Our History Continues . . .
Great Jubilee Year
Catholic Charities Donors and Benefactors are remembered during the January 1 Jubilee Mass celebrated by Bishop Hart at St. Mary Mother of the Redeemer Church, Groton.
In May, Bishop Hart dedicated the new offices of Catholic Charities Inc./Family Services, 325 Main St., Norwich.
Bishop Hart established The Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Norwich on June 6 for the financial support of the spiritual, educational and social needs of the diocesan family. This gave donors the opportunity to establish endowments especially for funding grants to Catholic Charities.
Mrs. Katherine W. McGuire retired as New London District Secretary, a position she served in for 15 years. She was a tireless advocate for the poor, especially children. She directed the office with her usual kind and joyful spirit.
The Holy See accepted Bishop Hart’s request to retire as Bishop of Norwich on March 11. He had reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 for bishops.
Bishop Michael R. Cote, Auxiliary Bishop of Portland, Maine, was named Norwich’s fifth bishop on March 11 and he was installed bishop of Norwich on May 14.
Increasing financial needs of Catholic Charities required more aggressive fundraising. A proposal was made to apply for a federal grant to provide immigration and refugee services. The New London Thrift Shop was moved from Pearl Street and the office moved to Masonic Place.
Sister Susanne Gebrian, MHSH, retired as a social worker and case manager at Catholic Charities in the Norwich office after 10 years of service.
Mr. Smey died in 2005 following a brief illness.
Mr. Marek Kukulka, LMFT, was named executive director.
The name of Catholic Charities was officially changed to Catholic Charities, Diocese of
Norwich, Inc. The Family Life Office continued as a ministry of the Diocesan Faith Events
Ministry. Bishop Cote approved the Board’s request for establishment of the Annual Catholic Charities Collection. Requests were mailed to families in the Diocese.
The Annual Golf Tournament, sponsored by the New London Advisory Board and chaired
by Attorney Ralph Monaco, continued to provide necessary funding. The initiation of socials sponsored by the Norwich, New London, Willimantic and Middletown Advisory Boards provided contact with parishioners and potential donors.
Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Norwich participated in Catholic Charities USA Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America. Norwich’s Catholic Charities services helped more than 12,000 individuals and their families.
Annette Murphy received the Windham Region United Way 2007 Maurice Heon Volunteer of the Year Award on April 27 for her service to the Willimantic Office of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich -- to which she donated her $1,500 cash award.
Catholic Charities Board Member Lois Geary and Administrative Staff Supervisor Leandra LeClair received the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies Family Champion Award May 17.
Catholic Charities merged with the Affirmation Counseling Center in Portland. The Middletown Office moved to 151 Broad St., a building leased from St. Sebastian Parish.
Catholic Charities began hosting Alcoholics Anonymous and Dual Recovery Anonymous groups.
The Willimantic office moved from Ash Street to 88 Jackson St., a building shared with the ministries of the Sisters of Charity, Our Lady Mother of the Church.
The New London Office moved to 28 Huntington St., in the former convent, leased from St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish.
Margaret “Libbe” Elizabeth Miceli, beloved Catholic Charities New London board member and president, and Crowley Club member entered the fullness of eternal life at age 90 on August 4.
By Jacqueline Keller
Retired Diocesan Director of Communications and Board Member of Norwich Diocesan Catholic Charities.
We want this to be as complete and accurate a record as possible so please send additions, corrections, and any photos you would like to share to Communications@NorwichDiocese.net by March 30, 2022.