Learning Leads to Independence
Our students come to Saint Catherine Academy with a need: a need to learn; a need to belong; a need to be recognized. We meet the student where they are and work to move them forward in their interpersonal skills, academic skills, vocational experiences—all to build life skills that leads them to independence.
The Annual “Joy and Gratitude” Dinner on June 10th at Fairfield University was hugely successful, attracting nearly 300 guests and raising over $300,000 in much-needed support for Center programs. Michael LaBella, recipient of the 2018 Leadership Award. (Visit our Facebook page to see the photos!)
The combination of a great Silent Auction, a unique array of Live Auction experiences, and the generosity of so many donors who raised their hands in the Call for Charity contributed to the event’s success. Funds raised in the Call for Charity will support the development of vocational and social enterprise opportunities for students and adult day participants.
Three individuals were recognized for their contributions of time and talent to Saint Catherine: the late Dan Caruso (Community Service); Eileen Blees (Volunteer Service) for facilitating gym class at the Academy the past 10 years; and Michael LaBella (Leadership), for his contribution as a Board member.
“It was a great evening in every aspect—the size of the gathering, the quality of the auctions and, of course, the guests,” noted Charles Chiusano, Chairman of the Board. “The food was excellent, and the results are a godsend!”
Guests enjoyed the relaxed, summertime atmosphere. Numerous attendees said the event was “the best one ever” for the Center. “This event is like a family reunion for a great cause,” said one guest. “I get to relax, catch up with friends, and support this wonderful organization at the same time.”
A special Thank You to all our Dinner Sponsors: Britta and Denis Nayden; GoldPoint Partners; Knights of Columbus Supreme Office; Dian Jennings Mayo; AEA; CrossBay Capital Partners, LLC; St. Aloysius Parish; St. Rose of Lima Parish; TD Bank, N.A.; and all our Table Patrons.
We also thank Kelly Weldon and the Dinner Committee for all their help and enthusiasm!
“You are the light of the world…
your light must shine before others.” Matthew 5
June 12th was a special day for 2018 Saint Catherine Academy graduate Natalie Massaro and her family. A Graduation Liturgy and Mass for Center staff and friends was concelebrated by Monsignor Robert Weiss, a Center Board member, and Rev. Robert Kinnally, Pastor at St. Aloysius Church in New Canaan.
As he congratulated the proud graduate, Msgr. Weiss focused on the theme of the day’s Gospel from Matthew 5: “You are the light of the world…your light must shine before others.”
He spoke to Natalie’s classmates about how important their role was—as friends, fellow students, and individuals with unique gifts. “Each one of you is very special,” he said, “it’s important to remember that.”
Brian Farrell, Director of Education, complimented Natalie’s “amazing progress” and described how she has grown in her time at the Academy, both socially and academically. Dr. Steven Cheeseman, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Bridgeport and a Saint Catherine Center Board member, then presented the Certificate of Completion.
At a festive lunch reception following the Mass and ceremony, Natalie thanked all her teachers and aides for helping her along the way. She will be attending the Saint Catherine adult day program in the fall.