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Encyclopedia > Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport is located in the south western part of the state of Connecticut, and its boundaries are the same as that of Fairfield County, Connecticut. There are 87 parishes in the diocese. Its cathedral is St. Augustine in Bridgeport. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Fairfield County is located in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Connecticut. ... Pope Pius XI blesses Bishop Stephen Alencastre as fifth Apostolic Vicar of the Hawaiian Islands in a Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace window. ... Nickname: Location in Connecticut Coordinates: NECTA Bridgeport-Stamford Region Greater Bridgeport Incorporated (town) 1821 Incorporated (city) 1836 Government type Mayor-council Mayor John M. Fabrizi Area    - City 19. ...

    • We would like to bid a fond farewell to Father Robert G. Pohley who was called to God on November 23rd 2006**

The current bishop is The Most Reverend William E. Lori, appointed March 19, 2001. Bishop William E. Lori William E. Lori (born May 6, 1951) is the 4th Bishop of Bridgeport, CT. Before succeeding Edward Cardinal Egan in 2001 he was an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington. ... March 19 is the 78th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (79th in leap years). ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ...


The diocese, is one of 195 Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States. It is one of four dioceses in the Ecclesiastical Province of Hartford -- the others are the Archdiocese of Hartford, the Diocese of Norwich and the Diocese of Providence. The following is a list of the Roman Catholic dioceses of the United States. ... The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford is a particular church of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the northeastern region of the United States. ... The Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich (Latin: Dioecesis Norvicensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in Connecticut. ... The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence is an ecclesiastical territory or particular church of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. ...


The church with the greatest capacity in the diocese is St. Mary Church on Elm Street in Stamford, built in 1928. Nickname: The City That Works Location in Connecticut Coordinates: Counties Fairfield County Mayor Dannel Malloy (Dem) Area    - City 52. ...

Contents

Size

The diocese has more than 363,000 registered Catholics in Fairfield County, 43 percent of the total population.[1]


Other statistics:[2]

  • Baptisms: 5,273
  • First Communions: 5,693
  • Marriages: 1,188
  • Funerals: 3,545

Priests, sisters, etc.

These figures from the Diocese are said to be accurate as of 2005:[2]

  • Diocesan Priests: 273
  • Permanent Deacons: 99
  • Religious Sisters: 395
  • Seminarians for Priesthood: 21
  • Priests Ordained in 2005: 2

Social services

For the elderly

The Diocese also sponsors nursing homes in Danbury, Stamford, and Trumbull; and eight "Bishop Curtis Homes" for the elderly in Bethel, Danbury, Greenwich, Stamford, Fairfield, and Bridgeport.


Other

"Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, with 25 program offices throughout the county, provides the largest private network of social services in southwestern Connecticut," according to the diocese.[1]


Education

Primary and secondary level

The diocese sponsors 33 regional elementary schools (with 8,832 students) and five diocesan high schools (with 2627 students). Three other Catholic high schools are directed by religious communities. Altogether, these schools educate nearly 14,000 youth (2,500 of whom are minorities and 1,700 are non-Catholics).[2]


Higher education

These three Roman Catholic schools in the diocese have more than 10,775 students:

History

The Church in Fairfield County, in Connecticut and in America faced ongoing challenges through much of its history from diverse immigrant groups as they struggled to acclimate themselves to American culture and from deep suspicions among many, though not all, Protestants. Yet the freedom the Church organization and Catholics in general enjoyed, the support it sometimes received from non-Catholics and the sacrifices of Catholics, gradually allowed the Catholic Church to build itself into an established institution in the county.


17th and 18th centuries

In the 17th and much of the 18th century, Connecticut Puritan divines were vociferously anti-Catholic in their writings and preaching. Suspicion of the Church as a foreign political power and of Catholics as having loyalty to that power remained widespread into the 20th century.[3] This article describes a highly specialized aspect of its subject. ...


"In the summer of 1781, Rochambeau and his army marched through Connecticut, encamping in the Ridgebury section of Ridgefield, where the first Catholic Mass [in Fairfield County] was offered. His troops were mostly Catholic and were ministered to by priests whom history proudly remembers: Reverend Fathers Robin, Gluson, Lacy, and Saint Pierre."[4] Ridgefield is the name of some places in the United States of America: Ridgefield, Connecticut Ridgefield, New Jersey Ridgefield, Washington This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Connecticut passed an act of toleration in 1784, allowing any Protestant to avoid taxes supporting the local Congregational Church who could show authorities a document proving membership and regular attendance at another church. In 1791 the same right was extended to all Christians. The act had little practical effect for Catholics, however, since there was no Catholic parish in the state.[5]


Nineteenth century

The first Catholic church in the state was started in 1829, in Hartford, the second began in 1832 in New Haven. By 1835 the rector of the New Haven church estimated there were 720 Catholics in Fairfield County, with Bridgeport the home of the biggest community -- about 100 people.[6]


On July 24, 1842, St. James the Apostle Church was dedicated by Bishop Fenwick at the corner of Washington Avenue and Arch Street in Bridgeport, which by then had a population of about 250 Catholics. The rector of the church was given responsibility for small Catholic communities of Derby and Norwalk. Catholics in Stamford, Greenwich and some other towns were ministered to by the Bridgeport rector and by Jesuit priests based at Fordham College in New York City.[7]


The Diocese of Hartford was split off from the Diocese of Boston (which had covered all of New England) on November 28, 1843. The new diocese covered all of Connecticut and Rhode Island (which wasn't split off from the Hartford Diocese until decades later).[8]


Twenteith Century

The diocese was established August 6, 1953, from the Diocese of Hartford. August 6 is the 218th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (219th in leap years), with 147 days remaining. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford is a particular church of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the northeastern region of the United States. ...


Past bishops

  • First Bishop: Cardinal Lawrence Shehan, D.D., 1953 - 1961
  • Second Bishop: Walter W. Curtis, S.T.D., 1961-1988 (d. 1997)
  • Third Bishop: Cardinal Edward M. Egan, D.D., J.C.D., 1988-2000 (Now Archbishop of the New York Archdiocese)

His Eminence Edward Michael Cardinal Egan (born April 2, 1932) is a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. ...

Under Bishop Lori

Lori was appointed by the Holy Father on January 23, 2001. Bishop Lori's installation took place on March 19, 2001.


2006 Scandal: the Rev. Michael Fay at St. John Church in Darien

The pastor of St. John Church in Darien, the Rev. Michael Jude Fay, took $1.4 million in church funds over a six-year period to splurge on luxuries for both himself and a very close "friend" with whom he shared homes a taste for the high life, according to a report prepared by outside forensic auditors hired by the diocese.[9]


The report shows “a real betrayal of trust and abuse of power,” Bishop Lori told The Associated Press on July 28, 2006. “The amount of money that was misused is tremendous.”[10] July 28 is the 209th day (210th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 156 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The report was mailed to parishioners of St. John Church on about July 29, and copies found their way immediately to the Associated Press and The New York Times[9] Fay (known as "Father Jude") resigned as pastor in the late spring of 2006, amid allegations that he took more than $200,000 in parish money. The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ...


"The auditors said they found evidence of splurges on travel, jewelry, designer clothes, meals and other fineries, based on charges Father Fay made on church credit cards from vendors like Bergdorf Goodman, Cartier and the Ritz-Carlton," according to a New York Times report by Allison Leigh Cowan. "About $257,000 was diverted, the report said, to buy a condominium in Florida where Father Fay vacationed, and $87,000 was spent renting a luxury apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In an interview, a doorman has said the priest was known simply as Mr. Fay."[9]


"The $1.4 million estimate cited in the report includes $829,000 in credit card charges of a personal nature and $515,000 withdrawn from church accounts by Father Fay through checks to cash or himself," according to an Associated Press report by John Christoffersen. He has told the diocese, according to the report, that much of the $515,000 was used to provide financial assistance to needy people who do not wish to be identified. But the auditors said they had traced at least $380,000 of the $515,000 back to his personal bank account." The auditors said that for practical reasons they concentrated their probe on the last six years of Fay's pastorate, even though there was “evidence that the conduct noted in this report also occurred prior to 2000.”[10]


Some of the expenditures may have been legitimate and could reduce the loss from the $1.4 million total, the auditors said, but Fay hadn't documented the spending, they added. The “most significant spending occurred” in the last six years, according to the report, after Fay set up a secret bank account. The "Don Bosco fund" set up in October 2000 was not reflected on the parish’s books, and Fay told the parish bookkeeper that no one but him was to open any correspondence from that bank, the auditors wrote.[9]


These publications have provided the most extensive ongoing coverage of the scandal:

  • The Advocate of Stamford daily newspaper with a special online archive of its coverage of the scandal.
  • The Darien Times, local weekly newspaper
  • The Darien News-Review local weekly newspaper
  • Fairfield County Catholic, the official diocesan newspaper

References

  1. ^ a b [1] "Who We Are" page on Diocese Web site, accessed July 18, 2006
  2. ^ a b c [2] "At a Glance" Web page of the official Diocese of Bridgeport Web site
  3. ^ DiGiovanni, the Rev. (now Monsignior) Stephen M., The Catholic Church in Fairfield County: 1666-1961, 1987, William Mulvey Inc., New Canaan, Introduction: Catholic Roots in Fairfield County, page xxiv, hereafter DiGiovanni
  4. ^ [3] Lori, Bishop William E., "Happy Birthday, General Rochambeau!" article (part of Lori's regular column) Fairfield County Catholic, July 15, 2006, accessed July 27, 2006
  5. ^ DiGiovanni, p. xxiv
  6. ^ DiGiovanni, p. xxviii
  7. ^ DiGiovanni, p. xxviii
  8. ^ DiGiovanni, pp. xxvii-xxviii
  9. ^ a b c d [4], Cowan, Alison Leigh, "Auditors Say Priest Took $1.4 Million Before Ouster," article, The New York Times, regional news section, July 29, 2006.
  10. ^ a b [5] Christoffersen, John, AP staffwriter, "Priest may have misspent $1.4 million," Associated Press wire story, July 29, 2006, accessed July 29, 2006

July 18 is the 199th day (200th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 166 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... July 15 is the 196th day (197th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 169 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... July 27 is the 208th day (209th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 157 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ... July 29 is the 210th day (211th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 155 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... July 29 is the 210th day (211th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 155 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... July 29 is the 210th day (211th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 155 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Links to parishes in the diocese

Mary Flannery OConnor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American author. ... Robert Stuart Fitzgerald (1910 - 1985) was best known as a translator of ancient Greek and Latin. ...

External links

  • Official Web site
  • Fairfield County Catholic, the official diocesan newspaper, is published monthly in the summer, biweekly the rest of the year.
  • St. John Fisher Seminary, in Stamford, the diocese seminary. (Near the main entrance of the seminary, there is a Perpetual Adoration chapel in which someone is always praying before the Eucharist, 24 hours a day.)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Bishop Accountability (2120 words)
An attorney for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport argued Friday that the state Appellate Court should deny the public access to thousands of documents relating to 23 settled lawsuits against priests accused of sexually abusing minors.
The documents showed that, as bishop of the Bridgeport diocese, New York Cardinal Edward M. Egan allowed abusive priests to remain in ministry, failed to report abuse claims to the authorities, and tended to dismiss accusers even when patterns of abuse allegations were evident.
A review board of Roman Catholic laypeople appointed by the nation's bishops to investigate the sexual abuse scandal in the church has begun the first of 100 interviews it plans to conduct with bishops, abuse victims and experts to measure the crisis.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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