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 20, 1971 when parishioners settled on a site for the new St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Oxford.
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey

WATERBURY – Deacon Michael Szumigala of Waterbury, husband for 47 years of Anne M. (Phalen) Szumigala, died on Aug. 2, 2016, at Hartford Hospital surrounded by his family.

He was born on March 16, 1947, in Erie, Penn., a son of the late John and Pearl (Koschiuch) Szumigala.

He earned an associate’s degree from Post College (now University) in Waterbury and a bachelor’s degree from Charter Oak State College and studied for a master’s degree.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1965 and served on the U.S.S. McDonough. After Naval Hospital Corps School, he served with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam. After being injured in combat, he was sent to the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, where he met his wife, then a Navy nurse. They married and settled in Waterbury.

He worked as a medic for the Connecticut Department of Correction and as a state veteran service officer. He was ordained as a permanent deacon on June 19, 1981, in the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford and served as a deacon for more than 35 years, most recently at Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Waterbury.

In addition to his wife, Deacon Szumigala’s survivors include his sons, Michael G. Szumigala of Bethlehem and Andrew Szumigala of Waterbury; his daughters, Ellen Szumigala of Waterbury, Michele Ormsby of Meriden, Karen Dunn of Waterbury and Anne E. Sunderland of Rocky Hill; nine grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his brothers Raymond and Norbert and his sisters Dorothy, Delores, and Jane.

Auxiliary Bishop Christie A. Macaluso celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial Aug. 8 at Our Lady of Loreto Church.

Burial with full military honors followed in the Veterans Cemetery in Middletown.

Memorial contributions in Deacon Szumigala’s name may be made to: Disabled American Veterans, 555 Willard Ave., Newington, CT 06111; or to AmVets, 4647 Forbes Blvd., Lanham, MD 20706.

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.