Tag Archives: Archdiocese of Hartford

Missionary image of Our Lady of Pompeii visits East Haven, CT parish

Missionary image of Our Lady of Pompeii June 6 2011.jpgThe missionary image of Our Lady of Pompeii is making the rounds the various parishes in the USA strengthening the faith of the people and evoking the confidence in Christ. Tonight, the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Pompeii was brought to the parish church named for the same in East Haven, CT. Thanks to Father Matthew R. Mauriello, pastor of Saint Roch Church (Greenwich, CT) and the coordinator of the US Marian Mission of Our Lady of Pompeii.

Father John Lavorgna, pastor of the East Haven parish welcomed the bishop, clergy and the lay faithful. Mass began to strains of “Santa Maria del Camino.” Father John did a terrific job at bringing many people together for prayer and fraternity.

750 people prayed the Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by the Most Reverend Peter Anthony Rosazza and 17 priests. Three of the priests present tonight were representing the Archbishop-Prelate of Pompeii Carlo Liberati. The faithful heard a letter sent to them by Archbishop Liberati and from the Pope via the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, SDB. Bishop Peter did some parts of the Mass in Italian and others in English; he sang the propers of the Mass and the Eucharistic prayer.

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Following the Liturgy, several people prayed the Rosary, including members of the Third Order Dominicans. Because of a realization that the Rosary is gospel lived, it is known to cut off the head of evil. The Rosary connects us not only with God by way of meditating on His great of act of Love, but also the spiritual home of the Basilica of Our Lady of Pompeii with Pompeii, East Haven, CT.
The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii is traditionally observed on May 8. This feast of the Blessed Mother is recalled as result of the good work of Blessed Bartolo Longo (a man who gave his life to Christ –after a life of following spiritism and satanism. He became a Third Order Dominican and a member of the Order of Holy Sepulchre, an Apostle of the Rosary. Longo is also known for his famous Supplica, a prayer which sets one’s heart on truth and reality of the Incarnate Word of God. Blessed Bartolo might be seen as Italy’s equivalent of Saint Faustina. Longo’s mission, which ought to be ours, “is to write about Mary, to Mary praised, to have Mary loved.”

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There’s at least 8 churches in the USA named in honor of Our Lady of Pompeii: East Haven, CT, Chicago, IL, Tickfaw, LA, Baltimore, MD, Paterson, NJ, Vineland, NJ. New York, NY and Dobbs Ferry, NY.

Saint André of Montréal, brother, friend and saint: a Mass in Thanksgiving

Frère André, nous t’acclamons: Dieu t’achoisi depuis toujours. Grand ami de Saint Joseph, prie pour nous dans la gloire. (hymn by M. Dubé, OP). 

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Today the members of the Congregation of Holy Cross gathered for a Mass of Thanksgiving for the Canonization of Saint André Bessette of Montréal at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, celebrated by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Henry J. Mansell, archbishop of Hartford. About 250 people attended the Mass, including members of André Alfred Bessette’s family, a few alumni of the Notre Dame High School (West Haven, CT) and Holy Cross High School (Waterbury, CT). Several of the Brothers and Fathers of Holy Cross came from a good distance with together for this wonderful occasion. It’s not everyday that one could say that a saint has come from your region of the world! Saint André, as very young man, labored outside of his native Canada in New Hampshire and Connecticut.

Since I am a graduate of two Holy Cross institutions, Notre Dame High School of West Haven and the University of Notre Dame, today’s celebration had great meaning for me. It was at the foot of Holy Cross Brothers that I had an education, two of whom I saw at the Mass. Plus, and I have always felt close to this blessed brother, Saint André. But I didn’t learn about the Sainted Brother at Notre Dame High School; sadly, I learned about him from others than his brothers in the Congregation. A topic for another time. His attractiveness lies in his humility, his desire to make a contribution no matter what the cost no matter how menial, his constant prayer, and his openness to suffer for One who is greater than he. When I hear Brother André’s name I think of Saint John the Baptist, “I must decrease, He must increase.” In the first reading for today’s Mass the point was clear: we should glorify God in all things. And there we go… Brother André never pointed to himself and that is a rare quality today, especially for churchmen. So figure, I can learn a virtue from a humble lay brother.

The Archbishop recounted for the congregation that Alfred Bessette was born in 1845 weak in health; his father died when he was 6 and his mother died when he was 12. In a family of 12 there were tremendous needs. Therefore, Alfred didn’t attend school but labored on a farm, as a tinsmith, blacksmith, baker, a cobbler and a coachman. The finger of God could be seen in the simple and necessary work that Alfred did: these jobs allowed Alfred to meet the merciful and sustaining God. His real human need taught him to rely exclusively of God. He believed, “People worry for nothing. In times of need, their salvation will come from God.”

His friend and parish priest, Father André Provençal introduced Alfred to the Congregation of Holy Cross saying to the superior of the community, “I am sending you a saint….” It was on November 22, 1870, that Alfred made an application to the Holy Cross Congregation as a brother candidate, and given the name André, in honor of his friend. Brother André is reported to have stated: “When I entered the community, my superiors showed me the door, and I remained there these 40 years without leaving.” Imagine 40 years at the College Notre Dame as your only ministry! Brother André used to spend 6-8 hours a day receiving visitors, counseling them, healing them, being a friend to many…or simply put, being a friend who opened the door.

Making a connection with a hospital association Archbishop Mansell noted a connection Saint André: to heal the sick, to avoid things that harm a person and to be hospitable to all. This is the key to following Christ today.

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Archbishop Mansell said that for an illiterate person, while he memorized great portions of sacred Scripture including the Sermon on the Mount, the various versions of the Passion, Brother André lived the essence of Scripture. It was a gift from God that Brother André was able to call women and men to live their faith with intimacy and intensity because he himself had experienced a profound communion with Christ. Brother André showed his friends that the Cross of Jesus is our hope and the root of our communion with Christ; it is the atonement of the Cross that shows us the way to our destiny.

Holy Cross Brother Thomas Dziekan, Vicar General of the Congregation of Holy Cross, gave a post communion reflection in which he highlighted the very important fact that the reason we were all here for the Mass of Thanksgiving is that we’ve had some kind of relationship with Brother André. For Brother Thomas, and therefore I think it’s also true for us, that in simple ways, though not insignificant, God speaks to us.

The gift that Saint André relates to us the humility one needs to be aware of a profound love for God -a complete trust in Divine Providence–from which we are able to welcome, serve, pray, counsel, teach and be a brother to others. In a real sense, when Brother Thomas said this I thought that what he’s speaking of is the vocation to his Congregation. This is what it means to embrace the cross as our only hope.

But what does it mean that André is a saint? Let point to a few things: he was fully human, dependent upon and aware of God’s will; he looked on others with the eyes of Jesus; and, he prayed often with the heart, always persevering by making a holy hour, praying the rosary and observing vigils.

People will frequently note that Saint André was responsible for the Oratory of Saint Joseph in Montréal but the saint demurred: “This is not my work; it is the work of Saint Joseph. Place a statue of him in the middle of the building. If he wants a roof over his head, he’ll see that one is provided.”

One last fascinating thing of Saint André: he said once that when you say the Our Father God has his ear near your lips.

Brother André’s last words are said to have been, “Ite ad Ioseph” (go to Joseph). Even near to death André pointed his friends to Saint Joseph. He said, “It is God and Saint Joseph who can heal you, not I! I will pray to Saint Joseph for your.” On October 17, 2010, Pope Benedict raised Blessed Brother André to the altar.

Saint André of Montréal, brother, friend and saint, pray for us!

Bernadette Soubirous is the lens Communion & Liberation engages reality

Bernadette Soubirous4.jpgThe yearly Communion and Liberation Mass was celebrated earlier this evening by our friend Bishop Peter A. Rosazza, auxiliary bishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Hartford, at Saint Mary’s Church, New Haven, CT. His homily focused on the young girl that had the vision of Our Lady of Lourdes, Saint Bernadette Soubirous.

The Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated for the good of Communion and Liberation –that is, so that it remain faithful to the charism given it by the Holy Sprit and articulated by its founder, Monsignor Luigi Giussani and for the peaceful repose of the soul of Monsignor Giussani.

2011 recalls for us that today is the 29th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s approval as a valid charism for the Church. It is also the 6th anniversary of Giussani’s death.

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Autumn days at the Abbey of Regina Laudis

St Benedict, Lower Monastery Chapel.JPGThe Abbey of Regina Laudis is a special place in Connecticut; and one of the special Benedictine monasteries in the USA. I’ve been spending more time there in recent months either attending the Divine Office and/or Mass or spending a few days in St Joseph’s Guest House (for men, there are guests for women, married folks, & clergy).

One thing I learn going to monasteries or other types of religious houses is the wide variety of people who come for a brief visit to the gift shop and chapel to those visiting for professional reasons and those who are there to spend a few days making a retreat, bugging out of the “world” for a respite or those like me who just love monasteries, nuns and the culture. This past weekend we had Jesuit seminarians and a man from North Carolina connecting with distant family who happens to be a nun.
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Being among the guests you see the monastic life unfold in profound and simple ways. The profound is exemplified in thinking about contours of the nuns and a couple of laymen considering making a monastic foundation of brothers and priests at the abbey. And there were the simple ways of spending time with one of the Oblate brothers who was Holy Apostles Seminary, or another Oblate brother preparing for his diaconate ordination on Saturday. And your own learning discerning a new of living what the Lord has given. So much at Regina Laudis is rooted in the prayer and work of the land. Being a land preserve, the nuns care for the land in extraordinary ways like farming, caring for the natural way supplies, raising much of their own food, etc.
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Want to know more about the Abbey of Regina Laudis and the monastic culture found there? Come for a visit, spend a few days at the abbey and/or read Antoinette Bosco’s Mother Benedict (and read Bosco’s essay on the book).
Antoinette Bosco, a resident of Connecticut, journalist and friend of the nuns, wrote an accessible and inspiring account of the abbey’s founder, Mother Benedict Duss, OSB (+October 5, 2005). Mother Benedict was forward thinking and a pioneering nun who founded an abbey of nuns who take seriously prayer, work, culture and humanity. Bosco’s narrative tells the story of a woman who risked everything, was obedient to the Church, and trusted profoundly in God.
The abbey is home to a nun who bears a tired clichè –but all clichès are shopworn– of “the cheese nun,” who went back to school at a later age for further education which landed her a stellar PhD in microbiology that has enabled her to make brilliant contributions in the field of making cheese and promoting culture the world over. A Fullbright scholar, Mother Noella never thought that entering a monastery would lead to studying science, milking a cow, making artisanal cheese, travel extensively. Except that in all these things she followed the aphorism, that in all things God is gloried.

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So, watch the 2006 PBS presentation “The Cheese Nun” telling the story of Mother Noella Marcellino learning the ways of God and humanity through the exacting study of science, cheese-making and prayer all in an effort to know the grace of creation given by God: biodiversity reveals the ever beautiful face of the Creator.
Other Communio blog posts on Regina Laudis: the Crèchevarious pics, the Benedictine approach to holinesson a visit in August, and a story on Mother Dolores Hart.

The Crèche at Regina Laudis: The Timeless story of a birth in Bethlehem …

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If the crèche at
the Abbey of
Regina Laudis
strikes you as a little out place, there’s a good
reason. The austere Yankee barn that houses it is a world away from its previous
home. Handcrafted by artisans in Naples, the intricate nativity scene was
presented as a coronation gift to Victor Amadeus II, king of Sardina, in 1720.
It remained among Italian nobility until it was purchased by Loretta Hines
Howard, an artist and collector, in 1949. She immediately donated it to what
was then a fledgling Benedictine Abbey in, fittingly, Bethlehem, Connecticut
(although the nuns insist the name is a coincidence). 

The crèche takes a few
liberties with the traditional nativity story. Instead of a Judean village,
Bethlehem appears here somewhere on the coast of Italy. The stable has been
replaced by Corinthian columns, and the traditional kings and shepherds are
joined by a whole host of other characters, who have shed their New Testament
robes for 18th-century knickers and coats. In one corner, some
peasants argue over the contents of a stem pot. In another, a noblewoman walks
her whippet on a leash. The crowd is puzzling at first, though it may
serve  a distinct purpose. “For as
many people as there are, there are attitudes toward the birth of Christ,” says
Sister Angèle Arbib, who helps care for the crèche. She points out some figures
who seems reverential, others who seem distracted or dis-believing: “It’s so
representative. When people come here to see the crèche, they identify with
someone in here.”

And people of all faiths do come to see it. The mass of
Christmas pilgrims has returned after a recent restoration had taken the crèche
out of public view for three years. Conservators from New York’s Metropolitan
Museum of Art painstakingly repaired each of the 68 figures and the tiny
hand-sewn outfits they wear. The results are stunning. The crèche now stands as
a testament to the continued support of the community of nuns,
preservationists, and believers that has formed around it. It’s fitting. After
all, what is a nativity other than a story of people coming together?



November/December, Vol. 74, No. 6.

Abbey of Regina Laudis

273 Flanders Road

Bethlehem, CT

The crèche is open to the public daily 10-4 through Jan. 5 (closed Jan. 6-Apr. 24)


About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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