SOUTHINGTON – When St. Mary-St. Michael School in Derby faced closing in 2010 because of dwindling finances and enrollment, a group of parents, led by Arthur Gerckens, stepped up.
They created a strategic plan, implemented a number of fund-raising initiatives and successfully took the school from nearly closing its doors with 65 students to becoming a viable Catholic school again with 144 students today.
For his efforts to show what can happen when people who believe in Catholic education volunteer their talents, the Office of Catholic Schools (OCS) of the Archdiocese of Hartford gave Mr. Gerckens the 2013 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award.
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BLOOMFIELD – Hundreds of young people joined Archbishop Henry J. Mansell Sept. 29 in packaging 11,232 meals to provide hunger relief for the country of Burkina Faso in western Africa. It was one of many workshops that some 1,223 youths from 56 archdiocesan schools and parishes took part in during the Office of Religious Education and Evangelization’s (OREE) eighth annual Catholic Youth Spectacular, held at the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary.
TRUMBULL – Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of Hartford installed Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, 54, as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport during a joyous Mass of Installation on Sept. 19 at St. Theresa Church.
Bishop Caggiano, who previously served as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, succeeds Bishop William E. Lori, who was named Archbishop of Baltimore in March 2012. Archbishop Lori also attended the installation.
"We gather, so happy to welcome Bishop Frank Caggiano here to the Diocese of Bridgeport," said Archbishop Mansell, who praised him for his experience, reputation and way of bringing people more closely to Christ. "We are profoundly grateful for your willingness to be here and for the service you will be giving" to the diocese, he said.
MERIDEN – Ambassador Alan Keyes and Jeanne Monahan will be the keynote speakers at the 14th annual Respect Life Conference, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 19, at Holy Angels Parish Center.
The parish Pro-Life Outreach Ministry plans the day in observance of October as Pro-Life Month.
BLOOMFIELD – St. Thomas Seminary will celebrate the 85th anniversary of its dedication with an exhibit highlighting the history of the seminary from Sept. 23 through the month of October.
The exhibit at the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, located at 467 Bloomfield Ave., is open to the public. Directions are available by calling 860-242-5573, ext. 2608, or going online to www.stseminary.org.
The Preparatory Seminary of St. Thomas of Aquinas was founded by Bishop Michael Tierney and originally was located at 352 Collins St. in Hartford. Under the direction of the first rector, Father John Synnot, classes were organized on Sept. 7, 1898. There were 37 students enrolled: 15 boarders and 22 day scholars.