20141121cm01588 webA poster announcing the pope's raffle is seen next to St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 21. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Like many Catholic parishes, the Vatican has turned to a raffle to raise money; the difference is, though, the prizes are items originally given as gifts to Pope Francis.

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Auxiliary Bishop Christi A. Macaluso presided over the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for the Permanent Diaconate on Nov. 20 in the chapel of St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield.

20141117cm01483 webPope Francis leads his Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 16. The following day, Pope Francis confirmed he will visit Philadelphia in September. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis said he would attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September, making it the first confirmed stop on what is expected to be a more extensive papal visit to North America.

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Up above the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea, Saint Peter's Church shines as the beacon to the Holy Land from the old port city of Jaffa. Peter's vision of the clean and unclean took place here at the house of Simon the tanner. Jaffa (Joppa in biblical times) was also the departure port for the prophet Jonah's encounter with the whale.Bob Mullen/The Catholic Photographer, a member of the Cathedral of St. Joseph Parish in Hartford and a regular contributor to The Catholic Transcript, visited Israel Nov. 4-11 and shared the sites through these photographs. The Israel Ministry of Tourism and El Al Israel Airlines arranged the “Catholic Highlights of Israel” tour primarily for writers, editors and photographers for Catholic media. The photos marked "Photo of the Day" are available for download for free. They will be highlighted periodically.

20101119cnsbr03533 webBishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, Calif., addresses the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during its annual fall meeting in Baltimore Nov. 15, 2010. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) WASHINGTON – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will be taken up in parishes nationwide on Nov. 22-23, the weekend before Thanksgiving. Echoing the teaching of Pope Francis, the collection focuses on the theme: “CCHD: Working on the Margins.”

“In the United States, many Americans continue to face the effects of a stagnant economy, debilitating unemployment, a dehumanizing cycle of poverty, and growing civic disenfranchisement,” said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

20141105cnsbr6821 webYoung people take selfies with Pope Francis as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 5. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The world's bishops are called to be servants and shepherds who use their position to care for people and the faith, not to seek power and boost their pride, Pope Francis said.

The church has no place for men with a "worldly mentality" who are seeking a career, he said at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square Nov. 5.

"It's sad when you see a man who seeks this office and who does so much to get there and when he makes it, he doesn't serve, but struts like a peacock, living only for his own vanity," the pope said.

AlbertusProf SMSstudents-webBiology Professor Patricia Compagnone Post demonstrates materials for working with DNA to students from St. Mary School in Branford on Oct. 22 at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven.

BRANFORD – St. Mary School’s seventh and eighth graders are learning science and math from Albertus Magnus College faculty now as part of a new partnership.

The partnership is designed to improve the St. Mary students’ competitiveness in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields of study. The school’s STEM program aims to provide students with a dynamic, engaging series of educational experiences based on an innovative, in-depth and hands-on approach to science.

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Archbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell blesses a garden in the second floor waiting area of the St. Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center in Hartford Nov. 1.

The garden is in memory of Nina Griswold Giorgio, a friend of St. Francis Care and a member of the St. Francis Auxiliary, who died of cancer in March.

carolyns-2014 7198-a-webArchbishop Leonard T. Blair talks to others at a table at the Carolyn's Place dinner Nov. 2 at La Bella Vista Restaurant in Waterbury.

WATERBURY – Over 300 people bundled into La Bella Vista Restaurant at the Pontelandolfo Club in Waterbury on a chilly Nov. 2, All Souls Day, to celebrate the 22nd annual awards dinner of Carolyn’s Place Pregnancy Care Center.

Archbishop's Desk

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Milestones

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    Together for the announcement of a $2 million-plus grant for the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford...

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Youth

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  • East Catholic High School announces capital campaign

    Artist's rendering MANCHESTER – East Catholic High School has announced a multimillion-dollar...

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Arts-SoapCrossesTwo of Ron Daisomont's Bible-inspired soap sculptures are pictured at left. (Photo by Jack Sheedy)

WATERBURY – During his 27 years building Broadway and movie sets, Ron Daisomont learned how to work with wood, metal and a variety of other materials. But with tight deadlines, patience was not his strong suit. "I’d be the guy you’d hear swearing," he said.

Now, he is working with a new material, and he is learning patience. His art is biblical sculpture. His medium: bars of Dial soap.

You might say he has cleaned up his act.

"I used to work for Scenic Technologies, out of New Windsor, N.Y.," he said. "I worked on all the major Broadway shows, including Cats, the original Les Miserables, the original Phantom [of the Opera], and a lot of road shows."

Four years ago, he fell at a train station and fractured several bones. It put him out of commission, and he has had to look for other ways to use his talents. About a year ago, he found a way.

"A friend of mine took a bar of soap and carved a hand. He took another and carved another hand, so he had praying hands," Mr. Daisomont said. "He put them on a base. I said, ‘Gee, I could probably do that.’ So, the next day I actually started carving crosses, and God gave me the name of it: Crosswerks Ministries."

Presumably, God spelled it correctly, but a computer search told Mr. Daisomont that there were some 1,900 companies with "Crossworks" in their names. So he settled on "Crosswerks."

Mr. Daisomont’s soap sculptures range in size from about four inches high and a few ounces in weight to nearly a foot high and weighing about three pounds. Some large pieces give a new meaning to "eight to the bar."

Biblical scenes include King David’s golden harp, for which he uses dental floss for the strings; Noah’s ark, both during the flood and after landing on Mount Ararat; chariots with wheels that actually turn on axles fashioned from pen cartridges; crosses and crucifixes; chalices; gates of Samson; and more.

Does it matter which kind of soap he uses?

"Oh, absolutely, yes. Dial soap. Actually, I tried a few different types. My buddy didn’t really know what kind of soap he used."

Mr. Daisomont discovered that a 3.2-ounce bar of Dial is dryer than most other brands and easier to work with. "I’ll go to a dollar store and buy like 16 bars at a time, three bars for a dollar. Ten days ago I bought 62 bars, and I think I have a dozen left," he said. He saves all his shavings and molds them into tiny swords, helmets, shields and bases for his sculptures.

To join several bars, he will use a carpenter’s lap joint, fit them together, pour hot water over them, drain the water and press the bars together until they are fused.

Among the more than 100 sculptures he has made are about 30 armors of God. "If you look up Ephesians, chapter 6: 10-20, it will tell you all about putting on the armor of God," he said. "I use the breastplate, the shield, the helmet; and then the sword, naturally, is the word of God."

The only paint that he uses is gold paint for the chalices and David’s harp. "Anything that’s brown is instant coffee," he said. Other colors are achieved by shaving colored pencil leads and mixing them with a special floor wax, letting it set, and then applying the mixture with a Q-tip.

Using a few simple tools like an X-ACTO knife, a razor blade, a hacksaw blade and sandpaper, he is able to achieve the look and texture of wood, marble, granite and other materials. But, he doesn’t take credit for it. "It’s all the work of the Holy Spirit," he said.

"I was a carpenter for many years and a certified welder, but I have absolutely zero training in art," he said. "Doing these sculptures is like putting plastic models of cars together, except there are no directions. The Holy Spirit is my directions."

Mr. Daisomont, who attends St. Michael Church in Waterbury, hopes to form a nonprofit organization, build a Web site and sell his sculptures at church bazaars to raise money for Catholic causes. Until then, he is stockpiling his art and selling it piece by piece, starting at $29.95. When a repairman showed up at his home to work on the television, Mr. Daisomont showed him the sculptures in his studio.

"He was here for over an hour," Mr. Daisomont said. "My TV’s still the same."

For more information on Crosswerks Ministries, call Mr. Daisomont at (203) 419-6286.

 

Events Calendar

November 2014
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06:00 AM
WJMJ will conduct its semiannual radiothon from 6 a.m. Nov. 13 through 1 a.m. Nov. 16 and again from 6 a.m. to midnight Nov. 17. The goal is $115,000 ($105,000 for operations and $10,000 [...]
06:00 PM
Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, Cromwell, United States
CROMWELL – Gary L. Krupp, founder and president of the Pave the Way Foundation, will speak at the 2014 Pope St. John Paul II Bioethics Lecture on Nov. 13 at Holy Apostles College and [...]
Date :  November 13, 2014
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06:00 AM
WJMJ will conduct its semiannual radiothon from 6 a.m. Nov. 13 through 1 a.m. Nov. 16 and again from 6 a.m. to midnight Nov. 17. The goal is $115,000 ($105,000 for operations and $10,000 [...]
07:30 PM
Trinity Episcopal Church, Hartford, Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – Concora professional choir will have its annual Bach ClavierFest at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Trinity Episcopal Churhch, 120 Sigourney St., Hartford. It is presented by the [...]
Date :  November 14, 2014
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06:00 AM
WJMJ will conduct its semiannual radiothon from 6 a.m. Nov. 13 through 1 a.m. Nov. 16 and again from 6 a.m. to midnight Nov. 17. The goal is $115,000 ($105,000 for operations and $10,000 [...]
08:00 AM
Mercy High School, Middletown, Middletown, United States
The entrance exam for the class of 2019 will be administered from 8-11:15 a.m. Nov. 15 at Mercy High [...]
08:30 AM
Fairfield Prep, Fairfield, Fairfield, United States
Fairfield Prep, a Jesuit, Catholic college preparatory school for boys in grades nine through 12, will [...]
Date :  November 15, 2014
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06:00 AM
WJMJ will conduct its semiannual radiothon from 6 a.m. Nov. 13 through 1 a.m. Nov. 16 and again from 6 a.m. to midnight Nov. 17. The goal is $115,000 ($105,000 for operations and $10,000 [...]
10:30 AM
Manchester, United States
Assumption School in Manchester will host two open houses for potential students and their families. They [...]
Date :  November 16, 2014
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06:00 AM
WJMJ will conduct its semiannual radiothon from 6 a.m. Nov. 13 through 1 a.m. Nov. 16 and again from 6 a.m. to midnight Nov. 17. The goal is $115,000 ($105,000 for operations and $10,000 [...]
Date :  November 17, 2014
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11:30 AM
Franciscan Urban Center, Hartford, Hartford, United States
The House of Bread, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph and one of the region's largest providers of food and housing for Hartford's poorest citizens, will hold its 29th Hunger Banquet on Wednesday, [...]
Date :  November 19, 2014
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05:30 PM
Manchester, United States
Assumption School in Manchester will host two open houses for potential students and their families. They [...]
06:00 PM
St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield
The Archdiocese of Hartford’s Vocation Office will hold Priesthood Discernment Evenings from 6-7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 and Dec 18 at St. Thomas Seminary, 467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield. They [...]
07:00 PM
St. Timothy Middle School, West Hartford , West Hartford, United States
Open House at St. Timothy Middle School
Date :  November 20, 2014
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03:00 PM
Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden, United States
HAMDEN – The annual Holly Berry Festival, a juried arts and crafts fair benefitting the Retirement Fund [...]
05:00 PM
Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden, Hamden, United States
HAMDEN – There will be a pasta dinner from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 21 at Sacred Heart Academy. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. [...]
07:00 PM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Performing Arts will stage the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “The Miracle Worker,” Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 at 7 pm and on Nov. 23 at 2 pm at St. Paul Catholic High School Theater, Bristol. [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center will offer a Matt Talbot Women’s Recovery Retreat Nov. 21-23. Women in [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford , West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center willl have a women’s weekend retreat titled "Know Greater Joy" Nov. 21-23. The renewing weekend explores how to [...]
Date :  November 21, 2014
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07:00 PM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Performing Arts will stage the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “The Miracle Worker,” Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 at 7 pm and on Nov. 23 at 2 pm at St. Paul Catholic High School Theater, Bristol. [...]
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08:00 AM
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel-Hartford, Windsor Locks, United States
An East Coast conference against assisted suicide will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 22 at [...]
08:00 AM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
09:00 AM
St. Joseph's Residence, Enfield, Enfield, United States
St. Joseph’s Residence will have its annual annual Craft Fair and Bake Sale on Saturday, November 22, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the residence, 1365 [...]
09:00 AM
St. Patrick Parish, Farmington, Farmington, United States
 St. Patrick Parish in Farmington will host its 11th annual International Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 22 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 23 in the church hall, located at 110 Main [...]
09:30 AM
Franciscan Life Center, Meriden, Meriden, United States
MERIDEN – A living crèche will be just one of the highlights of the annual Franciscan Christmas Fair, to be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 22 [...]
10:00 AM
Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden, United States
HAMDEN – The annual Holly Berry Festival, a juried arts and crafts fair benefitting the Retirement Fund [...]
10:00 AM
Christ the Redeemer Parish, Milford, Milford, United States
MILFORD – The Ladies Guild of Christ the Redeemer Parish at 325 Oronoque Road will have its annual Christmas bazaar from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 22. There will be many vendors, food, entertainment [...]
10:00 AM
St. Ann Parish, Bristol, Bristol CT, United States
 St. Ann Parish in Bristol will have a craft fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 22. More than 50 tables will have crafts for sale. It also will offer a bake [...]
11:00 AM
Our Lady of the Angels Convent, Enfield, United States
ENFIELD – The Felician Sisters’ annual Pre-Christmas Fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 22 at Our Lady of the Angels Convent, 1315 Enfield St., Enfield. Features will include craft [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center will offer a Matt Talbot Women’s Recovery Retreat Nov. 21-23. Women in [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford , West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center willl have a women’s weekend retreat titled "Know Greater Joy" Nov. 21-23. The renewing weekend explores how to [...]
Date :  November 22, 2014
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02:00 PM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Performing Arts will stage the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “The Miracle Worker,” Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 at 7 pm and on Nov. 23 at 2 pm at St. Paul Catholic High School Theater, Bristol. [...]
08:00 AM
St. Patrick Parish, Farmington, Farmington, United States
 St. Patrick Parish in Farmington will host its 11th annual International Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 22 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 23 in the church hall, located at 110 Main [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center will offer a Matt Talbot Women’s Recovery Retreat Nov. 21-23. Women in [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford , West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center willl have a women’s weekend retreat titled "Know Greater Joy" Nov. 21-23. The renewing weekend explores how to [...]
Date :  November 23, 2014
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10:00 AM
St. Michael Parish Center, Waterbury, Waterbury, United States
Knights of Columbus from several councils in greater Waterbury will distribute coats to children from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 28 at its “Coats for Kids” drive at St. Michael’s Parish [...]
Date :  November 28, 2014
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09:00 AM
St. Gregory CCD Center, Bristol, Bristol, United States
The annual St. Gregory Christmas Craft Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 29-30 at the CCD Center, located at 1043 Stafford Ave. The fair will feature over 40 crafters/vendors, an [...]
12:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford , West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center willl have a women’s weekend retreat titled "Know Greater Joy" Nov. 21-23. The renewing weekend explores how to [...]
Date :  November 29, 2014
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09:00 AM
St. Gregory CCD Center, Bristol, Bristol, United States
The annual St. Gregory Christmas Craft Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 29-30 at the CCD Center, located at 1043 Stafford Ave. The fair will feature over 40 crafters/vendors, an [...]
09:30 AM
Polish National Home, Hartford, Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – The Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford will hold its annual Szopka Festival from 9:30 [...]
Date :  November 30, 2014

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