To all Pastors:
On Saturday, November 15, the Synod General Delegates unanimously approved the attached Declaration. I would ask that you please publish the Declaration in your bulletins and make it available to all your parishioners as soon as possible.
It is also my intention that there be an summary update provided by the Synod Office after each of the General Sessions, and I would please ask that, when you receive that material, you provide the summary to your community in a timely manner.
If you need any additional information about the Synod process, or additional Synod materials, please contact Msgr. Dariusz or Patrick Turner in the Synod Office.
Frank J. Caggiano - DECLARATION
Following the First General Session of the Fourth Diocesan Synod, September 20, 2014
On Friday, September 19, 2014 Bishop Frank Caggiano signed the official decree opening the Fourth Diocesan Synod at the Vespers Service held at Saint Augustine Cathedral. The next morning, starting at 8 AM, the First General Session of the Synod was opened. The event took place at Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Trumbull, CT.
Close to 400 General Delegates, Observers, Theological Experts, Ecumenical Observers, the Synod Commission and various committee members participated in the session. After the Morning Prayer, Deacon John DiTaranto presented a demographic overview of the Diocese, to help the Delegates understand the scope of Fairfield County and the Diocese of Bridgeport.
Immediately after, he followed with the 1st Synod Theme presentation “Empower the Young Church”. The 2nd Theme “Build Up Communities of Faith” was presented by Mr. Bob Rooney and Ms. Marie Pascale. Father Peter Towsley reported on the 3rd Theme: “Foster Evangelical Outreach”. Finally, Mr. Michael Tintrup and Mrs. Barbara Ripp spoke of diocesan charitable outreach reporting on the 4th Theme: “Promote Works of Charity and Justice”. Each of these presentations was data-driven to provide a solid understanding to all present on the scope and scale of the issues before us. After each of these report the General Delegates had 40 minutes to discuss the reports at their tables and then make public comments or submit thoughts by email that could be presented to all present. At the close of each discussion, Bishop Caggiano gave “homework” to all Delegates and to all in the Diocese of Bridgeport in form of the questions presented below:
1. Empower the Young Church.
a) How do our programs, initiatives, and behavior exacerbate some of challenges identified in each presentation?
b) Evidence indicates that many of our young people face a fundamental challenge – many do not believe they are lovable or loved. We need to reflect on this further and ask: – Is that your experience? Our experience?
c) Is technology just a tool, or has technology become a formational force? Technology is no longer a “play thing”; evidence indicates that it is now forming human persons in significant ways, especially those who have been exposed to various forms of technology since birth. For those of an older age, technology remains a tool. For young people, who are growing up with technology and social media, some studies indicate that they are undergoing physiological changes, which means that they are thinking, communicating and socializing in new ways. Technology may even be altering how their brain is formed. What do these changes mean for our ability to form and evangelize our people?
d) Non-affiliated does not mean non-spiritual. Some youth and young adults do not believe that a community is important in their search for God. Could it be that one of the root causes is that there is a need to reestablish the credibility of the community for our young people? They see us as well meaning and nice, but their search does not require them to be with us. They do it on their own. Is this your experience? Our experience?
2. Build Up Communities of Faith.
a) Is community the right word to use? What is common among the three categories?
b) What makes a family a family?
c) What makes a Catholic school Catholic?
d) With regards to parish life, when does the strength of a former age become a weakness or liability in our current age?
e) We are often tempted to choose between alternatives (i.e. just this OR that) in pastoral ministry, when the Catholic response is usually inclusive of many different approaches when serving people. Where is the “and” in all that we reflect upon?
3. Foster Evangelical Outreach.
a) What is the good news of the Gospel? What is the good news of the Gospel for me?
b) The means we use matter – At the heart of Evangelization is the recognition that we need to embrace the Truth (who is Jesus Christ) and the truths of our Catholic Faith (the things we profess and believe). How do you convey both?
c) There was a time when people came to us; now we have to go to them. How can we do this, one person at a time?
d) The question Jesus asked in the Gospel remains the single most important question each Christian must ask: “Who do people say that I am”? What does the world (for example; Catholics who are no longer with us, social media, or mass media) say about Jesus Christ? Who do YOU say that I am?
4. Promote Works of Charity & Justice.
a) What happens when it is not easy to fit charity and justice together?
All the faithful of the Diocese of Bridgeport were encouraged to comment on these questions through www.2014synod.org. The Synod will next meet in General Session on February 7, 2015.
The General Delegates of the Synod promulgated this summary of the First Session during the Second General Session of the Synod on November 15, 2014.
PILGRIMAGE WITH BISHOP CAGGIANO TO ITALY & SICILY - July 13-23, 2015. For info click here
Facebook Pages: www.facebook.com/FairfieldCountyCatholics & www.facebook.com/BridgeportDiocese
Bible Studies at Parishes in Fairfield County click here.
Youth Groups in Fairfield County click here
High School Youth Webpage: www.dob-youth.com
Young Adults Webpage: www.dob-ya.com
Fairfield County Catholic Newspaper Smartphone FREE APP: go to App Store, search for Fairfield County Catholic
Mobile Website for iPhone: from iPhone go to http://www.bridgeportdiocese.com
THE BRIDGEPORT DEACON to view monthly newsletter click here.
PRAYER FOR PRIESTS - view/download Prayer Cards:
Please pray for . . .
Office of Vocations
“The Lord anointed us in Christ with the oil of gladness, and this anointing invites us to accept and appreciate this great gift: the gladness, the joy of being a priest. Priestly joy is a priceless treasure, not only for the priest himself but for the entire faithful people of God: that faithful people from which he is called to be anointed and which he, in turn, is sent to anoint.” – Pope Francis, Chrism Mass Homily 2014
Bridgeport Vocations social media
Free discernment resources: http://www.gopriest.com
Consider printing this prayer (prayed daily by our seminarians) in your bulletin
Father, In your plan for our salvation, you provide shepherds for your people. Fill you Church with the spirit of courage and charity. Raise up worthy priests for your altars and ardent, but gentle servants of the Gospel. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Visit our website for upcoming events and more information www.bridgeportvocations.org
December 21, 2014 - 4th Sunday of Advent
This Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Advent, brings much expectation to everyone. Expectation keeps us young—we look to the future and instead of the past. There are new possibilities in life when seen with the eyes of expectation. Christmas is great every year, but only great for those who are expecting “Emmanuel—God with us” in faith and wonderment. In the Gospel, Luke teaches us about the child to be born. He wants our affirmation in faith that Jesus’ origin is that he is born from God. Secondly, Luke brings out the role Baby Jesus will play in salvation history. Taken from the first reading, God promised David that his dynasty (throne) would stand firm forever. We know Mary was highly favored by God and blessed among all women. It was her great faith that made her respond, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done according to your word.” We are always invited to follow Mary’s faith that God prepared in her.
December 25, 2014 - Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ, Christmas Day
Christmas Prayer of Pope JohnXXIII
O sweet Child of Bethlehem, grant that we may share with all our hearts in this profound mystery of Christmas. Put into the hearts of men and women this peace for which they sometimes seek so desperately and which you alone can give to them. Help them to know one another better, and to live as brothers and sisters, children of the same Father. Reveal to them also your beauty, holiness and purity. Awaken in their hearts love and gratitude for your infinite goodness. Join them all together in your love. And give us your heavenly peace. Amen.
December 28, 2014 - The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Today as we celebrate Holy Family Sunday, our society can learn a several things from the Scripture readings and by following their model. In the readings we hear of the faith of Abraham and Sarah for as in their old age conceived a son, Isaac. Through this act, God shows his love and faithfulness. The family is therefore the sign of faith of human beings and of love of God. God is faithful to his promises; faith becomes the source of hope and happiness for his family. We should always place our trust in God’s promises. Abraham believed God’s promises and put his faith in him and lived that in every phase of his life. This week we should remember the words of the Psalm “The Lord remembers His covenant forever.”
“POPE FRANCIS AND THE PROMISE OF FAMILY” featuring Dr. Scott Hahn & Kimberly Hahn, and Dr. Allen Hunt – Open to all on Sat., Apr. 18, 2015 from 8:30am-5pm at All Saints School in Norwalk, concludes with Mass celebrated by Bishop Caggiano. Inspiration, encouragement and creative solutions to the challenges of married life and parenting in today's world as envisioned by Pope Francis. For reservations click here. For Marriage Page click here.
Application for Youth Delegates
Youth Co-Delegates Requirements (includes details & dates)
Youth Delegates Requirements (includes details & dates)
Group Registration for Youth Sessions Co-Delegates
Liability form for Youth Co-Delegates Synod 2014
Liability form for Youth Delegates Synod 2014
Liability form for Adult Chaperones for Youth Sessions Synod 2014
ATTENTION ALL FACEBOOK USERS: Please “Like” these new Facebook pages from the Diocesan Office for Faith Formation. In this challenging time for youth and families, these pages will be a source of information and inspiration: Marriage and Family - Diocese of Bridgeport, Diocese of Bridgeport - Adult Formation and Youth Ministry – Diocese of Bridgeport.
Resources for Marriage & Family Life on USCCB Website: resources that can enhance and assist your marriage and family life ministries. First, the successful and popular website "For Your Marriage" (www.foryourmarriage.org) Read the news release describing it at: www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-069.shtml. Second, a special marriage and family website completely in Spanish (www.portumatrimonio.org). This is an original website, modeled on "For Your Marriage" not simply a translation of it. Here you will find advice, stories, testimonials, videos and other resources that are culturally-responsive to the needs of Spanish-speaking couples and parents.
La USCCB ha creado una nueva página web sobre Matrimonio y Familia completamente en español (www.portumatrimonio.org). Esta es una página muy original, modelada según “for your marriage”, pero no es una simple traducción de ésta. Aquí podrás encontrar consejos, historias, testimonios, videos y otros recursos que son respuesta a las necesidades de parejas y padres de habla hispana.You can read the news release describing "por tu matrimonio" at: http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-030.shtml
VIRTUS TRAINING: To download the list of dates, places, and times as of June 9, 2014 click here
To see the VIRTUS Protecting God's Children brochure translated in Portuguese click here.
Protecting God's Children for Adults: "Instagram: Photo and Video Posting Dangers for Young People" click here for article by Robert Hugh Farley, M.S. on geo-tagging/locating children's whereabouts.
IMPORTANT SAFE ENVIRONMENT REMINDER FOR ADULTS 18 and older:
All Priests, Seminarians, Religious Sisters and Brothers, Deacons, Lay Employees, Volunteers and Independent Contractors (full time, part-time, per-diem and substitutes) - even if they are not working with children, must have the following safeguards in place.
2014 ANNUAL BISHOP'S APPEAL
The Development Office staff is available to support you during the Appeal. Please see updates and information below for the 2014 Annual Bishop’s Appeal and check back weekly for updates. Please contact us with any questions or for support at 203-416-1479. Thank you for your assistance and we look forward to a successful year.
To download this jpeg file click here
Thank you again for your effort on behalf of the Annual Bishop’s Appeal. Please contact us if you need assistance.
2014 Annual Bishop’s Appeal Prayer
"Father, you have blessed our minds and hands to do your work, and as we gather, we seek your guidance in planning for the 2014 Annual Bishop’s Appeal. In it we want to faithfully serve you by building a bridge of hope to those in need, in our parishes, schools, communities, and with our clergy and religious. We pray you will enlighten us in ways to secure the means to provide for others. We pray that each ministry will fulfill and restore individuals. For those who are away from the Church, we pray the Holy Spirit will draw them to you. For those who lack, we pray they will be filled. We ask for your blessings on our parishioners and donors who give freely from their hearts and respond to God’s call of caring for their neighbor. We thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen."
2014 Pastors Leadership Guide: The Pastors Manual is available on-line by clicking here. If you have any questions please call the Development Office at 203-416-1479. We look forward to supporting and working with you.
2014 In Pew Processing Instructions click here
2014 Summary Report Sheet click here
Form A click here
Form B click here
Form C click here
Form D click here
For Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport CT go to: http://www.bridgeportdiocese.com/findaschool
THOMAS MERTON CENTER HOUSE OF HOSPITALITY in need of volunteers (address below). Their food pantry is in need of non-sugary cereals. Thank you!
Brian Jenkins, Program Director
43 Madison Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Monday-Friday 8:30am-1:30pm; Saturday 9:00am-12:00pm.
If not the Merton Center, consider giving to the pantry of your local parish or social concern center.
CAR DONATION PROGRAM "DONATION ANGEL" by Catholic Charities of Fairfield County will tow your vehicle away absolutely free! Donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of your un-wanted car, van, truck, motorcycle, RV or boat directly to Catholic Charities of Fairfield County. You will receive full fair market value for your donation as an IRS tax deduction. Donation Angel is a nationwide service, so even if your vehicle is far away from Fairfield County it can still support Catholic Charities of Fairfield County. You will receive a receipt from Donation Angel for the fair value of your property. For info go to www.donationangel.org/ccfairfield.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT - OPEN POSITION:
Reporting to the President of CCFC, the Development Director will spearhead development efforts which amplify and promote the diverse and expansive scope of Catholic Charities’ Programs. A new position in the organization, the Director will have the opportunity to address the initiatives needed to support the fund raising goals and efforts of the CCFC President, the CCFC Board of Directors, and several Program Advisory Boards. This includes the creation and implementation of successful marketing programs and management of grant initiatives.
• Developing and executing Catholic Charities’ short and long term measurable fundraising goals;
• Securing financial support from individuals, foundations and corporations by implementing communication/marketing strategies and plans for outreach to donors and the community;
• Executing a strategy for a large sustained base of annual individual donors and maintaining ongoing relationships with same;
• Serving as an ambassador for Catholic Charities, and participating in local and regional events – managing special events as necessary;
• Proposing and ultimately implementing both Planned Giving programs and a CCFC Foundation.
• BA (required), MA (a plus)
• 3-5 years of significant and diversified fundraising experience in development
• Demonstrated success and as proven track record of personally cultivating relationships and closing gifts
• Ability to manage multiple projects and work collaboratively with various Program Staff, Board Members, and the Diocesan Development Operation
• Demonstrated excellence in communication, managerial and organizational skills
• Working knowledge of fundraising software/database and familiarity with social media applications
Qualified applicants submit resume and cover letter: Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, Inc.
To see a list of ALL services go to: http://www.bridgeportdiocese.com/index.php/catholiccharities
For list of Bible Studies at Catholic Parishes in Fairfield County click here.
For list of High School Youth Groups at Catholic Parishes in Fairfield County click here.
For list of Teen Masses and Adoration Hours click here.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @DOByouth or @DOBevents
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/fairfieldcountycatholics and www.facebook.com/BridgeportDiocese
FROM BETHLEHEM TO DANBURY! Join us for the Ceremony of the Peace Light on Fri., Dec. 19 at 6:30pm at St. Peter Church, Main St., Danbury. Bring a candle to gain a share of the Light of Peace to bring to your family, friends, neighbors and commmunity. Click here for flyer. St. Peter website: www.stpeterdanb.org
Making a Difference
By Tony Magliano
During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking.Read More »
A Thanksgiving Spiritual Reflection
By Monsignor Chris Walsh
What would we have seen if we were there with the Pilgrims on that first Thanksgiving Day? A group of huddled men, women and children, poorly clothed, weakened, heads bowed over a simple meal, eyes shut in fervent prayer. They had arrived in New England late the previous year. During that first terrible winter, and the lean months awaiting their first harvest, half their number died through hunger and disease. They were absolutely alone: no way to communicate with England, no certainty of their fate at the hands of these strange, primitive natives or the brutal New England winter, huddling in hastily built cabins where the cold wind whistled through gaps in the rough-hewn planks.Read More »
A Dad’s View
By Matthew Hennessey
I never prayed at bedtime when I was little. I’d see kids doing it in movies and on television, but it just wasn’t a part of our routine. Now I get to make the routine. So, in our house, we pray.Read More »
By Joe Pisani
As I was making my evening dash for the train, down the elevator and onto the escalator that takes you into Grand Central, I ran into a brigade of cleaning ladies dressed in light blue smocks, who were entering the building for their shift just as the rest of us were racing out.Read More »
By Thomas H. Hicks
There are times when I recite Edna St. Vincent Millay’s words, “Oh, world, I cannot hold thee close enough.” I have a sense of the beauty and majesty of things, see life as a great gift, a great good, a joyous thing—the sun and rain, nesting birds, morning light, romance, taking naps, standing barefoot in the sand watching the waves roll in. The world is charged with goodness and love.Read More »
Catholic by Grace
By Denise Bossert
Mary was assumed into heaven.
It’s one of the more difficult teachings for converts to grasp. But there are ways to approach the Assumption so that non-Catholics may come to believe.