Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

olmc-relief 1699Filipino volunteers from Connecticut gathered at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Hamden on Nov. 16 to deliver, collect, sort and package relief items for delivery to communities in the Philippines that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8.

The volunteers, organized on short notice by the Philippine-American Association of Connecticut Inc., were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support by people who brought food, clothing, blankets, toiletries and money throughout the day.

Cecilia Gozo, one of the organizers, noted that the country is 80 percent Catholic. "We have so much in this country, she said, "but now, they have nothing."

The Church of the Holy Spirit in Newington was the site of a similar collection on Nov. 17. As did many other parishes in the Archdiocese of Hartford, the church also collected monetary donations at its Masses.

Founded in 1965 by a group of Filipino Yale students and health care professionals, the Philippine-American Association is the longest-running Filipino cultural and civic group in Connecticut. (Photo by Mary Chalupsky)


mens-conf13 0965Men line up for confession at the Connecticut Catholic Men's Conference on Oct. 26 at Goodwin College in East Hartford.EAST HARTFORD – About 400 men from parishes across the state gathered to see and hear an impressive lineup of motivational speakers at the sixth annual Connecticut Catholic Men’s Conference at Goodwin College Oct. 26.

With Pope Francis’ namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, in mind, organizers chose "Rebuild" as this year’s theme. As Norwich Bishop Michael R. Cote outlined in his remarks, Jesus spoke to Saint Francis from a crucifix and said, "Francis, rebuild my Church."

"And he responded to that graphical call for discipleship," Bishop Cote said. "He embraced the poor and what the world rejected. He accepted them, and he lived a life totally dependent upon the Lord. His example has lived for over 1,000 years and continues to inspire followers of the Lord to our own day."

Father John P. Gatzak, director of the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office of Radio and Television, emceed the event, as in most years past. In his opening remarks, he urged the men to avoid living a "safe" life but to follow the example of Mary, Mother of God: "Be surprised by God, as Mary was," he said.

Dr. Bryan Thatcher, founder of the Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy, spoke about practicing Divine Mercy in everyday life. A medical doctor turned evangelist, Dr. Thatcher discussed Saint Faustina, whose diaries are considered divine revelations about the merciful side of Jesus.

"I used to think I was a great physician," he said. "That was not the case." He said he only healed through Jesus’ mercy.

"Divine Mercy is really what I’m all about. Years ago, I was at a conference and somebody asked me, ‘Doctor, what’s your claim to fame?’ And the first word out of my mouth was, ‘Weakness.’ Divine Mercy is not really a new message; it’s really a reiteration of sacred Scripture," he said.

How strong is our Catholic faith? "If terrorists came in here and said they were going to kill all the Catholics, would they have enough evidence to convict me?" he said.

How completely do we forgive others? "We bury the hatchet," he said, "but we remember where we buried it – just in case."

"I thought he [Dr. Thatcher] was excellent," said Tom Santopietro, whose father, Ken Santopietro, organized the event. "I connected with him. He kept me interested the entire time."

The elder Mr. Santopietro told the Transcript that the larger-than-expected turnout was the result of "the power of the Holy Spirit. We continued to do our emails and, through the archbishop’s office, the public service announcements." Advance notice in the Transcript also helped, he said.

Michael Klinger, a field agent for the Knights of Columbus in Wethersfield, attends the conference every year. He was impressed by Dr. Thatcher’s talk.

"A real ‘Aha!’ moment for me was when he talked about praying to God and trust in Jesus, but not for the outcome that I want because that’s manipulating God, but for the outcome that he desires," he said. "That’s his plan, thy will be done; that is the kind of prayer for trust that God wants us to have."

Mark Houck, co-founder and president of the King’s Men, spoke about the importance of confession, explaining that it leads to a deeper desire for the Eucharist and an increase in personal prayer, especially the rosary.

"The most perfect man sins seven times a day," Mr. Houck said. Going to confession is the only way to become perfect, he said.

"There are three virtues: humility, humility, humility. It’s like the chain in the rosary. Take the chain out of the rosary and all the beads fall to the ground," he said.

In the afternoon session, Father John Paul Duran of the Legionaries of Christ in Cheshire spoke about Pope Francis and the theme of rebuilding the Church. He was followed by Bryan Mercier, a retreat leader, who spoke about his encounter with the Holy Spirit.

Confessions and eucharistic adoration were available throughout the day. Vendors and other exhibitors included Pauline Books and Media, Fathers for Good, EWTN, Acts Retreats, Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center and more. Archbishop Henry J. Mansell was the principal celebrant of the closing Mass.

Asked why it is important for men to attend these conferences, Father Gatzak said, "Typically, we’ve seen that the backbone of our Church have been women, and, unfortunately, men have taken a backseat role very often. However, it’s so important that men realize that there is a masculine side to spirituality, and to become a real man – a real brother – in order to live a true life as a male, we have to exercise that spirituality that calls us forth to be instruments of God’s love."

A man from Watertown who declined to identify himself said he came because a friend asked him to join him. He said he enjoyed Bishop Cote’s talk and Father Gatzak’s skill in moderating. "I think bits and pieces of the doctor’s [Thatcher] talk hit home to most people, at least to me," he said. "I’m glad I came."

Mike Collins, of St. Mark Parish in Stratford, said this was his first time at the conference. "I’m enjoying it so far," he said, adding that he would probably attend next year.

20131112cnsbr2540 webTyphoon victims wait in line for free rice at a businessman's warehouse in Tacloban, Philippines, which was devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan. (CNS photo/Erik De Castro, Reuters)

 HARTFORD – Parishes across the Archdiocese of Hartford will take up a special collection to assist Catholic Relief Services in its response to the destruction that Typhoon Haiyan has wreaked on the Philippines.

Catholic Relief Services, in cooperation with its partners, will provide tens of thousands of families with shelter, essential living supplies and clean water and sanitation.

Read more: Archdiocese of Hartford is collecting funds to help victims of typhoon

faithful-citizenship-logo-vertical-englishHARTFORD – The sixth annual "State of Abortion in Connecticut," prepared by the bishops’ watchdog agency, reports that clinics performing surgical abortions in the state are not licensed as outpatient surgical centers. Rather, they are licensed as "family planning outpatient clinics," which require inspections only once every four years, as opposed to two years for fertility and other surgical centers that do not provide abortions.

"The State Department of Public Health’s duty is to license all of these clinics, and that’s a determination that they have made," said Michael C. Culhane, executive director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference (CCC), which released the report Oct. 16.

Read more: Annual abortion report focuses on DPH inspections

resp-life-conf 1500Dr. Alan Keyes, political activist and former ambassador and presidential contender, right; and Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life Educational and Defense Fund; talk to Sister Suzanne Gross of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, program coordinator for the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Pro-Life Activities; and Father Robert Rousseau, director of Pro-Life Activities, at the Respect Life Conference held Oct. 19 at Holy Angels Parish in South Meriden. (Mary Chalupsky)

MERIDEN – Defenders of life left the 14th annual Respect Life Conference Oct. 19 reenergized, thanks to a day of talks that included keynotes from two of the most prominent leaders in the pro-life movement today: Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life Educational and Defense Fund; and political activist and former ambassador Dr. Alan Keyes.

"I think the reason this country is failing is because Christians have stopped following their calling" that is found in "God’s authority," said Dr. Keyes during his talk.

Read more: Alan Keyes: Faith gives reason for citizen action, moral reset

Events Calendar

September 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
12:00 AM
Archbishop O'Brien Library , Bloomfield, United States
The Archbishop O’Brien Library will participate in a community-based project with Life Choice Donor Services, a non-profit organ procurement organization, during September, to raise awareness for organ [...]
Date :  September 01, 2014
08:15 PM
Quinnipiac University, Hamden CT, Hamden, United States
 An outdoor vigil and prayer service in support of persecuted Christian churches in the Middle East will take place at 8:15 p.m. Sept. 17 on the academic quadrangle [...]
10:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartfrod is offering a retreat day for parish secretaries, with [...]
Date :  September 17, 2014
06:00 PM
St. Ann Parish, Avon, Avon, United States
The Social Justice Committee of St. Ann’s Parish in Avon will have its popular annual clothing sale from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 8:30 [...]
Date :  September 19, 2014
08:30 AM
St. Ann Parish, Avon, Avon, United States
The Social Justice Committee of St. Ann’s Parish in Avon will have its popular annual clothing sale from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 8:30 [...]
10:00 AM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Catholic High School open houses at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20,  7 p.m. Oct. 8 and at 10 and [...]
Date :  September 20, 2014
11:00 AM
Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, United States
Applications are being accepted for the 2014 Catholic Youth Spectacular (CYS), set for Sept. 21 on the [...]
Date :  September 21, 2014
12:00 AM
The Archdiocese of Hartford is participating again in the national Family Day program launched by [...]
Date :  September 22, 2014
11:00 AM
Wampanoag Country Club, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – The 22nd annual Archbishop John F. Whealon Memorial Golf Tournament will take place Sept. 23 [...]
Date :  September 23, 2014
06:00 PM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Hamden , Hamden, United States
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Hamden will have its monthly Pro-Life Holy Hour Novena from 6-7 p.m. September 24.The Holy Hour will include exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, pro-life rosary, [...]
12:00 AM
Hartford GYN Center, Hartford, United States
The Pro-Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford will participate in the international 40 Days for Life campaign from Sept. 24 through Nov. 2. The success of the campaign is evident in [...]
Date :  September 24, 2014
06:00 PM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
"Know Greater Joy" is the theme of a Men's Weekend Retreat being offered Sept. 26-28 at Holy Family [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 26, 2014
09:30 AM
Holy Angels Parish Center, South Meriden, Meriden, United States
MERIDEN – The Meriden-Wallingford Council of Catholic Women will sponsor a catered breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 27 at Holy Angels Parish Center in South Meriden. Guest speaker Deacon Thomas J. Davis [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 27, 2014
01:00 PM
Polish-American Club, West Haven, United States
NEW HAVEN – St. Stanislaus Parish will have its annual picnic/harvest festival from 1-8 p.m. Sept. 28, rain or shine, at the Polish-American Club at 194 W. Spring St., West Haven. Polish and [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 28, 2014
07:00 PM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, Hamden, United States
Caritas Christi Center will offer a New Life Seminar for the separated and divorcd from 7-9 p.m. on nine [...]
Date :  September 29, 2014

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