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Catholic Charities Diocese of Norwich: Key Dates and Milestones of the 2010s

Posted on January 03, 2022 in: Milestones

Catholic Charities Diocese of Norwich: Key Dates and Milestones of the 2010s

Our History Continues . . .


Catholic Charities established a diocesan connection with Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., an entity established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

New office space was dedicated June 3  in New London. Bishop Cote blessed the new office. He gave commemorative plaques of appreciation to Mrs. Kay McGuire and volunteers who served the needs of people coming to Catholic Charities in the early years.


The Annual Employees Appreciation Day was held at Immaculata Retreat Center in Willimantic.

Bishop Cote celebrated the noon Mass, September 2.

The 2011 Catholic Charities Campaign received $144,764 in gifts from 1,849 donors.


Marek Kukulka resigned as Executive Director.


James Maffuid, LMFT, was named Executive Director.

Catholic Charities website was initiated with Development Coordinator Anna DeBiasi coordinating the site.

The first Flames of Charity Gala was held at the Mystic Marriott in Groton to increase funding. It began with a silent auction, followed by dinner. Kevin Hogan, WFSB-TV New London Bureau Chief and parishioner of Christ the King Church, Old Lyme, was master of ceremonies. The first recognitions were awarded for service to Catholic Charities. The event raised $20,000.


Middletown Christmas Open House took place December 3.


The second annual Flames of Charity Gala was held at the Mystic Marriott in Groton, with Kevin Hogan again master of ceremonies. The event raised $22,000.

The emergency food, clothing, shelter, heat, rent and utility assistance programs served 3,567 adults and children. Case management services provided help to 128 households. Some 935 individuals received 8,100 units of direct service from the Behavioral Health Program and 456 families were assisted with services from the Parenting Education and Pregnancy Services programs. The Adoption Program placed two babies in pre-adoptive homes, completed six adoption searches, serving 127 persons through pre-and post-adoption communication/adoption inquiries. The Immigration Assistance Program provided consultation and legal services for 50 foreign-born immigrants or refugees wishing to become permanent citizens of the U.S.

James Maffuid resigned as Executive Director. Raymond P. Lamy served as Interim Executive Director.


Edward J. Tessman, MS, was appointed Executive Director January 16.

The 95th Annual Gala was held at the Mystic Marriott in Groton April 9.

The Margaret L. Keller Catholic Charities Endowment Fund, maintained by the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Norwich, was established to provide financial aid to single mothers to attend educational institutions and gain skills that will ensure their ability to break the cycle of dependence.

Mr. Tessman began an extensive financial evaluation of the services offered by Catholic Charities in relationship with social services offered by similar agencies. Since 2007, when the Behavioral Health Program began, other behavioral health programs that focus strictly on mental health, some with hospital affiliations, had come into existence in a highly regulated environment. An intensive annual analysis was prepared for examination by the Board. 



A Walmart grant of $40,000 provided for the purchase of a van to collect food and other necessary items for distribution to people in need.

Ed Tessman, Catholic Charities, Executive Director, 2016-2020. 

Refrigerators and freezers were purchased for each of the four offices.



The Council on Accreditation (COA) announced it had Accredited Catholic Charities Diocese of Norwich, Inc., after a detailed review and analysis of its organization’s administrative operations – including financial practices – and its service delivery practices.


Bishop Cote recommended an Emeritus status for Board Members who had served with distinction and excellence over the years.

Ken Capano, Board Member Emeritus

The Board agreed and recommended that Kenneth Capano, who recently resigned from the Board after several years of voluntary service, be awarded Emeritus status.

The 2019 Gala was held at the Mystic Yachting Center April 13.

Catholic Charities sponsored a fundraiser by ticket sales for a baseball game at Norwich’s Dodd Stadium between the Connecticut Tigers (Detroit Tigers) and the Lowell Spinners (Boston Red Sox).

The Annual Financial Report was presented at the December Board meeting. The Board decided that Catholic Charities did not have the financial means to continue the Behavioral Health program and it was decided to close the program over the next months while helping clients to transition to other behavioral health programs.


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.

Catholic Charities
Diocese of Norwich

331 Main Street
Norwich, CT 06360