HARTFORD – St. Joseph Cathedral was filled to capacity on April 17 for the annual bestowal of the St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation. This year, 188 men and women, coming from what Archbishop Leonard P. Blair described as “the four corners of our local church,” were honored.
The archbishop was the principal celebrant of the liturgy, which consisted of psalmody and daytime prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours.
Each honoree was nominated and selected in his or her parish, having been recognized for exemplary service in many different capacities. They are religious education teachers, eucharistic ministers, sacristans, food pantry workers, musicians, landscapers and event planners, among other ministries.
Archbishop Blair said, “This is a very special celebration for our archdiocese. You who are representatives of the laity and religious of the archdiocese are being appropriately recognized for exemplifying service to the church. And the key words here are ‘representatives who exemplify.’ As honorees, you are outstanding representatives of many other people like you who are generous with their time, talent and treasure. Each of you exemplifies some aspect of Christian service.”
In his homily, the archbishop offered gratitude to the honorees and called them to continued service. Referring to the pastoral planning process he initiated a year ago, he asked them to rise to the challenge of the designated title of the plan, “Stewards for Tomorrow,” a process that he described as ongoing and long-term within the archdiocese.
With this challenge, the archbishop reminded the congregation that in pastoral planning, the archdiocese is responding to Pope Francis’ initiative by cultivating a ‘missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.”
Archbishop Blair was assisted by Father James A. Shanley, cathedral rector and vicar for pastoral planning; Father George S. Mukuka, chancellor; and priests and deacons of the Archdiocese of Hartford. Father Ryan M. Lerner master of ceremonies, was assisted by Father Michael A. Ruminski and Father Carlos A. Piedrahita.
Recipients of the engraved bronze medallions, blessed by the archbishop during the ceremony, received a corsage or boutonnière upon arrival and were escorted by chancery and cathedral staff to reserved places of honor. Families and friends streamed in to fill the cathedral, many, especially first-time visitors, taking photos.
James Gentile, a member of the St. Joseph Cathedral Parish, was among the honorees.
“I’m really honored to receive this, but the real gift is just being part of this parish, worshiping here, and sharing [parishioners’] lives. And I really feel that this is a family and you contribute however you can to your family. You’re there when they need you, whatever they ask, to the best of your talents, you do,” said Mr. Gentile.
He is a lector, extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and cathedral tour guide.
The 2016 St. Joseph archdiocesan Medal of Appreciation recipients and their parishes follow:
Susan Ahearn, St. Patrick-St. Anthony, Hartford; Mr. and Mrs. Martin Andexler, Holy Family, Enfield; Rosa Andrade, St. Louis, West Haven; Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Arango, St. Michael, Hartford; Annette Bailey, St. Barnabas, North Haven; Jacqueline Barbato, Resurrection, Wallingford; Jack Barletta, St. Mary, Branford; William Bates, St. Patrick, Waterbury; Gary Beloin, St. Francis Xavier, Waterbury; Dolores Benedetto, St. James, Rocky Hill; and Mr. and Mrs. Dimas Bosques, Sacred Heart-Sagrado Corazon, Waterbury.
Also, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bossie, St. Leo the Great, Waterbury; Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bouquillon, St. Catherine of Siena, West Simsbury; Gary Brown, St. Thomas, Thomaston; Ellen Buckley, St. John of the Cross, Middlebury; Sylvia Burke, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Hamden; William Byrd, St. Francis Xavier, New Milford; Mr. and Mrs. Mario Candelario, Sacred Heart, New Haven; Ralph Carpinella, Our Lady of Lourdes, Waterbury; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Cloonan, Corpus Christi, Wethersfield; Mr. and Mrs. John Conforto, St. Gabriel, Windsor; Brian Connolly, St. Patrick, Farmington; and Dr. Peter Coombs, Sacred Heart, Suffield.
Also, Shirley Cooper, Sacred Heart, Bloomfield; Joseph Coray, St. Francis of Assisi, South Windsor; Alice Crozier, St. Mary, Unionville; Mary Patricia Dalton, St. Thomas Becket, Cheshire; Mr. and Mrs. Ronald David, Holy Angels, South Meriden; Eleanor Davis, St. Philip, East Windsor; Maria deAsis, Epiphany, Cheshire; Virginia DeBaise, Most Holy Trinity, Wallingford; Mr. and Mrs. Robert DeLuzio, St. Gregory the Great, Bristol; Albert Delvecchio, St. Francis, New Haven; Mr. and Mrs. George Dixon, St. Joseph, Poquonock; Denise Dower, St. Joseph, Canaan; Hilda Dufour, St. Joseph, New Britain; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dwyer, St. Joseph, Bristol; Nancy Ecabert, Assumption, Manchester; Luanne Eminger, St. John Vianney, West Haven; Dr. Joseph Faryniarz, St. Joseph, Waterbury; Karen Finocchio, St. Ann, Avon; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Fitzgerald, Our Lady of the Lakes, New Milford; Christine Flugrad, Immaculate Conception, Southington; Kenneth Foisie, Immaculate Conception, New Hartford; Stephen Fontaine, St. Anthony, Prospect; and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Fortier, St. Patrick, Collinsville.
Also, Christine Franzosa, St. Bridget, Manchester; Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Gagne, St. Mary, Union City; Donald Gagnon, St. Bernard, Enfield; Dennis Galemba, St. Thomas the Apostle, Oxford; Kathryn Gasparini, St. Jude, Derby; Angelo Genovese, St. Matthew, Forestville; James Gentile, Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford; Colleen Green, St. Catherine, Broad Brook; Richard Guerriere, St. Anthony, Bristol; Rose Gursky, St. Mary Magdalen, Oakville; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hamling, St. Rita, Hamden; Mr. and Mrs. John Hardy, Our Lady of Mercy, Plainville; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hartmann, St. George, Guilford; and Richard Healey, St. Maurice, New Britain.
Also, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hirchak, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Harwinton; Barbara Hoffman, St. Ann, Milford; Gloria Hollo, St. Michael, Beacon Falls; Christine Holmes, St. Therese, Granby; Gloria Jimenez, St. Anne-Immaculate Conception, Hartford; Carol Jordan, St. Mary, Newington; Margaret Kessler, St. Dunstan, Glastonbury; Janusz Klin, SS. Cyril and Methodius, Hartford; Mr. and Mrs. Carl Krein, St. Francis of Assisi, New Britain; Caroline Kulasenski, St. Peter, New Britain; Wanda Kulesza, St. Stanislaus, Waterbury; Cathy LaBarge, St. Casimir, Terryville; Virginia LaFontana, St. James, Manchester; and Joseph Lapointe, St. Mary, East Hartford.
Also, Mr. and Mrs. Darryl Lefebvre, St. Robert Bellarmine, Windsor Locks; Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Lengyel, St. Francis, Naugatuck; Sandra Lopez, St. Rose of Lima, Meriden; Ann Losh, Holy Infant, Orange; Isabel Lucco, St. Helen, West Hartford; Joan Magnano, Blessed Sacrament, East Hartford; Mr. and Mrs. John Marmolejo, St. Gabriel, Milford; Mr. and Mrs. James Martin, St. Thomas, Goshen; John McCarthy, Our Lady of Victory, West Haven; Maureen McDermott, Sacred Heart, Southbury; Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDonald, St. Martha, Enfield; Mr. and Mrs. Richard McMunn, St. Stephen, Hamden; and Gail Moir, Good Shepherd, Seymour.
Also, Mr. and Mrs. Fernando Monaco, Incarnation, Wethersfield; Sophie Morton, St. Hedwig, Union City; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Murray, St. Dominic, Southington; Eugenia Nowik, St. Christopher, East Hartford; Daniel O’Connor, St. Brigid, West Hartford; Denis O’Sullivan, St. John the Evangelist, Watertown; Mr. and Mrs. John Palmeri, St. Bridget, Cheshire; Edwin Paradis, St. Ann, Bristol; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Paradis, Our Lady of Grace, Bantam; Mary Parcella, Assumption, Woodbridge; Mr. and Mrs. J. Roger Pelletier, St. Isaac Jogues, East Hartford; Mr. and Mrs. Philibert Pepin, St. Jerome, New Britain; Kathleen Persechino, Torrington Cluster of Roman Catholic Churches; and Anna Pliszka, St. Stanislaus, New Haven.
Also, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Plourde, St. Margaret Mary, South Windsor; John Podbielski, Sacred Heart, New Britain; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Puckhaber, St. Patrick Mission, Roxbury; Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Raby, St. Thomas, Southington; Paul Ravita, St. Lawrence O’Toole, Hartford; Carol Reardon, SS. Peter and Paul, Wallingford; Irene Redford, Immaculate Conception, Norfolk; Mary Renker, Holy Rosary, Ansonia; Madeleine Robinson, St. Bartholomew, Manchester; Edwin Robles, Sacred Heart, Hartford; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Roder, Sacred Heart, Kent; and Pauline Rossi, St. Ann, Hamden.
Also, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Rucci, St. Mary, Windsor Locks; Anna Russo, St. Ann, New Britain; Theresa Rustad, St. Stanislaus, Bristol; Antoinette Salvo, St. Michael, New Haven; Angelo Scacca, St. Luke, Hartford; Claire Schulz, St. Frances Cabrini, North Haven; Mr. and Mrs. John Spagnoletti, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Waterbury; Brian St. Onge, SS. Peter and Paul, Waterbury; Mr. and Mrs. John Suo, Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbury; and Andrew Suszynski, Immaculate Conception, Terryville.
Also, Marilyn Swepson, St. Elizabeth Seton, Rocky Hill; Marilyn Szymaszek, St. Stanislaus, Meriden; Mr. and Mrs. John Taillie, Mary Our Queen, Plantsville; Kay Taylor-Brooks, St. Justin, Hartford; Phyllis Thomas, St. Michael, Waterbury; Margretta Thurston, Our Lady of Fatima, Yalesville; Mr. and Mrs. Sergio Toni, St. Bernadette, New Haven; Antonia Torres, St. Augustine, Hartford; Mr. and Mrs. Edward Tycz, St. Aloysius, Plantsville; Dolores Vecchiarelli, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Washington Depot; and Mr. and Mrs. Michael Vignola, St. Augustine, Seymour.
Also, Dorothy Walsh, St. Margaret, Madison; Virginia Williams, St. Anthony, New Haven, Bernard Williamson, St. Mary, Derby; James Wilson, Our Lady of Peace, East Hartford; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wolf, St. Mary, Milford; Elaine Woody, Christ the Redeemer, Milford; Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Ziurys, Holy Trinity, Hartford; and Mr. and Mrs. Czeslaw Zygadlo, St. Michael, Derby.