Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

BLOOMFIELD – A railroad conductor, clinical psychologist and pathologist’s assistant are among the 10 men who will be ordained to the permanent diaconate on June 7.  Archbishop Leonard P. Blair will ordain the candidates at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.

The ordination marks the end of a five-year process for the candidates. In the Archdiocese of Hartford, the formation program leading to ordination to the diaconate consists of a year of discernment and study and then four more years of study that take in the human, spiritual, academic and pastoral aspects of ministry.

Read more: Ten to be ordained to permanent diaconate

STS-Reunion-webFrom Left, John DeSimone, John Sherman, Father George Couturier and Joseph Mulready get together at a reception held during the first St. Thomas Seminary all-classes reunion on May 2. (Photo by Mark Jahne)BLOOMFIELD – St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield enjoyed a long history of educating more than 5,000 young men in the Roman Catholic faith, some of whom went on to a vocation in the priesthood. The all-male school may be gone from the building, but the memories remain.

With that in mind, archdiocesan officials decided to reunite former students with their past. An all-classes reunion was held on May 2 and close to 200 alumni attended, even though getting the word out was a challenge because organizers often were working off decades-old records and addresses.

Everyone was given a name badge that included his year of graduation. The oldest alumnus was a member of the class of 1942. Some came from as far away as California to attend the inaugural event.

The reunion began with guided tours of the building, followed by a Mass concelebrated by Archbishop Leonard Blair, Archbishops Emeritus Henry J. Mansell and Daniel A. Cronin, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Peter A. Rosazza and Auxiliary Bishop Christie A Macaluso, as well as 10 priests who studied and/or taught at the seminary.

The seminary is now known as the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary. The 86-year-old building now houses 21 ministries and also serves as a residence for retired priests and bishops.

A reception allowed alumni to mingle while watching a video showcasing the school’s past. Posters positioned around the room recalled each decade of STS history and featured class photos and other highlights. A surf-and-turf dinner was then served in the refectory, as the main dining room was known to the alums.

“It exceeded our expectations both in attendance and in the positive comments of those who attended. We have had numerous notes and emails commenting on the enjoyable time it was for our alumni,” said Msgr. Gerard Schmitz, former rector.

“The success of the reunion demonstrated the lifelong impact that St. Thomas Seminary had on the lives of those who attended school here. It was a testimony to their appreciation of their professors, coaches and others who guided them during their student days,” he added.

“I am most grateful to our hardworking committee and the support of the staff of the Archdiocesan Center for organizing this exceptional gathering. Our hope is that we can build on the success of this year’s reunion and reach out to other alumni as we plan for another reunion on May 15, 2015.”

“We’ve never had an all-class reunion,” said Robert McTiernan, director of development for the archdiocese. “The primary purpose of this is to reconnect with alumni.”

A mailing advising alumni of the reunion was undertaken last year. The event was also promoted in The Catholic Transcript, on WJMJ-FM radio and on the seminary’s Facebook page.

Those in attendance were told that this will become an annual event. They were also told that they and others will be asked to contribute toward a goal of $12 million to renovate the French and English Gothic college-style building, portions of which are sorely in need of repair.

“It’s in dire need of restoration and renovations,” Mr. McTiernan said.

The structure dates from 1930. Work recently began on the central bell tower, and those arriving for the reunion were greeted by the sight of scaffolding outside that part of the building.

The building once hosted both a high school and junior college program; the latter eventually evolved into a four-year college program in the 1970s.

As a result of a changing trend that had taken place all over the United States at the time, the high school program experienced a steady decrease in enrollment and closed in 1983. This trend continued and, in 1994, the college program was suspended.

The seminary offers certificate programs in religious studies and biblical studies with accreditation from the state Department of Education. It also serves as a conference and retreat center.

Alumni wishing to learn more about the school or next year’s reunion may call the archdiocesan Office of Development at 860-547-0513 or email

sr sheila3-webFrom left, Sister Sheila O’Neill, ASCJ, Ph.D., ’71, president of Sacred Heart Academy, with Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D., president of St. Anselm College; Anchor and Bob Schieffer, moderator of “Face the Nation” and Richard Meelia, Chairman, President and CEO of Covidien at the 121st commencement exercises of St. Anselm College. (Photo submitted)

HAMDEN – Sister Sheila O’Neill, Ph.D., of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, president of Sacred Heart Academy received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree at St. Anselm College’s 121st commencement exercises May 17 in Manchester, N.H.

Bob Schieffer, anchor and moderator of CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” and Richard J. Meelia, first chairman, president and CEO of Covidien PLC, also received honorary degrees.

Mr. Shieffer, who is marking more than 50 years in broadcast journalism and his 45th year at CBS News, was the commencement speaker.

Read more: Sacred Heart Academy president given honorary doctorate

burke-5100896-aCardinal Raymond L. Burke preaches on May 10 at the monthly Gospel of Life Society Mass St. Mary Parish in Norwalk. (Photo by Mary Chalupsky)NORWALK – Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, the church’s highest court, celebrated a Pontifical Low Mass May 10 at St. Mary Parish for members of the Gospel of Life Society.

Cardinal Burke devoted his homily to what St. John Paul II called “the culture of life,” referring to the late pope’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” as one of the greatest gifts of his pontificate.''

He urged the pro-life faithful to continue daily prayer and participation in the sacramental life of the church in support of the defenseless and vulnerable, especially against abortion, euthanasia, artificial generation of human life and destruction of human embryos.

One of the world’s foremost authorities on canon law, Cardinal Burke was invited to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass by Father Greg J. Markey, pastor. Father Markey celebrates a monthly pro-life Mass for the society at 9 a.m. on the second Saturday of the month at St. Mary Church.

Read more: Cardinal Burke carries pro-life message to St. Mary's in Norwalk

ordain-5-17-14-kb 4197-webArchbishop Leonard P. Blair stands with seven new priests after ordaining them to the priesthood on May 17 in the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford. The new priests are, from left, Father Carlos Arturo Castrillón Father Marcel David Dawson, Father Ryan Matthew Lerner, Father Tuan Mai, Father Roberto Daniel McCarthy, Father Michael Ruminski and Father James Michael Sullivan. Additional photos to come. (Photo by Karen O. Bray)

HARTFORD – It was a day of joy and celebration as Archbishop Leonard P. Blair ordained seven seminarians to the priesthood in the Cathedral of St. Joseph on May 17. It was his first ordination of priests since becoming the Archbishop of Hartford in December.

The newly ordained priests are Fathers Carlos Arturo Castrillón, Marcel David Dawson, Ryan Matthew Lerner, Tuan Mai, Roberto Daniel McCarthy, Michael Ruminski and James Michael Sullivan.

“God has heard our prayer in providing pastors, good shepherds after the heart of Christ to guide and sanctify and shepherd his people,” said Archbishop Blair, as he welcomed the candidates along with their families, friends and the faithful from throughout the archdiocese, to the cathedral.

Read more: Archdiocese of Hartford greets seven new priests

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
06:00 PM
Hartford Club, Hartford, Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – The House of Bread, one of the area’s largest urban ministries, will kick off its 35th [...]
Date :  September 04, 2014
09:00 AM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, Hamden, United States
“Empowering Catholic Social Justice Teachings through Gospel Living, Every Day, Every Way’ is the title of a Catechist Day presentation to be given by Father Chris Tiano, director of the Office of [...]
09:00 AM
“Empowering Catholic Social Justice Teachings through Gospel Living, Every Day, Every Way’ is the title of a Catechist Day presentation to be given by Father Chris Tiano, director of the Office of [...]
Date :  September 06, 2014
02:00 PM
Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford, Hartford, United States
08:00 AM
Academy of the Holy Family's Dining Hall, Sprague, United States
The Baltic Knights of Columbus will have a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 7 at the Academy of the Holy Family’s Dining Hall at 54 W. Main St., Baltic.  Pancakes, French [...]
11:30 AM
St. Rita Day Care Center, Hamden, Hamden, United States
St. Rita Parish in Hamden will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an outdoor Mass at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 7 [...]
Date :  September 07, 2014
07:00 PM
St. Lawrence O'Toole Church, Hartford, Hartford, United States
People from the English, Spanish and Portuguese Cursillo communities will be among the congregants at a multicultural Cursillo Mass that will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at St. Lawrence O’Toole [...]
Date :  September 11, 2014
03:00 PM
St. Anthony Maronite Catholic Church, Springfield, Springfield, United States
The Archdiocese of Hartford will host a one-day pilgrimage to St. Anthony Maronite Catholic Church in [...]
Date :  September 12, 2014
09:00 AM
Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, Bloomfield, United States
A workshop titled "Building Intercultural Competence in Our Parishes" will be presented from 9 a.m. to [...]
10:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield Shrine, Litchfield, United States
BRANFORD – The St. Mary Ladies Guild is planning a Day of Pilgrimage and Prayer on Sept. 13 at the [...]
10:30 AM
Mortensen Riverfront Park, Hartford, Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – Immaculate Conception Shelter & Housing Corp. will have its third annual “Give Me [...]
Date :  September 13, 2014
08:30 AM
Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbury, Waterbury, United States
WATERBURY – Sheridan Council 24 of the Knights of Columbus will host its second annual Communion [...]
Date :  September 14, 2014
06:00 PM
Church of St. Ann, Avon, Avon, United States
St. Ann's Church of Avon is having its fifth annual clothing sale from 6-8:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 20 in Father Bennett Hall at the parish. Proceeds benefit students [...]
Date :  September 19, 2014
08:30 AM
Church of St. Ann, Avon, Avon, United States
St. Ann's Church of Avon is having its fifth annual clothing sale from 6-8:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 20 in Father Bennett Hall at the parish. Proceeds benefit students [...]
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
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, [...]
Date :  September 24, 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 [...]
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 [...]
Date :  September 28, 2014

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