Tag Archives: Diocese of Bridgeport

Being a Catholic Priest–and Married, salient reflections….

A dear friend of mine, Father Richard Cipolla published an article today in the Wall Street Journal on what it means for a faithful Christian to belong to Christ faithfully, moving from an Episcopal Church to full communion with the Catholic Church and being a married Catholic priest. The life of sacrifice and joy is clear in Cipolla’s story. For me, it is a testament of grace to know Father Richard and his wife, Cathy, and to have met his children. Wouldn’t be good if all the clergy could say that with conviction and love. Last week Father Richard celebrated his anniversary of ordination to the Catholic priesthood on January 28 in the Diocese of Bridgeport. Let us pray for him and Holy Mother Church.

The WSJ article follows:

Being a Catholic Priest–and Married

The pope has created a new diocese for bringing Episcopalians into the church.

By Richard Cipolla

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Last month, Pope Benedict announced the formation of an American “ordinariate,” or special diocese for Episcopal congregations that want to move to Roman Catholicism (driven largely by Episcopalianism’s liberal drift). These congregations, the pope ruled, could keep some of their Anglican liturgy. More significantly, a small but sizable number of married Episcopal priests will now become married Catholic priests.

As a married Catholic priest ordained in 1984 under a special provision set forth by Pope John Paul II (for individual priests, judged on an individual basis), I have closely followed Pope Benedict’s announcement. I rejoice in this catholic and generous gesture by the pope and am overjoyed that these priests and their families will be welcomed into the Catholic Church. But that is not to say it won’t bring its own share of challenges.

My experience as a married Catholic priest for 28 years brings to mind several thoughts, both practical and spiritual. First, the church must support new priests’ families financially. During my first years as a married Catholic priest, there were times when we could not pay the heating bill. When I was ordained, it was made quite clear to me that I should not look to the church as my main source of income but rather to a full-time job outside of the church. My parish duties have thus always been secondary.

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4 new priests ordained for the Diocese of Bridgeport

4 new priests Dio of Bport 2010.jpgThe Most Reverend William E. Lori ordained four deacons to the holy priesthood of Jesus Christ today at Mass celebrated at the Cathedral of Saint Augustine, Bridgeport, CT. The newly ordained priests, Fathers Jeffrey Couture, Karol Ksiazek, Jaime Marin-Cardona and Michael Novajosky will serve in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Bishop Lori spoke eloquently about the need for the priest to be both disciple and shepherd of Jesus Christ. A “theme” of the Scriptures proclaimed at Mass, particularly Psalm 23, 1 Peter 5 and John 10.  I think one can argue that a failure to live with both dimensions of priesthood (the common & ministerial) constantly in heart and mind is a lack in understanding of the vocation given by the Lord which could lead to mistakes in the exercise of the priesthood. Sure, there may be times when the shepherd aspect of a priest’s life may be more evident but the sitting at the feet of the Lord is required of any good shepherd. That is, one can’t be a shepherd if one is not first a disciple! The bishop related a story from the experience of the late Cardinal James Hickey who quietly yet confidently tried to live his priesthood as both disciple of Jesus and to act as a good shepherd for the flock his was given to lead to heaven.
The bishop also exhorted the newly ordained and those present to practice what we say we believe. Integrity of life is so very needed for the witness to be credible. Those who despise the Church cannot assail the Church and her ministers (the faithful included) if how one lives is in accord with what one professes to be true.
One small and interesting item happened at the Litany Saints –when the Church kneels and those to be ordained lay prostrate on the floor in humility– asking the saints to intercede for us, the cantor invoked the intercession of Saint Oliver Plunkett, the sometime Primate of Ireland of the 17th century convicted of treason by England and killed for the faith at Tyburn. Plunkett was the last martyr to die in England; he was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1975. And this is an example of something that can make you go “hmmmm” in the sacred Liturgy. Nevertheless, I was elated someone has a devotion to Plunkett!
At the conclusion of the Mass Bishop Lori announced to the congregation the assignments of the new priests:
Reverend Father Jeffrey W. Couture will be at the Saint Edward the Confessor, New Fairfield
Reverend Father Karol J. Ksiazek will be at Saint Therese, Trumbull
Reverend Father Jaime Marin-Cardona will be at Saint Joseph, South Norwalk
Reverend Father Michael P. Novajosky will be at Saint Jude for the summer before returning to Rome to complete his studies for the License in Sacred Theology (Patristics)

Bishop William E. Lori observes 15 years as bishop

Bp Lori blessing bells, St Philip Norwalk.jpgGod, eternal shepherd, You tend Your Church in many ways, and rule us with love. Help Your chosen servant William as pastor for Christ, to watch over Your flock. Help him to be a faithful teacher, a wise administrator, and a holy priest.

Bishop William Edward Lori, the 4th bishop of Bridgeport, observes his 15th anniversary of consecration as bishop today.
In 1995, James Aloysius Cardinal Hickey with William Wakefield Cardinal Baum and Bishop William George Curlin, consecrated Father William Lori to the order of bishop. He served the Archdiocese of Washington as auxiliary bishop and titular bishop of Bulla.

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In 2001, Bishop Lori was translated to the Bridgeport Diocese succeeding Archbishop Egan.
Lori serves not only the local Church but the Church in the USA by being a member of several committees on the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, as Supreme Chaplain to the Knights of Columbus and various civic boards.
On May 14 Bishop Lori will celebrate 33 years a priest.
We grateful to God for the person of Bishop Lori. May God grant him many years!

Looking at Benedict through another lens –truth

The picture one is getting in the press today of Pope Benedict is that of an out-of-touch old man in 3000 miles away. Somehow from what is commonly known and personally experienced of Benedict XVI, I don’t quite think the editors of the NY Times and other press agencies have it right, much less some scheming lawyers trying to make as much money off the sexual abuse crisis. I sometimes wonder if the newspapers and legal profession comprehend reality as it is presented or if fiction is the only genre worth digesting in their diets.

Bishop William Lori offers another view of the Pope, and he outlines some interesting facts of the clergy sex abuse industry and what the Church actually did in an article titled, “The Holy Father I Know.”

Basilica made in Stamford, Connecticut by Pope Benedict

St John the Evangelist Bas.jpgThe Catholic faithful with their bishop, the Most Reverend William E. Lori, their pastor, Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni and parochial vicars, gathered at the newly established Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist (Stamford, CT) tonight for Solemn Vespers and Benediction on the occasion of the Church receiving the dignity of a minor basilica by the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Benedict, XVI. It is one of 66 basilicas in the United States at this time. Also in attendance were Bishop Paul, Eparch of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Stamford and Bishop Basil the eparch emeritus with about 40 priests and seminarians.

Providing an honor guard were the Knights of Columbus, the Order of Malta and the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
Tonight’s ceremonies commemorated the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. In the Diocese of Bridgeport the only church which ranks higher than Saint John’s is the Cathedral of Saint Augustine, the seat of the bishop, which holds first place and the greatest dignity. The Basilica enjoys a special relationship with the Pope because it becomes his church, especially should he visit the diocese.
The designation was made last fall and noted here.

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In order for Saint John’s to have been recognized as a minor basilica by the Holy Father, upon recommendation by those concerned with such work, certain criteria had to be followed as outlined by the 1989 document, Domus Ecclesiae (the House of God). Namely, that the church be exemplarly noted for her praying the Liturgy, the sacred music performed for prayer, the teaching of the faith, a place of beauty, enjoy a good reputation in the diocese and a place of pilgrimage for the faithful.

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There are three ecclesiastical symbols (“decoration”) for the new basilica to display, two originated for papal processions: 1) the liturgical umbrella, also called the papal pavilion (umbraculum) used to shield the pope from harsh weather and to signal the pope’s movement through the streets; the pavilion is constructed in the yellow and white papal colors used since the 9th century which originally were the colors of the Roman Senate; 2) the papal bell (tintinabulum) which announces a pope’s arrival; and 3) the basilica is privileged to use of the papal symbols of the tiara with crossed keys in a design of a coat of arms (seen to the right),

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The coat of arms was designed by heraldic artist, the Very Reverend Canon Matthew R. Mauriello, pastor of Saint Roch’s Church, Greenwich, CT. The motto, “Behold your Mother” (John 19:27) was spoken to Saint John by Our Lord entrusting His mother to Saint John’s care. The motto also recalls the traditional title of Saint John’s Parish as the Mother Church of Stamford.
Father Matthew’s design evokes redemption by Christ with the use of the gold cross. With other symbols, connections are made with Benedict XVI, Blessed Pope Pius IX, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Diocese of Bridgeport and the symbol of Saint John the Evangelist.
The sacred music for the Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was beautifully done by the Basilica schola under the direction of Scott Turkington, who after 11 years, is taking a job as the director of music at the Charleston, SC cathedral. The psalmody was executed well so that all knew their respective parts. The schola sang Palestrina’s Tu es Petrus, Victoria’s Magnificat and Tantum Ergo along with the Vesperal psalmody.
In his homily the bishop made the connection with the Blessed Mother and Saint John the Beloved Disciple and the paradigm the are for the Church and thus for us today. Bishop Lori reminded us of the feast of the Chair of Peter we celebrate today and the closeness we have with the Pope especially now with the basilica dignity. As the Lord entrusted to the Apostles the proclamation of the Gospel and administration of the sacraments, so the Church today is charged with the same work to spread the message of salvation. As the Church’s faith is built on the rock of Saint Peter, the prince of the Apostles, 1st among equals, and the embodiment of the Church office, especially the papacy, our faith is made firm, we are given freedom to profess Christ and to remain vigilant until the Second Coming of the Savior.
We were happy to receive a resolution from Her Excellency, M. Jodi Rell, Governor of Connecticut read by her assistant governor and messages from Stamford’s Board of Alderman and the Mayor.
The Stamford Advocate ran an online slideshow presentation on February 23.

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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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