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 15, 1872 when the first baptism was recorded at St. Peter's Church, New Britain. The child's name was, Joseph Graff.
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BLOOMFIELD – Notre Dame High School in West Haven and Xavier High School in Middletown have announced fund-raising campaigns aimed toward improving their campuses.

Xavier High School unveiled plans on Sept. 14 to build a new athletic complex, expand its fine arts program and increase classroom space.

The “Sustaining Excellence” capital campaign was announced at the school’s 50th anniversary gala.

The $8.5-million comprehensive campaign began without fanfare on July 1, said Matt Strekel, ’99, director of advancement, and has raised more than $3 million so far.

Class of 1981 members Robert Guere and Brian Hetherington are co-chairmen of the campaign.

The school hopes to raise the remaining $5.5 million in the next four years. Technology improvements and growing the school’s annual fund are also part of the campaign. The athletic complex  is designed to feature a new turf football/multipurpose field, track, baseball field and athletic facility that would house coaches’ rooms, team rooms, concession stands and ticket booths.

Meanwhile, Mr. Strekel said, varsity football and baseball home games will be played at Palmer Field.

The fine arts building would provide needed space for the school’s music program, which has been growing steadily for a number of years and now serves about 125 students. The plan would also create additional classroom space within the main building.

Information is available from Mr. Strekel at 860-347-6079.

With the completion of funding and the opening of Notre Dame High School’s Arts, Technology, and Spiritual Center in September 2012, Notre Dame is turning its attention to its outdoor facilities, the school announced Sept. 18. Its $2-million “Fields of Dreams” campaign is aimed toward upgrading the athletic fields, adding fencing and providing a new campus entrance.

“It gives me great pride to know that this project will modernize our campus with synthetic turf fields for our outdoor sports teams [track, cross country, football, baseball, soccer, and lacrosse] and benefit all of our students through physical education classes and intramural and club activities,” said Holy Cross Brother James Branigan, school president, who was also the cross country and track coach in the 1970’s during his first tenure at Notre Dame.

Brother James added, “We took care of the inside of Notre Dame in our last campaign. Now is the time to tackle the outside fields, so that our exterior appearance reflects the same standards of excellence achieved inside the school. It will also improve our overall campus appearance to continue to secure our future ‘On the Hill’ here in West Haven.”

Notre Dame will officially launch its campaign with a reception from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 6 for loyal benefactors, former athletes and members of the Notre Dame community. It is open to the public, but organizers are asking attendees to make reservations.

Reservation forms and more information about the campaign may be found at

The WBA Group, a firm that specializes in athletic facility design and landscape architecture, has prepared a campus master plan.

The project will include replacement of the front and side fields with artificial turf, and renovation of the track. Security fencing, perimeter fencing and lighting, realigned parking and a newly landscaped entrance to the campus also will be included.

Brother James and the board of directors have stipulated that no construction may begin until the project is fully funded by donations.

The school will continue to use Veteran’s Field for its home football, soccer and lacrosse varsity games as well as its Quigley Stadium for the home baseball field.

Every student participates in outdoor physical activities during his four years there, in intramurals, gym classes or interscholastic sports. More than two-thirds of the current students compete at the varsity, junior varsity or freshman levels.

Information about Notre Dame’s campaign is available from Kathy Wielk, vice-president for advancement, at 203-933-1673, ext. 214, or; or Tom Marcucci at 203-933-1673, ext. 220, or