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Norwich Catholic Charities Celebrates Community History Project

Posted on July 01, 2024 in: Catholic Charities News

Norwich Catholic Charities Celebrates Community History Project

"Never to be forgotten" was the goal of Kathleen Capon when she responded to the Connecticut History Project March 10, 2022. The Hartford-based Connecticut Museum of Culture and History launched the Connecticut History Project to document and preserve CO-VID19 Pandemic stories from marginalized and key underrepresented populations. One hundred years previously, historical archives were sparse about the diverse and inclusive representation of the 1918 Influenza, called the Spanish Flu.

Otis Library on Main St. in Norwich was one of the three Connecticut libraries that partnered with the Connecticut Museum and the Institute of Museum & Library Services   to encourage interest in the Project and to record interviews of residents impacted by the Pandemic.

Mrs. Capon, who holds a master’s degree in social work, is a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities Diocese of Norwich, Inc. During 2022-2023, she partnered with Norwich’s Otis Library to interview and record hundreds of hours of three women and one man served by Catholic Charities to tell their stories. Audio clips can be accessed at the Connecticut Museum's website connecticutmuseum.org.

Mrs. Capon recalled, “They were remarkable people who wanted to make sure how COVID-19 had affected their lives and how they lived through it with dignity. They were individuals served by Catholic Charities offices in Norwich, New London, Middletown, and Willimantic. Each suffered and coped with this modern-day Pandemic through months anxious about finding necessary food, housing and medicine.”

She attended the March 23, 2024, Community History Project Celebration to mark the closing of the Project held at Hartford’s headquarters of the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History, One Elizabeth St.

“These are stories of our neighbors on the edge of society. Now they will be remembered, never to be forgotten, thanks to the foresight of the Connecticut History Project,” said Kathleen Capon.

At the event, Abby Cowan, the Project Assistant for the Community Health Project, reported that the Project collected statewide a total of 73 oral histories, totaling just over 64 hours of recorded time. Eighty participants shared their Pandemic stories from twenty-two communities across the state. In addition to Norwich Diocesan Catholic Charities at Otis Library, the Project includes voices of Weaver High School students in Hartford, Christ Church Cathedral’s food kitchens in Hartford and New Haven, interviews at Hartford Public Library & Hartford History Center, New Haven Free Public Library, and Central Connecticut State University.

Interviews and information on the Community History Project can be viewed on the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History website at connecticutmuseum.org

By Jacqueline Keller 


Catholic Charities
Diocese of Norwich

331 Main Street
Norwich, CT 06360