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FAIRFIELD – A Fairfield University alumnus and trustee, John C. Meditz, ’70, of Weehawken, N.J., has given $10 million to the university for one of its current strategic priorities, the transformative expansion and modernization of the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreation Complex.
The gift adds to other major contributions that Mr. Meditz has made in recent years, including gifts that enabled the university to construct and establish the Bellarmine Museum of Art, to endow the directorship of the museum, and to create additional endowed student scholarships.
HARTFORD – “I’m going to sleep with it…sleep with it and be happy with it,” said an overjoyed John David, a member of St. Luke Parish, before receiving his St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation from Archbishop Leonard P. Blair at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph on March 16. See full list of winners here.
“It’s the luckiest and best thing I’ve ever gotten in my life,” gushed Mr. David, who has taken up the Sunday Mass collection for the past two decades and served as an usher. “It’ll never happen again.”
Many of the 207 recipients of this year’s St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation, which recognizes them for their service and commitment to their church, were visibly moved by the ceremony.
“It’s a great blessing and a great gift,” said Martha Smith, of St. Mary Parish in Branford, where she serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults team leader and coordinates a visitors’ ministry. “I think each of us shares it with everyone from our parish.”
Archbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell was honored March 11 at the Institute for the Hispanic Family (IHF) in Hartford, where the community room was renamed The Archbishop Henry J. Mansell Community Room.
It is the same room where on June 17, 2008, then-Archbishop Mansell presided over the dedication of the relocated 22,000-square-foot IHF at 45 Wadsworth St., which now serves more than 3,000 people a year and is considered one of his signature accomplishments during his 10 years as archbishop of Hartford.
Lois Nesci, director of Catholic Charities, pictured here with the archbishop as he cuts a cake made for the event, thanked Archbishop Mansell for the support he provided to the IHF and other Catholic Charities initiatives.
Archbishop Mansell said, “I remember in October of 2003, when Rose Alma Cataldo [then Catholic Charities director] brought me here – not here but a few blocks away, up the street – and showed the Institute for the Hispanic Family at that time. It was teeming with people. There wasn’t enough room to put them all.”
He acknowledged the hard work done by the Catholic Charities board of directors and by individuals, saying, “Your enthusiasm and support make such an enormous difference.” (Photo by Jack Sheedy)
HARTFORD – Archbishop Leonard P. Blair is taking to the airwaves with a new radio program airing Sundays on WJMJ, the FM station owned by the Archdiocese of Hartford.
The archbishop will answer questions from parishioners and others who want to learn more about Catholicism, faith in general and the role of religion in modern times.
“The Archbishop’s Corner” made its debut March 9. It airs weekly at 7 a.m. with a repeat broadcast at 1 p.m. following the noontime Celebration of the Eucharist.
Each 30-minute program starts with a reflection on the Gospel reading for that Sunday, and then Archbishop Blair answers questions. Father John Gatzak, director of the archdiocese’s Office of Radio and Television, co-hosts the program and discusses questions submitted by postal mail, email or telephone voice messages.
Hartford’s WJMJ broadcasts to most of Connecticut and western Massachusetts at 88.9 on the FM dial, and is also distributed around the world through streaming audio on the Internet at http://www.WJMJ.org.
“This is a fine way to reach out and meet people in the archdiocese,” observed Archbishop Blair. “I’ve been visiting individual parishes since arriving in December, and this program should accelerate the process of people getting to know me and for me to learn more about their concerns.”
Father Gatzak, who also is WJMJ’s general manager, said, “Questions are always welcome from anyone, anywhere,” whether they are mailed to the office, sent by email to archbishop@WJMJ.org or left as voice mail at 203-805-5045.
“Airing the program twice on Sunday will make it easy for our listeners to hear the archbishop no matter what time they go to church,” Father Gatzak added.
WJMJ is a noncommercial station that offers values-oriented programming, including inspirational and classical music programs, local, state, national, international and religious news, plus educational and public affairs programs.
In addition to serving much of the state at 88.9MHz on the FM dial, listeners in New Haven can hear WJMJ at 107.1 MHz and in Hamden at 93.1 MHz.
HARTFORD – At the Lea’s Foundation 20th annual Valentine’s Day Ball, the organization pledged $555,000 to conduct leukemia research at the St. Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center over the next three years. The funds provided by Lea’s Foundation will be used to coordinate and support participation in clinical trials to test recently discovered new cancer treatment drugs.
Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research Inc. was formed in 1998 to honor the memory of Lea Michele Economos, who at the young age of 18 was diagnosed with leukemia, and subsequently lost her battle when she was only 28 years old. Lea’s Foundation raises money to fund research into the causes of and cures for leukemia and its related cancers (lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma).
Lea’s Foundation also provides some limited financial assistance to patients affected by leukemia and similar blood-related diseases. The foundation further provides increased public awareness of these cancers through its participation and support of community health care programs. All of the money raised by the Lea’s Foundation stays in Connecticut.
The St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center Foundation operates exclusively to advance the charitable, scientific and educational purposes of the Hospital through relationship building, community visibility and fund raising.
It also focuses on major gifts and planned gifts to build St. Francis' endowment to enable the Hospital to sustain its services to the community for generations to come.