JustFaith Ministries of Louisville, Ky., said at the 45th annual Social Justice Award Dinner on Oct. 22 that Pope Francis is emulating his namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, to whom Jesus said, “Francis, rebuild my Church.”
The keynote speaker said that Pope Francis, like Saint Francis, lives simply, loves creation and cares for those suffering in poverty or degradation.
“He wears no miter with gold and jewels, no ermine cape, no made-to-measure red shoes or head gear and [uses] no magnificent throne. The new pope deliberately abstains from solemn gestures and high-flown rhetoric. He speaks the language of the people and emphasizes his own humanity,” Mr. Jezreel said.
Guests at the St. Thomas More soup kitchen are served lunch while others stand in line for theirs on Nov. 20 at St. Thomas More Chapel and Center at Yale University in New Haven.
Students and volunteers from the St. Thomas More, Yale University and New Haven communities served about 375 guests that day.
Meals, donated by Yale dining halls and local food stores, are served to as many as 450 guests from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday during the academic year.
The soup kitchen at the Catholic center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.