Tag Archives: Archdiocese of Hartford

27 Holy Apostles Seminarians take steps toward priesthood

Jesus says to his disciples, ask the Lord to send workers into his harvest (MT 9:38).

Bp Cote.jpg

Earlier today I attended the Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich and Chancellor of Holy Apostles Seminary (Cromwell, CT),  where he also instituted 27 seminarians in the ministries of Lector and Acolyte. These men of various ages, life experience and affiliation, are preparing for service as priests.
This was the first time these rites were performed in the new seminary chapel.

These rites are minor, but essential in the life Church as she prepares men for service as priests. All of these men have been reading the sacred Scripture at Mass and serving and bringing Holy Communion to the people. But now, they are more official in their service for without these rites they can’t be advanced to the Order of Deacon.
The Church commissions those instituted as lector with these words:
Take this book of Holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the Word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of His people.
And, for those instituted as acolytes:
Take these vessels with bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist. Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of His Church.

Bishop Cote reminded all the seminarians that as ministers of God and of the Church they are to read the signs of the times, to think with the Church, to share the Good News of the Lord and to signs of mercy for the faithful. He emphasized that priests and deacons and other ministers are to be gentle shepherds of the Gospel: nothing harsh, nothing repelling when it comes to teaching the faith and exercising the pastoral office.
My friend and neighbor, Ken Dagliere, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Hartford was one of the men given ministry of acolyte. His new ministry allows him to officially serve at the altar, expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament and cleanse the liturgical vessels if a deacon or priest is not available.

Queen of the Apostles Chapel at the Sem.jpg

Driving to and from the seminary there was a tangible experience holiness and the feeling of rightness of the event just lived: not only did I sense the presence of the Holy Spirit but also the graces of friendship and the beauty of the horizon revealed the face of God. New England color is particularly revealing of God’s interest in our lives. You know when something is “just right,” “just what it’s supposed to be.” Saint Catherine of Siena tells us that we know that grace is at work in our lives when we are who we are meant to be; in another vein: we are to strive to be what God has made us to be. It is an awareness of the Divine Plan in our lives. And so today, 27 seminarians, visiting priests and laity with the bishop asked the Holy Spirit once again make hallow the lives those called to priesthood. But lest we forget that all people have vocations: some it’s priesthood, for others it’s teaching, and others the lay life in its multiplicity of works; all are called to seek the face of Christ and to live the Gospel and the sacraments.
May Mary, Queen of the Apostles and seminarians, pray for Ken and the other seminarians as they continue their formation for priesthood.

Supporting Catholic Schools

This morning the Archbishop of Hartford, Henry J. Mansell hosted what has become the annual Columbus Day Breakfast to provide scholarship grants to students attending Catholic elementary schools in greater New Haven. The Archbishop assisted by the Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools helped us to look with fresh eyes at the need for Catholic education in greater New Haven. I am very happy to have been invited to attend this morning’s breakfast.

Some thoughts though… It was a good networking opportunity but something was missing, the reason why we dragged ourselves out of bed to have breakfast with people vaguely known but connected through our concern for Catholic education: Jesus Christ and our friendship with Him. While we are all very grateful for the $60K raised for Catholic elementary students, the absence of noting who sustains our efforts and why we are at all interested in Catholic education was for me problematic. Do-gooders are well-meaning; they can be helpful and advancing a good mission such as education. Yet, as I mentioned to a friend, I don’t care about Catholic education or any other program if we’re not helping each other seek a relationship with Jesus and try to live as Catholics (Christians, if you will). It is not a “what” that sustains our efforts in education but a “who” –it is Jesus Christ. “Remember Him,” I’d like to say?

I agree that “An education would be most impoverished if it were limited to providing notions and information and neglected the important question about truth, especially that truth which can be a guide in life” (Benedict XVI, January 21, 2008). That truth is none other than unique offer of love and salvation given to us by the Lord. It is the pursuit of Truth that makes education, formal or informal, worth it. Everything else pales. 
Anthony Cernera, President of Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT) spoke well of remembering the past and dreaming for the future. When we remember the past we hold in ourselves an attitude of gratitude for graces received. When we dream we look forward in hope for realization of the desires of the heart given by God Himself. If the Church is correct, then those who believe in Christ are obligated to hope, to live concretely in the present yet looking to the fulfillment of the promises God has made personally with each of us. Catholic education is indeed in a difficult place today with the great divorce of remembering and dreaming, faith and reason, and faith and justice. SO, yes, support Catholic education because as Mansell said, “Our schools not only provide a rigorous curriculum, but also an education for a lifetime….”

Bishop Peter A. Rosazza celebrates his 75th birthday

Peter A Rosazza.jpg

Bishop Peter Anthony Rosazza, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford, celebrates his 75th birthday today.

Our prayers are with him as he makes this milestone.

Bishop Rosazza was ordained a bishop in 1978 (31 yrs a bishop) at the age of 43 by the great Archbishop John Francis Whealon.

Since I am from New Haven, Bishop Peter (as he’s known) is a legendary character. For one, he confirmed me in 1982 at Saint Stanislaus Church (New Haven, CT) and he’s been a tireless advocate for those living on the margins of society (the poor, the immigrant, the widow).

He’s been known as a good preacher of the Gospel and attentive teacher of the faith. Significantly, Bishop Peter is also been a friend to the Communion and Liberation group of New Haven for which are we deeply grateful.

Happy 75th birthday Bishop Peter!

McGivney’s cause for beatification takes another step

The cause for beatification and eventual sainthood of Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, took
another step on September 22, 2009, with the submission of a supplemental report on
a potential miracle attributed to the priest’s intercession.

McGivney Cappuccio.jpg

The Knights of
Columbus announced today that officials from a supplemental tribunal of the
Archdiocese of Hartford -of which Fr. McGivney was a parish priest- formally
sent a new report to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints
through Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, the current postulator of McGivney’s cause. The
information gathered by the tribunal included testimonies from witnesses to the
supposed miracle as well as the statements of several medical doctors about the
circumstances surrounding the reported miracle. Dominican Father Gabriel B. O’Donnell,
the current vice-postulator and former postulator, has worked on the cause for a number
of years with the assistance of a variety people, not least was Millie Millea, the
former secretary at the McGivney Guild.

In the context praying Sext (midday
prayer), the brief ceremony in which the new report was signed and presented to
Archbishop Henry J. Mansell was attended by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, other
Supreme Officers and other Knights of Columbus officials, three relatives of
Father McGivney and a number of archdiocesan officials.

Presentation of McGivney materials.jpg

The submission of the
new report “marks an important step forward. The Vatican’s Congregation for the
Causes of Saints will now have valuable additional testimony that clarifies and
adds significantly to the original submission,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson
said.

“Father McGivney’s beatification would be an important event,” Anderson
added, “not only for Knights of Columbus, but for the many thousands of parish
priests who quietly do the Lord’s work in parishes each day and regard him as
an outstanding example for priests everywhere.  In this ‘Year for Priests’
it is an especially appropriate step forward.” When beatified, McGivney will be
the first US diocesan priest beatified.

The cause for Father McGivney’s
sainthood was opened by Hartford Archbishop Daniel A. Cronin in December 1997. In 2000, the cause was presented to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints;  Pope Benedict XVI declared
him “Venerable Servant of God” on March 15, 2008.

Father McGivney founded the
Knights of Columbus in 1882 and died on August 14, 1890 at the age of 38. At the time of
the founding of the Knights of Columbus he was a curate at Saint Mary’s Church
(New Haven, CT).

For pictures of the event see this link.

[this articled was first published at CNA and edited for
clarity] 

Visiting Bethlehem: the Abbey of Regina Laudis

Abbey of Regina Laudis chapel int.jpgOne of the blessings in Connecticut is the presence of Abbey of Regina Laudis, a monastery of nearly 40 Benedictine nuns in the hills of Litchfield, County (in the Archdiocese of Hartford). Looking out in the choir there were 5 white veil novices and 1 postulant among the other professed nuns.

I went to the abbey with Father Ignacio today so that he could celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass for the nuns since they are without a resident chaplain. Father Ignacio is a newly ordained priest of the Bridgeport Diocese currently serving at Saint Rose of Lima Church (Newtown, CT). Mass at the abbey follows the Mass of Pope Paul VI, also called the Novus Ordo (the new Order [Mass]). Often Mass is celebrated using the Latin language except for the Scripture readings and homily. However, the Mass is often in English with the Latin chants.
Like a number of monasteries and convents the sisters are without a resident priest these days. And you can guess the reasons for this. The abbey’s past chaplain, a Benedictine monk, transfered his vow of stability from his abbey of profession to another. Thus, he had to move to his new abbey.
I was happy to be at Regina Laudis again after being away for 2 years. This time was especially happy because I was able to meet Mother Placid again after 9 years (I don’t usually call on the nuns for a visit when I stop in for a visit to the bookstore and chapel). Mother Placid is the first American vocation to stay at the Abbey with the foundress, Lady Abbess Benedict. As Providence would have it, I greeted the mother of a former student. And from a distance I saw a former classmate from the seminary. Amazing who one meets at a bucolic Benedictine monastery.
As a side note, the nuns are land based. Meaning, they farm the land by raising vegetables, tending the forest, raising a beef herd for local consumption and dairy cattle for the abbey’s use. Many of the nuns are professionally trained in the various sciences to assist in the proper use of the land. The good and proper use of the land is a particularly Benedictine characteristic. The nuns tend to the beauty of creation as a theological statement of belief in the Incarnation.
Dancing sheep ARL.jpgAdditionally, the abbey has through the years attracted women from all walks of life and pedigree: some have been lawyers, physicians, artists, poets, actresses, theologians, minor nobility and the like. Mother Foundress’ leadership and vision was the result of the integration of faith and reason. She knew deeply the Catholic tradition of the religious, artistic and intellectual life. Hers was a monastic life that is virtually unknown in the United States. Regina Laudis is likely one of 4 or 5 similar monasteries of women. Historically, Mother Benedict knew personally Popes Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI and all of them encouraged the Foundress to keep alive Benedictine culture, ecumenism, the Latin chants and the intellect (that is, if a woman came to the abbey is a professional credential, or later earned one, she was keep current in that field).
A good read is Antonette Bosco’s biography, Mother Benedict: Foundress of Regina Laudis

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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