THE BRIDGE: April 23, 2015

Office of the Bishop

NEW DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT FREE PHONE APP available now at the App Store (iPhone) or Play Store (Android)!
Each parish will update their own information: Mass and confession times, events, youth & young adult groups, Bible studies, stories, photos and more! To train a representative from your parish, contact Deacon John DiTaranto in the Bishop's Office.


- July 13-23, 2015.  For info click here

- Join Bishop Caggiano and 3,000 faithful on Sat., Oct. 24 for a memorable pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where the Diocese of Bridgeport will be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The time at the largest church in North America includes a recital, prayer, adoration, reflection, and Mass.  Departure locations are across the diocese and more locations can be added as needed.  $70pp includes transportation and box dinner.  The shrine cafeteria will be open to purchase lunch.  Register at: or call Rally Bus to register at 1-855-725-5928.  Contact Gina for more information at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 203-416-1446. Click here for flyer.


To: Priests and Communications Office of the Diocese of Bridgeport

From: Bishop Christie A. Macaluso, D.D., V.G., Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Hartford

You are invited to Saint Thomas Seminary Alumni Reunion to be held Friday, May 15 at Archdiocesan Center at Saint Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, Connecticut

2-4 p.m. Registration and Tours
4-5 p.m. Mass in the Chapel
5-6:30 p.m. Reception in Alumni Lounge
6:30 p.m. Program and Dinner

Enjoy an evening catching up with former classmates, professors, and friends. Share memories and re-visit the magnificent building and grounds. Learn more about the new Saint Thomas Seminary Alumni Association. Info and registration: Overnight accommodations available. To reserve a room, please call 860-242-5573 ext. 2602. For questions, email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


SYNOD - 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 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.


Office of Clergy and Religious

by CMSWR Regional, hosted by Sisters of Life
Saturday, May 2 starting at 10am
Villa Maria Guadalupe, 159 Sky Meadow Drive, Stamford, CT
Click here for flyer with schedule for the day

Acculturation Seminar for International Priests:
St. John’s University in New York will hold its annual Acculturation Seminar for International Priests June 1-5, 2015. It is a 5-day residential program for those who have been ministering in the US for at least 6 months. For more information call the Vincentian Center  for Church and Society, 718-990-1612 or 718-990-6470 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Please pray for . . .

  • Phyllis Myott (wife of Deacon Dan Myott)
  • Fr. Francis Posluszny, Missionary in Chiclayo, Peru
  • Fr. Seraphim Rohlman
  • Rev. Bernard Keefe
  • Deacon Roland Blier (retired)
  • Father Michael Bachman
  • Rev. Robert Hyl
  • Rev. Andrew Walter
  • Priscilla Blier (wife of Deacon Roland Blier)
  • Father Nick Calabro
  • Father Cliff Grise
  • Father Peter DeMarco
  • Beverly Finch, wife of Deacon Dean Finch, surgery 3/19/15



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

Do you know a young man discerning priesthood?  Encourage him, pray for him, offer him your support!  Consider introducing him to Fr. Sam Kachuba, Director of Vocations. (203) 322-5331 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Bridgeport Vocations social media
Twitter: @BPTVocations

Free discernment resources

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


Faith Formation

FACEBOOK USERS: The Office of Faith Formation has a NEW Facebook page which encompasses many ministries, including Adult Formation, Youth Ministry, Religious Education, Respect Life, and Marriage and Family.  Please “like” the new page today: Office of Faith Formation Diocese of Bridgeport

"A WITNESS OF TWO MOTHERS"by two Sandy Hook parents, day retreat entitled "Life Experiences Leading to Transformation" held on May 13 from 9am-2pm at St. Rose of Lima Parish, 46 Church Hill Rd., in Newtown - open to all. Day begins with Mass in the church at 9am. RSVP by May 6 to Carmella at email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (203) 416-1623.

WOMEN'S DAY OF REFLECTION "The Rosary of our Lives” with Amy Ekeh on Sat., May 30 at Saint Margaret Shrine, 2523 Park Ave., Bridgeport.  Begin the day with morning Mass at 8:15am, breakfast, then talks, discussions, meditations, and lunch.  The day will conclude at 2:30pm.  Cost $25pp; bring a rosary or one will be provided if you do not have one. Click here for flyer. RSVP by Fri., May 22 to Gina Donnarummo at 203-416-1446 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). To register, mail check, made payable to: “Office of Faith Formation,” Attn: Gina, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06606.

WOMEN’S DAY OF PRAYER & HEALING held June 13 - Are you suffering from the loss of a child through the wounds of an abortion? Begin your journey towards healing with Entering Canaan Women's Day of Prayer and Healing. For confidential reservation, time and location contact Project Rachel at 203-416-1619 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

- Join Bishop Caggiano and 3,000 faithful on Sat., Oct. 24 for a memorable pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where the Diocese of Bridgeport will be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The time at the largest church in North America includes a recital, prayer, adoration, reflection, and Mass.  Departure locations are across the diocese and more locations can be added as needed.  $70pp includes transportation and box dinner.  The shrine cafeteria will be open to purchase lunch.  Register at: or call Rally Bus to register at 1-855-725-5928.  Contact Gina for more information at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 203-416-1446. Click here for flyer.

Bulletin Announcement:
Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs, located in Fairfield, will offer a religious formation program (RCIA) for adults and young adults with special needs, ages 18 and older, who wish to receive Sacraments of Initiation; Baptism, Eucharist, and/or  Confirmation.  We will meet Tuesday’s from 6:30-7:30pm at Saint Catherine’s Center for Special Needs, 760 Tahmore Dr., Fairfield. For info or to sign up contact Michelle O’Mara, Director of Pastoral Care and Outreach at email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 203 -540-5381 ext. 2012.

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem Program- The new Saint Cyril of Jerusalem Program is now at every parish. This program will help catechize adults across the Diocese of Bridgeport and is a foundational program to learn more about the Catholic faith.  All pastors received a binder with the following material: 1) Seven (7) DVDs of the classes: Scripture, Creed, Sacraments, Prayer, Christian Living, Methodology, and Teaching People with Developmental Disabilities 2) Workbook for the participants, 3) Facilitator's Guide, 4) Guidelines for the pastor and parish facilitator, 6) Further resources, 7) Two posters to advertise. Classes and workbook are online too:  For info contact Gina Donnarummo, Dir. of Adult Formation at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (203) 416-1446.

Project Rachel - Free and confidential help for those seeking healing after abortion. Do you know someone who is carrying grief and sorrow over past abortions? Project Rachel is the post-abortion ministry of the Catholic Church seeking to assist those suffering from a past abortion come to healing in Christ.  “Do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope…the Father of Mercies is ready to give you His forgiveness and His peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”  -Blessed John Paul II.  Contact Project Rachel (203) 416-1619 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Volunteers and Prayer Team Members needed! The Office for Pastoral Services is looking for individuals who are interested in volunteering for a group called St. Gabriel’s Helpers. Individuals in this group would be available to the Office for Pastoral Services [at the Catholic Center] to help with mailings, assist as ushers for Diocesan events, or make phone calls as needed from the office.  If you are interested in helping in this much needed ministry, contact Carmela Setti at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  or (203) 416-1623.

You are invited to join The Rose of Mary Prayer Team. The prayer team’s objective is to satiate the thirst of Christ by supporting the Office of Pastoral Services through prayer and sacrifice. We ask  for a daily commitment of prayer for the intentions of each of the Ministries, the office staff, and the people we serve.  More information is available below. If you are interested in joining The Rose of Mary Prayer Team, please contact June Vendetti: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Download the Rose of Mary Prayer Team information

Ministry to Deaf Parishioners Available - Deaf Parishioners in your parish can be ministered to by Fr. Nicholas Pavia. He is available for home and hospital visits, to interpret at Mass, offer religious education and available for Confession. Contact Fr. Pavia at 924-8611 or email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

SPANISH PRE-CANA available: Fr. Gustavo A. Falla, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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" ( Read the news release describing it at: Second, a special marriage and family website completely in Spanish ( 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 ( 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:


Safe Environments

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.

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.

  1. Register online to attend VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children for Adults by logging onto the website Select the word REGISTRATION & BRIDGEPORT DIOCESE
  2. Attend a live VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children for Adults class (Approximately 3 hours) and return a copy of your training certificate to the location where you work or volunteer.
  3. Complete a criminal background check. Additional information about background checks may be found at under Human Resources.
  4. Read the Diocese of Bridgeport Code of Conduct and Sexual Misconduct Policy and return the signed acknowledgement of policy receipts to the location where you are working or volunteering.

If you have any questions or if you need to schedule VIRTUS training at your school or parish, please contact Erin Neil at (203) 416-1406 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Development Office



APRIL 25 & 26
Through programs of religious education, children and adults are provided with the knowledge, experiences, and skills necessary to become faithful and fruitful disciples of Jesus, becoming better prepared to live and articulate the principles and values of their Faith. The Saint Cyril of Jerusalem Program is an adult catechetical formation program of the Catholic faith available on DVD and online while S.H.A.R.E offers college level classes. This pastoral ministry is essential to passing on the faith and your gift to the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal will help its continuance.

In-Pew Weekend
Please consider holding an In-Pew Weekend in April or May. Attached are the accounting sheets.  If you need additional envelopes, please call Pam Rittman at 203-416-1479.

Summary Report Sheet
Form A
Form B
Form C
Form D

CLICK HERE FOR 2015 PARISH LEADERSHIP GUIDE including weekly prayers, bulletin & pulpit announcements. Please refer to the guide for detailed information and tools on how to conduct a successful Appeal.  Please all the Development Office with any questions.  We are here to assist you in your effort.

Development is offering an optional increased offertory program.  Please click here to review the program and contact Pam Rittman or Bill McLean for more information (203) 416-1479 or (203) 416-1473.

Thank you for your leadership and assistance in reaching the 2014 Annual Bishop’s Appeal Building Bridges in Faith and Charity goal.  The Development Office  is grateful and looks forward to working with you this year on the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal, Communities of Faith.

Fr. Michael Jones - (203) 416-1472
William McLean, Jr. - (203) 416-1473
Pam Rittman - (203) 416-1479
Med Camillo - (203) 416-1312
Joan Trombetta - (203) 416-1475
Janie Tucci  Baldino - (203) 416-1474



For Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport CT go to:


Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, Inc.
238 Jewett Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06606
(203) 416-1336

For listing of job opportunities, go to:

Follow Catholic Charities on Twitter at @CCFairfieldDOB
Follow Catholic Charities on Facebook at
Follow Family Directions on Facebook at

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




Diocese Webmail Access

at St. Catherine of Siena, 4 Riverside Ave., Riverside on Sat., Apr. 25 at 8pm. Lippel joins conductor Mark Kaczmarczyk and orchestra in Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranquez. The famous guitar concerto evokes images and melodies of Spain. Tickets $25pp; $10pp students, available online at or charge by phone (203) 637-3661.

More Upcoming Events »

Ongoing Events »

FCC Featured Author

By Joe Pisani

Standing up for God in a secular society

The commuter train out of Grand Central Terminal was short two cars, so people were packed in the seats, shoulder-to-shoulder. It was the perfect end to another perfect day in Manhattan. Nevertheless, everyone was relieved to be on board and going home, so they could put their heads on the pillow and get up and do it all over again.

Read More »

FCC Featured Author

By Thomas H. Hicks

‘To God who gives joy to my youth’

By Thomas H. Hicks

As an altar boy, I memorized and rehearsed the Latin responses from that white card with red and black print and stiff lamination. The first dialogue between priest and server was:

Priest: (in Latin) “Introibo ad altare Dei” (“I will go onto the altar of God”).

Server: “Ad Deum qui laetificat iuventutem meam” (“To God who gives joy to my youth”).

Read More »

FCC Featured Author

By Matthew Hennessey

Forgiveness and Heroism during Lent

A Dad’s View
By Matthew Hennessey

Lent is a time for preparation. I’ve always been bad at that. Waiting ain’t my thing.

Read More »

FCC Featured Author

By Denise Bossert

Kiros moments

Catholic by Grace
By Denise Bossert

The Greek words chronos and kairos always remind me of Frank Kermode’s book The Sense of an Ending—required reading for my M.A. comprehensive exams at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Not that I wrote anything profound that awful day. I received a B on my comprehensive exams though I had trended toward A’s throughout graduate school. I choose to blame my performance on the migraine that rendered the experience a blur.

Read More »

FCC Featured Author

By Tony Magliano

The way of the cross

Making a Difference
By Tony Magliano

Writing a column on social justice and peace offers me plenty of timely issues to choose from. And I always truly sense from God the exact issue he desires that I write on.

I’m not claiming here any special revelation. God’s active, guiding presence is available to everyone. All we need to do is deeply trust, quietly listen and patiently wait.

Read More »

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