Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

skypeStudents perform a song for youngsters at an orphanage near Delhi, India, Oct. 20 via Skype. In foreground are Cara Samson, left; Walter Coombs and Riley Norwood. (Photo by Mary Chalupsky;)

BRANFORD – Thanks to the miracle of Skype, students from St. Mary School exchanged greetings, songs and questions with children at an orphanage near Delhi, India, Oct. 20 as part of a series of events planned for the Branford school’s 50th anniversary.

"It was a lot of fun," said fourth-grader Cara Samson, capturing some of the excitement of the students. "We got to see people in a different country and talk to them and stuff."

Despite periodic breaks in the connection, students from St. Mary’s gathered in the parish center to watch children in India perform a song they had composed in English to honor the school’s jubilee. The Indian students also danced to music from the movie "Slum Dog Millionaire." It was 10 a.m. in Branford and 7 p.m. in India.

St. Mary’s held the cyberspace event with Ashalayam (meaning measure of hope), an orphanage in India where more than 150 children from the age of 8 to 18 are cared for by the Salesians of Don Bosco.

All of the children are either runaways or are forced to migrate from remote villages to cities in search of food, shelter and work because of poverty, hunger, maltreatment or the death of parents. The orphanage works to take in the abandoned children before they are taken captive by thugs and gangs for drug trafficking, prostitution or begging.

Salesian Father John Kuzhikottayil, parochial vicar at St. Mary’s and former headmaster of the orphanage, was in India on pilgrimage to coordinate the program at the other end of the connection.

According to Father Christopher Ford, Pastor of St. Mary Parish, parishioners recently collected more than $9,000 for the orphanage in India, enough to feed, clothe, shelter and educate children there for three months.

"It was a great day," said Donna Binkoski, principal. "Despite losing [Skype] connections, the connections we made with the children are for a lifetime."

She noted that just earlier in the week, the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools had encouraged schools during a special meeting to evangelize by using the tools of cyberspace, such as Skype and the Internet.

Each school plans to make a DVD of its program to exchange for future showings and to post on YouTube.

Among the numerous events planned to mark the jubilee year is a 50th-anniversary auction and gala dinner Dec. 12 at the Woodwinds Banquet Hall in Branford.

 

Events Calendar

July 2014
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07:30 PM
Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows, Simsbury, United States
HARTFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TALCOTT MOUNTAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL: The Music of The Who with Brody Dolyniuk, guest vocalist; Brent Havens, conductor Friday, July 18, 2014 │ 7:30 p.m. [...]
09:00 PM
Our Lady of Victory Parish, West Haven, West Haven, United States
Our Lady of Victory Parish Community will have its annual West Haven Neighborhood Carnival from 6-10 p.m. [...]
12:00 PM
Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, West Hartford, Conn., United Kingdom
The annual Tabor House GIANT tag sale/auction/bake sale will take place July 17-19 at the convent of the [...]
Date :  July 18, 2014
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09:00 AM
Doubletree by Hitlon, Bristol, United States
Father Alex Avendano will speak at a Magnificat Breakfast beginning at 9 a.m. July 19 at the Doubletree by [...]
09:00 AM
Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, West Hartford, Conn., United Kingdom
The annual Tabor House GIANT tag sale/auction/bake sale will take place July 17-19 at the convent of the [...]
09:00 PM
Our Lady of Victory Parish, West Haven, West Haven, United States
Our Lady of Victory Parish Community will have its annual West Haven Neighborhood Carnival from 6-10 p.m. [...]
Date :  July 19, 2014
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12:00 AM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
A “Fundamental Football Clinic” for players in grades four through nine is planned for the week of July 21 at St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol.
Date :  July 21, 2014
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12:30 PM
Chippanee Golf Club, Bristol, Bristol, United States
The 15th annual Rev. Robert A. Lysz Memorial Golf Tournament will have a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. July 31 at [...]
Date :  July 31, 2014

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