Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

As we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Archdiocese, we look back… on July 22, 1960 when ground was broken for St. Philip Church, East Windsor.
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey

HARTFORD – A mathematics instructor, sales account representative, retired banker and retired state police lieutenant are among the nine men Archbishop Henry J. Mansell will ordain to the permanent diaconate on June 5.

The ordination will take place at 11 a.m. June 5 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

The nine will join 165 active and 50 retired permanent deacons currently serving throughout the Archdiocese of Hartford this year, the 37 th anniversary of the diaconate in the Archdiocese.

Members of the order of deacon are ordained clergy who serve in various ministries of the word, liturgy, and charity and justice. They include serving during Mass; proclaiming the Gospel and, at times, preaching; officiating at wakes and funerals; witnessing marriages; bringing viaticum to the dying; solemnly baptizing; being an ordinary minister of holy Communion; promoting charity; and advancing social justice.

Many deacons are married. Many continue in their jobs or careers while serving the Church. Single men who are ordained deacons make a promise of celibacy, and may not marry after they are ordained.

A year of aspirancy and four-year formation program are required. The formation program has theological, pastoral and spiritual elements.

As part of the ordination ceremony, the new deacons are vested by priests who have influenced them and their vocations.

Information about the new deacons and their vesting clergy follows:

• Richard H. Hamel, 61, is a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Harwinton, where he is the parish business manager. He formerly was a systems analyst and development specialist for Prudential Financial.

Mr. Hamel also is commissioned as a lay minister in liturgy, an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and a recipient of the archdiocesan St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation. He has been a parish trustee, president of the parish council and member of a Small Christian Community core team.

He and his wife Irene have two grown children and live in Harwinton.

He will be vested by his pastor, Father Allan J. Hill.

• A native of Waterbury, Alexander López is the son of the late Deacon Alejandro López. He is a senior quality assurance technician in Waterbury. He belongs to Sacred Heart/Sagrado Corazón Parish in Waterbury, where he is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, baptism preparation coordinator, catechist and music ministry member and is involved in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program.

He and his wife Judith are the parents of three grown children and live in Oakville.

He will be vested by Father John C. Blackall, who is retired and living in West Hartford.

• Edwin López, 49, who is not related, also is a member of Sacred Heart/Sagrado Corazón Parish in Waterbury. He will be vested by its pastor, Father Carlos M. Zapata.

Mr. López was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, and works as a property manager. He is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, assists in the sacrament of baptism and trains and schedules altar servers. He is also active in the Knights of Columbus and Cursillo.

He and his wife Maria have a daughter and son and live in Waterbury.

• A mathematics instructor at a state technical school, Roberto Lugo, 62, was born in San Santurce, Puerto Rico. He is a member of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Wallingford, where he has been an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, coordinator for the Stations of the Cross, a speaker for the RCIA program and a visitor of the sick.

He and his wife Carmen D. Jiménez have two grown children.

Mr. Lugo will be vested by Father Isaac J. Calicchio of the Franciscan Friars, parochial vicar of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Meriden.

• Sixty-year-old Ernest H. Pagliaro Jr. is a sales account executive for the Hudson Paper Co. in Stratford.

A Derby native, he is a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Waterbury. His pastor, Father Frederick M. Aniello, will be his vesting clergy.

Mr. Pagliaro is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and parish lector, is active in youth ministry and is a pastoral care volunteer at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury. He also is a member of the Militia Immaculata, founded by St. Maximilan Kolbe.

Mr. Pagliaro and his wife Louellen have three grown children: two sons and a daughter.

• Clifford Eric Thermer, 48, is a retired Connecticut State Police lieutenant who now is a visiting professor of management at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

A Waterbury native, he has taught religious education at his parish, St. Timothy in West Hartford, for the past three years. He is a fourth degree member of Pope John Paul II Assembly 3000 of the Knights of Columbus in West Hartford and the Rev. Francis O’Neill Council, a pastoral care volunteer at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford and a member of the board of directors for the Connecticut State Police Academy Alumni Educational Foundation.

He and his wife Cathryn are the parents of Sara, 16; and Jesse, 10.

Father Aidan N. Donahue, formation director of the diaconate program and Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Bloomfield, will vest him.

• A native of the Bronx, N.Y., 42-year-old Michael Torres is a member of St. Mary Parish in East Hartford. His pastor, Father John P. Rohan, will vest him.

A professional fund accountant, Mr. Torres is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and a lector for his parish and volunteers at Riverside Rehabilitation Center in East Hartford.

He and his wife Caroline live in East Hartford.

• A member of St. John of the Cross Parish in Middlebury, Michael J. Walsh, 61, will be vested by his pastor, Father Thomas Barry.

Born in Waterbury, Mr. Walsh is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, lector, altar server and teacher in religious education programs. He also is a volunteer at Garner Correctional Facility in Newtown.

Now retired, he had been a banker at Naugatuck Savings Bank.

He and his wife Rose Marie have two grown children.

• Michael Ward is a program administrator for the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.

Father Stuart H. Pinette, Pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Rocky Hill, will be the vesting clergy for Mr. Ward, who is a member there as well as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, lector and member of the RCIA team.

Mr. Ward, 54, also has served on the Archdiocese of Hartford’s committee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

He and his wife Krystyna have two grown children and live in Rocky Hill.

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.