Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut
Tuesday, April 25, 2017


GrisesFather J. Clifford Grise, a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport, passed away on March 25 at the Jerome Home in New Britain.

He was born on Oct. 14, 1919, in Southington, the son of the late David J. and Mary (Flynn) Grise. He attended Southington Schools and then studied at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained to the priesthood on March 17, 1945, in the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford by the late Archbishop Henry J. O’Brien.

During his more than 72 years of priestly service, his assignments included St. Paul in West Haven, St. Joseph in Shelton and St. Mary in Norwalk. He also served as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. In 1963, Father Grise was appointed as the first pastor of St. Agnes Church in Greenwich, where he remained until his 1971 appointment as pastor and principal at St. Peter Church in Danbury.

Upon his pastoral retirement in 1986, Father Grise assisted at St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Parish in Longboat Key, Fla., for many years. He returned to Connecticut and resided at the Catherine Dennis Keefe, Queen of the Clergy Residence for retired priests in Stamford.

Father Grise is survived by many nieces and nephews, including Robert D. Foley of Cape Cod, Mass.; Mary Lou Kane of Cheshire; and Lisbeth (Patrick) Dugan of Victor, N.Y.; as well as by numerous grandnieces and grandnephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 30, at Mary Our Queen Church, 248 Savage Street, Plantsville. Calling hours will begin at 10 a.m. at the church before the Mass. Burial will be at St. Thomas Cemetery, Southington.

Donations in Father Grise’s memory can be made to the Development – Expansion Fund of Queen of Clergy, 274 Strawberry Hill Ave., Stamford, CT 06902.

DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main Street, Southington is in charge of arrangements. You may leave online condolences and get directions at in New Britain.

Sister Mary Olivia Murray (Mary Brigid Murray), a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, died at Monsignor Bojnowski Manor in New Britain on March 1, 2017. She was 103 years of age and had been in religious life for 62 years.

Sister Olivia was born in County Meath, Ireland on May 31, 1913, the daughter of the late James Murray and Ellen Walsh Murray. Sister Olivia entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 1, 1954, and celebrated her perpetual profession of vows on March 1, 1962.

Sister Olivia worked at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield for a number of years and then was the sacristan in the chapel at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. When she retired to the provincial house of her community, Sister Olivia continued as sacristan.

Sister Olivia is predeceased by her brothers Michael and Andrew Murray. She is survived by her sisters the in community, friends and many cousins, particularly Rita Powers and Father Robert Powers.

Father Powers celebrated Sister Olivia's funeral Mass on March 6 in the chapel of the community's convent on Park Road in West Hartford. Burial followed in the Sisters of St. Joseph Cemetery in West Hartford. Donations in Sister Olivia's memory may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph, c/o Provincial Office, 650 Willard Ave., Newington, CT 06111.

SOUTHINGTON – Father Thomas J. Baylis, 84, of Southington, died on Dec. 15, 2016, at Bristol Hospital.

He was born in the Bronx, N.Y., on April 25, 1932, a son of the late Charles J. and Marie R. (Bissonette) Baylis. He was raised in West Haven, where he attended St. Lawrence School before entering the seminary. He was odained to the priesthood as a La Sallette Missionary on April 25, 1959, by the Bishop Eric F. MacKenzie.

Father Baylis was incardinated into the presbyterate of the Archdiocese of Hartford on Feb. 6, 1989. He served as parochial vicar at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Waterbury and October 1991, he was appointed coadministrator of St. Ann Parish in the Devon section of Milford. He was appointed pastor of St. Ann in December 1993 and ministered there until 2002.

In February 2002, Father Baylis was appointed to Our Lady of Fatima in the Yalesville section of Wallingford, where he served until he obtained senior priest status in April of 2007.

He is survived by his sister, Sue (Mrs. Eugene) Sayers of Middletown; his brother, Robert Baylis of Northford; and his nieces and nephews, Catherine Sayers Shwaery, Stephen Sayers, Christopher Sayers, Joseph Sayers, Suzanne Sayers, Peter Baylis, Nancy Baylis, Daniel Baylis and Michael Baylis Jr.

He was predeceased by a sister and a brother, Judith and Michael Baylis.

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on Dec. 20 at St. Bridget Church in Cheshire.

Interment will be private in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Meriden. Gifts in his memory may be sent to the Archdiocese of Hartford, 134 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06105.

Rush JamesFather James C. Rush, 73, of West Hartford, retired co-pastor of St. Gabriel Church in Windsor, passed away peacefully on Nov. 19, 2016, at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford.

Born on Nov. 27, 1942, he was a son of the late William P. Rush, a former West Hartford police chief, and Gladys C. (Watson) Rush.

He leaves a brother, Superior Court Judge William B. Rush of Fairfield; four nieces; and several grandnephews and grandnieces.

Father Rush graduated from St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Hartford and St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield. He also studied at St. Bernard’s Seminary and Colgate-Rochester Divinity School, both in Rochester, N.Y.; the North American College and the Gregorian University, both in Rome. He also spent two summer semesters at the Alliance Française in Paris.

He was ordained a deacon at St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome and served at St. Aloysius Parish of the Archdiocese of Westminster in London. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Hartford at St. Peter Basilica in Rome on Dec. 20, 1968, by the Most Rev.Francis Reh, rector of the North American College.

As a student-priest, he worked for Vatican Radio, was a campus minister at Loyola University in Rome and volunteered at an orphanage in Nettuno. After returning to the United States, Father Rush served at St. Louis Parish in West Haven, St. Augustine Parish in Hartford and St. Gabriel Parish in Windsor.

Father Rush completed his clinical pastoral education (CPE) at Hartford Hospital and Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mass., and was a board-certified chaplain at Manchester Memorial Hospital for 11 years while in residence at St. Christopher Parish in East Hartford. He also was a police chaplain, priest-director of St. Louis School in West Haven, a Hartford Deanery CYO director and instructor in the archdiocesan marriage tribunal. He was the director of religious education at St. Augustine Parish, a religion teacher at the former South Catholic High School and St. Mary School in Newington, a chaplain for the St. Justin Fife and Drum Corps, a member of the Child Advocacy Team in Manchester, a Knights of Columbus chaplain, a counselor and sponsor for Alcoholics Anonymous, a member of Priests for Life, and a supporter of Birthright and the archdioceses’s Office of Radio and Television.

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair presided at a Mass of Christian burial on Nov. 26 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford. Burial followed at Mount St. Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield. Contributions may be made to St. Thomas the Apostle School, 25 Dover Road, West Hartford, CT 06119 or to another charity.

Campion ThomasWEST HARTFORD – Father Thomas B. Campion, 89, of West Hartford, passed away peacefully on Nov. 30, 2016, with his family by his side.

Born on Sept. 12, 1927, in Hartford, he was the son of the late Thomas M. Campion and Mary (Hanlon) Campion. His interest in sports began at an early age. Just out of high school, where he was a standout athlete, he participated in a baseball tryout camp and was offered an opportunity to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers organizations.

After his graduating from St. Joseph’s Cathedral School in Hartford and St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass. He also obtained a master’s degree in education from Fairfield University.

He was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 27, 1952, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford. Father Campion ministered at St. Paul’s Church in West Haven and devoted 27 years of service to St. Thomas Seminary as a teacher, director of athletic and coach of the baseball and basketball teams.

He then served at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Torrington and then was assigned as co-pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Wethersfield in 1983 as well as Sacred Heart Parish Wethersfield, when the two parishes were linked in 1995. When he retired from the linked parishes, the Corpus Christi School basketball court was named after him.

Father Campion played baseball in the Hartford Twilight League during his college years and continued as president of the league for many years after. He was a longtime member of the Wethersfield Country, where he was a scratch golfer.

Father Campion leaves his sister, Patricia Cobb, well as 23 nieces and nephews, more than 40 great-nieces and great-nephews and 10 grea-tgreat-nieces and great-greatnephews.

He was predeceased by his parents and sisters, Mary Sinatro, Kathleen O’Neil and Elizabeth Trenchard.

Archbishop Leonard Blair was the principal celebrant of a Mass of Christian Burial on Dec. 6 in the chapel of St. Thomas Seminary. Interment followed in Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford. Memorial donations may be made in Father Campion’s name to Corpus Christi Church or school, 84 Somerset St., Wethersfield, CT 06109. 

NEW BRITAIN – Sister Catherine McNally (Sister Joseph Theodore), a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, West Hartford, died at Monsignor Bojnowski Manor in New Britain on Sept. 23, 2016. She had been in religious life for 79 years and was 99 years of age.

She was born in Westport on June 30, 1917, a daughter of the late Thomas J. and Mary Esther (Reilly) McNally. She entered her religious order on Sept., 8, 1937, and celebrated her profession of vows on Aug. 24, 1943.

Sister Catherine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from the Diocesan Sisters College in West Hartford, a Masters of Arts degree in secondary education from Fairfield University and a Master of Library Science degree from Southern Connecticut State College, now university.

Sister Catherine taught in elementary schools in all three Roman Catholic dioceses in Connecticut.

She is survived by a sister, Sister of St. Joseph Rita McNally; her religious community; and extended family.

She was predeceased by her brothers, Holy Ghost Father P. James McNally and Robert McNally; and her sisters, Mary C. McNally and Ann Mullen.

The funeral Mass was celebrated on Sept. 28 in the chapel of the Convent of Mary Immaculate in West Hartford. Burial followed in the Sisters of St. Joseph Cemetery in West Hartford. 

WILTON – Sister Mary Driscoll, a sister of the Congregation of Notre Dame, died peacefully on Oct. 11, 2016, at Lourdes Health Care Center in Wilton.

She was born in Brooklyn, and her family moved to Waterbury when she was a child.  She graduated from St. Margaret School and Waterbury Catholic High School, then entered the Congregation of Notre Dame a year later.

In addition to her parents, John and Marie Driscoll, she was predeceased by her brother, Holy Cross Brother John Driscoll.

Sister Mary is survived by two brothers, Austin Driscoll of Mechanicsburg, Penn., and Philip Driscoll of West Hartford; a sister, Louise Davenport of Avon; three nieces and two nephews and their children; and her religious community.

Sister Mary taught on both the secondary and college levels.

She was a teacher for many years at Waterbury Catholic High School and at Notre Dame College on Staten Island, N.Y. 

She returned to Waterbury Catholic High as the principal before studying for a master’s degree in institutional administration at Notre Dame University.

Sister Mary then ministered as a financial consultant to religious communities and Catholic schools.

She also served as the treasurer of Blessed Sacrament Province of her congregation.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Villa Notre Dame in Wilton.

ANSONIA – Father Joseph Harrington Burns, 85, a priest of the Diocese of Camden, N.J., for 56 years, died on Aug. 10, 2016.

He was educated at Assumption School and Ansonia High School in Ansonia; St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield; St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt.; St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Penn.; and Villanova University in Philadelphia.

He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Camden on June 11, 1960. He then served as parochial vicar in a number of parishes in the Diocese of Camden. He was pastor of Our Lady of Victories in Landisville, N.J., and St. Anthony of Padua in Hammonton, N.J. Father Burns also was on the faculty at two Catholic high schools and was vice principal and principal at two Catholic high schools.

He retired in 2002.

Father Burns was born on Aug. 14, 1930, in Derby. He was predeceased by his parents Thomas Patrick and Irene (Harrington) Burns and a brother, Thomas F. Burns. His surviving siblings are Elizabeth M. Blanchard, Richard M. Burns, Peter F. Burns and Irene B. Brown. He also leaves 20 nieces and nephews and their children.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Aug. 20 at the Church of the Assumption in Ansonia. Interment followed at Pine Grove Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Church of the Assumption through the Jenkins King & Malerba Funeral Home, 12 Franklin St., Ansonia, CT 06401.

obit Fr Whalen Joseph F MS webHARTFORD – Father Joseph F. Whalen, 93, a Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette, died on Aug. 8, 2016, at St. Mary Home in West Hartford.

He was born July 14, 1923, in Quincy, Mass., a son of the late Clarence and Emily (Florence) Whalen. He attended school in Boston and Quincy, as well as at the U.S. Naval Hospital Corps School in Portsmouth, Va., and the U.S. Maritime Pursers Training School in Sheepshead Bay, N.Y. He served in the Navy during World War II and, after his military service, worked for the New England Telephone Co. for 32 years.

During much of that time, he struggled with an addiction to alcohol. Through the support and encouragement of a priest, he was led to Alcoholics Anonymous and faith in God. His faith drew him to the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette as a late-life vocation and, in doing so, he fulfilled his mother’s 66 years of prayer that one of her sons would become a priest. At the age of 61, he entered the order on July 29, 1984. He was ordained on Sept. 9, 1989, at the La Salette Shrine in Ipswich, Mass.

Upon his ordination, Father Whalen was assigned to serve as first councilor to the La Salette community in Ipswich. He was named parochial vicar and then co-pastor of St. James Parish in Danielson. In addition, he was a priest-chaplain at the State of Connecticut Veteran’s Home in Rocky Hill and chaplain for the Knights of Columbus in Danielson.

He founded the St. Raphael Healing Ministry and traveled worldwide celebrating many Masses and conducting healing services. In his many ministries, he was always the champion of the sick, elderly, drug addicts and alcoholics and their families.

Father Whalen ministered in this capacity into his 90s. He retired in 2015, at the age of 92, to the La Salette community in Hartford.

In addition to his confreres, Father Whalen is survived by his children Joan Berg, Audrey Hayward, Barbie Cahill, Mark Whalen and Michael Whalen, all of Massachusetts, and 12 grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brothers George, Paul, James, John, Thomas and Leo.

A Mass of Christian Burial was concelebrated on Aug. 11, in the Hartford House chapel. Burial was on Aug. 12 at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Vermont.

Contributions in Father Whalen’s memory may be made to: Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette Retirement Fund, 915 Maple Ave., Hartford, CT 06114-2330.

obit Fr Giardino Andrew OFM webWEST HARTFORD – Father Andrew F. Giardino, 86, a professed Franciscan friar for 60 years and a priest for 54 years, died on July 30, 2016, at St. Mary Home.

Father Giardino had been the longtime parochial vicar and treasurer of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Hartford.

He was born Joseph Francis Giardino on April 13, 1930, in East Rochester, N.Y., a son of Dominic and Mary (Morabito) Giardino.

After graduating from Geneva High School in 1946, he entered St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., where he studied for six years.

He was received into the Holy Name Province of the Order of Friars Minor on July 14, 1955, in Lafayette, N.J., and professed his first vows there the next year. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., in 1958 and studied theology at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., for four years. He professed final vows on Aug. 18, 1959, and was ordained to the priesthood in Washington on March 17, 1962.

Father Giardino’s first assignment in 1963 was to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, where he served as assistant treasurer and then treasurer for seven years.

In 1970, he relocated to Providence, R.I., where he was guardian and rector at St. Francis Chapel for an additional seven years. Named coordinator of personnel for the province in 1977, he relocated to St. Francis Friary in New York City, and remained there for two years.

Returning to Boston in 1979, Father Giardino served as guardian and rector of St. Anthony Shrine for three years. In 1982, he relocated to New York City for an additional two years as coordinator of personnel.

Then, in 1985, he became a member of the pastoral team at St. Francis Parish in Wanaque, N.J., where he ministered for five years.

In 1990, Father Giardino was assigned to St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish and Friary in Hartford as parochial vicar and treasurer, and served in that capacity for three years. He returned to St. Francis Chapel, as guardian and rector, in 1993, for two years.

He was then reassigned to St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in 1995, and remained there as parochial vicar and treasurer for 21 years.

Father Giardino had served on the Provincial Council from 1970-76, 1979-82 and 1982-85. He was general visitor to the Immaculate Conception Province in 2000.

He is survived by a sister, Marie Combs, and a brother, Dominic Giardino, both of Geneva, N.Y., and a brother, Anthony Giardino of Seneca Falls, N.Y.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Aug. 4 at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church. Burial was the next day at Glenwood Cemetery in Geneva.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Franciscan Friars, Holy Name Province, 144 W. 32nd St., New York, NY 10001-3202.

obit Fr Donagher James M. M.S webHARTFORD – Father James M. Donagher, 76, a Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette, of 85 New Park Ave., died on Aug. 10, 2016, at Hughes Health and Rehabilitation in West Hartford.

He was born on Oct. 11, 1939, in Hartford, a son of the late James and Rose Ann (Gallagher) Donagher. He attended the La Salette Seminary in Hartford and then junior college at the La Salette Seminary in Altamont, N.Y. He entered the Novitiate of the Missionaries of La Salette on July 1, 1959, and completed his studies at the La Salette Seminary in Ipswich, Mass. Father Donagher was ordained on May 28, 1966 at the La Salette Shrine in Ipswich.

Father Donagher first served as a prefect at the La Salette Seminary in Cheshire. He was appointed as the assistant director of vocations in Hartford in 1967 and in 1971 he was named an associate pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Hartford.

In 1978, he served as the associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Hartford. He taught himself Spanish in order to better minister to that parish. He also founded a shelter for the homeless and a soup kitchen to feed the hungry. Those ministries continue today as ImmaCare Inc.

After a period of time away from the La Salette Congregation, Father Donagher asked to return and was received into the postulancy in 2010 and the novitiate in 2011. Father Donagher made his perpetual profession in March of 2014. In recent years, he was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Lebanon, N.H., and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Hartford.

He retired to the Hartford House community in 2014.

In addition to his La Salette confreres, Father Donagher is survived by his adopted daughter, Liza Donagher Miller; two cousins, Katherine Anderson and Seamus Donagher; and many other relatives.

Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Peter A. Rosazza celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on Aug. 15 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Hartford. Burial followed the next day at Mount St. Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield.

Contributions in Father Donagher’s memory may be made to the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette Retirement Fund, 915 Maple Ave., Hartford, CT 06114-2330.

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