Tag Archives: Henry J. Mansell

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….”

Holy Apostles Seminary Chapel dedicated

QA Chapel.jpgZacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully into his house. This day is salvation come to this house from the Lord, alleluia.

These words echo throughout the Church in Connecticut, indeed throughout the nation, as the state’s major seminary chapel is acknowledged as a place where God abides and salvation manifested.

The Bishop of Norwich, CT, Michael R. Cote, dedicated the Queen of the Apostles Chapel at the Holy Apostles Seminary (Cromwell, CT) Wednesday, the feast of the Nativity of Mary by solemn rites and prayers, the placing of relics, and praying the Mass. The 10,000 square foot Dominicum was fittingly dedicated on beautiful day giving glory to God.

And God abides with us. Based on the belief that God appointed places to be set aside for His worship, the Church through two millennia constructed places of worship taking inspiration from the Old Testament Temple so that the Sacrifice –that is, the Eucharist– could be offered, new members washed of sin and given the grace of salvation, sinners forgiven, the sick anointed, and the gospel heard and preached. Through the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ the New Covenant is made real and known to all. The church is where Christians are born and reborn in the Holy Trinity.
The abiding presence of God. As the Church Fathers have taught, and we have believed, God is everywhere with His glory particularly in heaven, the Trinity does not leave us orphan but “honors the church with His special presence, being there in a particular manner ready to receive our public homages, listen to our petitions, and bestow on us his choicest graces.” Catholics know that the church building is a sacramental, a special sign of Christ’s pilgrim church on earth journeying together to see God face to face.

What a happy day for Holy Apostles Seminary! They got a beautiful chapel establishing themselves as a serious place of prayer, study and ministry in order that God may be glorified. The Queen of Apostles chapel is designated solely for sacred purposes; it is permanent, dignified and is an image of the heavenly Liturgy. Their old chapel, a former tool shed, was meant to be temporary but lasted a long space of time that ultimately showed signs of tiredness for a growing seminary population.

Abps Mansell & Cronin.jpg

The diocesan ordinaries of the Connecticut dioceses were present (Archbishop had a special place of honor given that he’s the metropolitan archbishop) as was Hartford’s auxiliary bishop, Christie A. Macaluso and the emeritus archbishop, Daniel A. Cronin. Nearly a hundred priests attended, including a delegation of Friars of the Renewal (Fathers Benedict, Andrew, Mariusz, Bernard, Isaac Mary).
Pictures of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Rite of Dedication of a Church and an Altar can be seen at the above link.
The Middletown Press story can be read here.
The house of God is well established on a firm rock!

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

“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

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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