Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

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st joseph medal 0488 crop webGrasping her program booklet and St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation, Claudette LaFlamme of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Waterbury talks to Father Roberto McCarthy after the ceremony on March 19. (Photo by Shelley Wolf)

HARTFORD – It was a day for celebrating the volunteers who make a parish a living faith community.

On March 19, Archbishop Leonard P. Blair awarded 188 parish volunteers drawn from 148 parishes for their exemplary service with the St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation in a ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

Each year, the archbishop bestows the honor on nominees who were selected at their parish for commendable service. Recipients give of their time and talent to enhance their parish communities in numerous ways. Some are religious education teachers, sacristans and extraordinary ministers of Communion, while others publish their parish bulletins, serve the homebound or coordinate parish events.

This year, the cathedral was filled to overflowing with the medal recipients, the pastors who nominated them for recognition and the honorees’ families and friends.

Archbishop Blair, the principal celebrant at the daytime prayer service, congratulated and thanked the honorees.

“Thank you for all the selfless and devoted service you have rendered over the years,” he said, “and continue to render to the Lord and his church, and to your local faith communities and neighbors.”

The archbishop stressed that all were gathered “to offer a Christian answer, a counter-cultural witness” to the Me Generation in which too many people put themselves first.

“We recognize, honor and thank people whose life’s motto is not ‘me, myself and I,’” he said, “but rather the motto is ‘God, neighbor and parish.’”

Archbishop Blair also took the opportunity to share his thoughts on how everyone might rise to the challenge of the archdiocese’s pastoral planning process.

He urged all those present to talk to the Lord “face-to-face” for the wisdom, belief and graces needed “to truly be the church that we are called to be and to fulfill the mission that Christ has given us.”

He also suggested the congregants to look to former Pope Benedict, who said that every great reform of the church has been linked “to the rediscovery of belief in the Lord’s eucharistic presence among his people.”

“The archdiocesan pastoral plan that we are currently undertaking can very well be looked upon as a great reform in light of our current situation and the challenges of today,” the archbishop said.

“From the beginning, I’ve asked that pastoral planning meetings begin with prayer and eucharistic adoration for the very reason that Pope Benedict gives,” he explained. “After all, what did Jesus say elsewhere in the Gospel? ‘Apart from me, you can do nothing.’

“Every bishop and priest and deacon knows it. And every one of you who devoted your life to service knows it, too,” he said. “It’s Christ alone who makes it possible for us to live a life of faith and to extend ourselves, not just with philanthropy in this world but truly with the service that comes from the heart of God ... to other people.”

Archbishop Blair then invited all present to join him in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He also blessed the St. Joseph medals and bestowed the awards on the recipients.

At the conclusion of the prayer service, honorees were invited to have their photo taken with the archbishop. While waiting their turn, a few medal recipients commented on the day’s events.

Claudette LaFlamme of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Waterbury said, “It’s unbelievable. It’s just breathtaking. I’m just in awe.”

LaFlamme said she volunteers in her parish as a sacristan, an extraordinary minister of holy Communion “and a few other things.” She said she’s been helping out for 14 years.

Marcel LaFontaine of the Shrine of St. Anne in Waterbury, who sat beside LaFlamme, said, “Same thing. I’m a eucharistic minister, run bingo, run all kinds of trips. I’m an usher.

“It’s an honor. I don’t think I deserved it,” LaFontaine added, referring to the medal and special recognition. “It’s a lot of volunteer work but you just do it. It’s just natural.”

LaFlamme concurred. “We just volunteer because we want to do it.”


The following are the recipients of the 2017 St. Joseph  Medal of Appreciation:

Eric and Janice Albetski, St. Catherine, Broad Brook

Beata Bagi, St. Elizabeth, Branford

Cecile Baker, St. Timothy, West Hartford

Christopher Ball, St. Francis of Assisi, South Windsor

Peter Bassermann, St. Therese, Branford

Alex Bednarek, St. Patrick, Farmington

Debbie Belisle, St. Louis, West Haven

Marion Berard, St. Peter Claver, West Hartford

Michael and Margaret Bianchi, St. Peter, Torrington

Jadwiga Borkowski, SS. Cyril and Methodius, Hartford

Joel Brehm, St. Peter, Canaan

Alphonse Brosseau, Holy Angels, South Meriden

Cynthia Calvert, St. Francis, New Haven

Peter Carbine, Ascension, Hamden

Eileen Carlone, St. Rose of Lima, Meriden

Susan Carlone, Our Lady of the Lakes, New Milford

James and Marianne Cassidy, Our Lady of Mercy, Plainville

Carol Chiappinelli, St. Gabriel, Milford

Norman and Joanne Choiniere, Holy Infant, Orange

Dorothy Cialfi, St. Ann, Avon

Daniel and Joan Ciesielski, St. Jerome, New Britain

Nicholas Cimmino, St. Stephen, Hamden

Marion Colella, St. Leo the Great, Waterbury

Diane Coleman, St. John Vianney, West Haven

Lino and Lucila Colon, Sacred Heart-Sagrado Corazon, Waterbury

Edward and Joyce Conlan, St. Mary Magdalen, Oakville

Marie Connors, St. Clare, East Haven

Marilyn Coppola, St. Thomas, Southington

Rose Marie Cox, St. Ann, Milford

Gerard Crotty, Sacred Heart, Bloomfield

William Curtis, St. Bridget, Manchester

Vincent and Sandra D’Agostino, St. Anthony, New Haven

Thomas Deasy, St. Elizabeth Seton, Rocky Hill

Patricia Devanney, St. Joseph, Winsted

Timothy and Mary Pat Devanney, St. James, Manchester

Luis and Carmen Diaz, Sacred Heart, New Haven

Agnes Dickinson, St. Catherine of Sienna, West Simsbury

Ann Dilling, St. Peter, New Britain

Ann Donato, Good Shepherd, Seymour

Emile Drillon, St. Thomas, Thomaston

Denis Duclos, Holy Family, Enfield

Herold and Rose Duphrezin, St. Justin, Hartford

Robert Egan, St. Michael, Beacon Falls

Shirley Erickson, St. Jude, Derby

Nicholas Fanelli, Immaculate Conception, Norfolk

Susan Ficaro, St. Brigid, West Hartford

Aurora Figueroa, St. Mary, New Britain

Margaret Fisher, St. John the Evangelist, Watertown

Carol Flament, St. Thomas the Apostle, Oxford

Thomas Foligno, St. Dominic, Southington

John Fowler, Christ the Redeemer, Milford

Guiseppe Fretto, St. Mary, Torrington

Karen Gagnon, Immaculate Conception, Terryville

Francis Gargano, St. Michael, New Haven

David Gaudreau, St. Christopher, East Haven

Evelyn Gomes, Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbury

William and Blanche Grego, St. Bernadette, New Haven

Joseph and Judy Grimard, Sacred Heart, Suffield

Peter Guandalini, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Hamden

Nelson and Anaida Guzman, St. Margaret, Waterbury

Carol Hall, Sacred Heart, Kent

Barbara Henry, St. Patrick Mission, Roxbury

Richard Hill, St. Aloysius, Plantsville

Alice Hines, St. Mary, Branford

William Hoch, St. Bartholomew, Manchester

William Ianniello, Blessed Sacrament, Hamden

Rose Jacobs, St. Therese, Granby

Stanislaw Jankowski, Sacred Heart, New Britain

Leon and Halina Jerman, Holy Cross, New Britain

Michael Jordan, St. Mary, Windsor Locks

John Jurkowski, St. Mary, Derby

Marion Kingsbury, St. Patrick-St. Anthony, Hartford

Karl and Lynn Krieg, St. Thomas Becket, Cheshire

Alese Kummer, St. Augustine, Seymour

Rachelle LaBrecque, St. Mary, East Hartford

Claudette LaFlamme, Blessed Sacrament, Waterbury

Marcel LaFontaine, Shrine of St. Anne, Waterbury

Stephen and Mary Leslie, St. Margaret Mary, South Windsor

Sebastian and Marie Listro, Mary Our Queen, Plantsville

John Lodovico, St. Anthony, Bristol

Robert Loiseau, Sacred Heart, Southbury

Irene Loman, St. Michael, Derby

Carlos and Luz Stella Lopez, St. Peter, Hartford

Raymond Lussier, St. Bridget, Cheshire

Manuel and Joyce Luzio, St. Francis, Naugatuck

Mary Lou Mancini, St. Maurice, New Britain

Anne Marchi, St. Margaret, Madison

Charles and Delores Marshall, St. Thomas, Goshen

Michael and Patricia Martucci, St. Stanislaus, New Haven

Gerald and Ellen Maust, Our Lady of Fatima, Yalesville

Carol Mazurkivich, SS. Peter and Paul, Waterbury

John McCormick, Jr., Our Lady of Sorrows, Hartford

Sandra McDonald, St. Francis Xavier, Waterbury

George McKeon, Our Lady of Victory, West Haven

Edwin and Joan Mercier, St. Francis of Assisi, New Britain

Louise Messier, St. Joseph, Meriden

Leonard and Barbara Mierzejewski, Sr., St. Stanislaus, Meriden

Dianne Miller, St. Helena, West Hartford

Carole Mulready, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, West Hartford

Regina Murawski, St. Casimir, Terryville

Denise Musco, St. Michael, Waterbury

John Narowski, Immaculate Conception, Southington

David and Regina Neri, St. Francis of Assisi, Torrington

James and Jean Nolan, St. Dunstan, Glastonbury

Carmel and Aldona Onalfo, St. Joseph, Waterbury

Jeannine O’Neil, St. Gregory the Great, Bristol

Mary Ann Parlapiano, St. Gabriel, Windsor

Ignazio Petraroia, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Waterbury

Joseph and Anne Petrini, St. Ann, Hamden

Marta Piccirillo, St. Barnabas, North Haven

Robert and Mary Piche, St. Patrick, Waterbury

Barbara Pickett, St. John of the Cross, Middlebury

Anna Pinto, Assumption, Manchester

Margaret Pinto, St. Rita, Hamden

William and Marie Pitney, St. Bernard, Tariffville

John and Barbara Pogue, St. Mary, Lakeville

Yvonne Proscino, St. John the Baptist, New Haven

Michael Quinn, Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford

Teresa Richard, St. Philip, East Windsor

Mary Anne Rockwell, Nativity, Bethlehem

Amilcar and Nancy Rodriguez, St. Joseph, Bristol

Peter and Linda Romano, St. Matthew, Forestville

David Sansoucie, Our Lady of Hope, New Hartford

William and Maria Santos, Sacred Heart, Hartford

Mary Scott, Sacred Heart, Wethersfield

Rose Selander, St. Joseph, New Britain

Richard Selinga, St. Mary, Unionville

Barbara Sellberg, St. Stanislaus, Bristol

William Shea, St. Hedwig, Union City

Eva Sittnick, SS. Peter and Paul, Wallingford

Mary Ellen Sorcinelli, Holy Rosary, Ansonia

Theresa St. Gelais, St. Patrick, Collinsville

Joan Anne Streib, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Washington Depot

Sharon Szczerba, St. Luke, Hartford

Joseph and Judith Tatta, Resurrection, Wallingford

Luz Toro, St. Lawrence O’Toole, Hartford

Anthony and Irene Torsiello, Holy Spirit, Newington

Pauline Totaro, Assumption, Ansonia

Vernette Townsend, St. Michael, Hartford

Barbara Travisano, St. George, Gilford

Frank Tyszka, St. Joseph, Ansonia

Beverly Usher, Our Lady of Grace, Bantam

Eleanor Violette, St. Isaac Jogues, East Hartford

Michael and Jennifer Volpe, St. Joseph, Poquonock

James and LouAnn Warren, St. Mark the Evangelist, West Hartford

Kenneth and Baerbel Weber, St. Robert Bellarmine, Windsor Locks

Mary Yorkshaitis, St. Mary, Union City

Rose Yurgalevicz, Sacred Heart, Torrington