Communion Breakfast for Fairfield County Educators Planned at SHU

News Story: February 1, 2009

Educators from across Fairfield County are invited to explore “Catholic Social Teaching: A Class Act” during a Communion Breakfast at Sacred Heart University on Sunday, March 8. The special presentation will explore the principles of Catholic social teaching and their relevance to teachers at all levels, from K-12 and in higher education. Attendees will come away from the event with practical information that can be used to spread the understanding of Catholic social thought in an educational setting.

The special event will begin at 9 A.M. with the celebration of Mass in University Commons by Father Richard Ryscavage, S.J., and Father Robert M. Kinnally, followed by a presentation by Father Kinnally. It is sponsored by Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice of Fairfield County and the University’s Isabelle Farrington School of Education.

Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, who is the ecclesiastical counselor for CAPP, urged widespread attendance by all educators who are Catholic, citing its critical importance for the Church and the nation. “When Pope Benedict spoke to Catholic educators in Washington last April, he called their vocation ‘integral; to the mission of the Church’: one that encouraged ‘a life of Christian witness nurtured and strengthened within the community of Our Lord’s disciples, the Church.’

“We are blessed to have so many faithful educators in the Diocese of Bridgeport. With our students’ parents, they are ensuring that the timeless message of the Gospel is transmitted to a new generation. One of the great riches of our tradition is its deep commitment to Catholic social teaching, an engagement in the world that is too little known and appreciated by others and even, too often, by the faithful themselves. This first annual Communion Breakfast will enrich all those who attend and allow them to share this powerful message with their students and colleagues.”

The parochial vicar of St. Pius X Parish in Fairfield, Father Kinnally had a long and distinguished career in education before entering the seminary. A graduate of Manhattan College and New York University, he received his theological education at the Catholic University of America. His 20-year career began as an educator by teaching special education at Elizabeth Seton College, now Iona, and he was an admissions counselor at several schools including Pace University and Sarah Lawrence College. Father Kinnally was Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Stanford University in California. He is a trustee at Sacred Heart University.

Centesimus Annus, of which Father Ryscavage is Fairfield County chaplain, was founded in 1993 to encourage business people, academics and other professionals to study and promote Catholic social teaching. It is named for John Paul’s own encyclical of the same name that marked the 100th anniversary o f the landmark papal document on social responsibility, Rerum Novarum. The Diocese of Bridgeport is one of three pioneering dioceses in the United States to establish a chapter.

The Isabelle Farrington School of Education is the largest independent educator of teachers and administrators in the state, and it annually recommends about 300 students for certification. A part of the University’s College of Education and Health Professions, the School sponsors a vigorous internship program for students who are completing their initial certification after they have completed their bachelor’s degree; it places more than 200 interns in schools each year.

The Communion Breakfast is open to the public. Tickets are $30 per person and $250 for a table of 10. Since seating is limited, early registration is encouraged. To register, click here or contact Terri Phillips at 203-365-4802 or at phillipst@sacredheart.edu.