Learning Leads to Independence

Our students come to Saint Catherine Academy to learn, to belong, to be recognized. We meet each student where he or she is, helping them to develop their interpersonal and academic skills, and take advantage of vocational experiences—all of which builds life skills needed for greater independence.

whats-happening

december

2dec7:00 pm- 9:00 pmBoard of Directors Meeting7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

9decAll DayFeast of the Immaculate Conception (observed)No School(All Day: monday)

13dec9:00 am- 10:00 amPeanut Butter and Jelly Friday9:00 am - 10:00 am

20dec10:00 am- 12:00 pmChristmas PageantEarly Dismissal at 12:00 noon10:00 am - 12:00 pm

23dec - 1janAll DayChristmas RecessNo School(All Day)

25decAll DayChristmasPeace on Earth - Goodwill to All(All Day: wednesday)

january

23dec - 1janAll DayChristmas RecessNo School(All Day)

1janAll DayHappy New Year(All Day: wednesday)

2janAll DaySchool Reopensfull day(All Day: thursday)

17jan9:00 am- 10:00 amPeanut Butter and Jelly Friday9:00 am - 10:00 am

20janAll DayMartin Luther King DayNo School(All Day: monday)

30janAll DayProfessional DevelopmentEarly Dismissal at 12:00 noon(All Day: thursday)

in-the-news

The Great Gift of Just Being a Child of God: 2019 Mass Celebrating People with Special Needs

More than 150 family and friends gathered on Sunday, November 17th, at Holy Cross Church in Fairfield for the annual Mass Celebrating People with Special Needs, hosted by Saint Catherine Center.

In his homily, Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano spoke of the “unique witness” given by the 12 young people who were receiving the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation. “God has chosen these young people in baptism and reaffirms their baptism [in Confirmation] because they are worth everything to him before they do a single thing,” the bishop said. “It’s with their joy, their enthusiasm, their innocence, their purity, their faithfulness that they respond…  My friends, in a world where we are judged solely by what we can offer, today as we celebrate these sacraments let us remember the great gift of just being a son or daughter of God. Everything else takes a second place.”

Participants came from St. Mary’s Church (Norwalk), St. Thomas Aquinas Church (Fairfield), St. Rose of Lima (Newtown), The Cathedral Parish (Bridgeport), and five students from Saint Catherine Academy.

Each year, Saint Catherine Center offers the opportunity for individuals with special needs to receive the Sacraments of Initiation outside the typical faith formation program. Center staff worked with parents and Directors of Religious Education throughout the Diocese to coordinate preparation and participation.

Msgr. William Scheyd and Rev. Charles Allen, SJ, concelebrated the Mass with the bishop. Members of the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard, Saint Catherine Center board members, and staff joined the celebration. Family members gave the readings and two students from Saint Catherine Academy presented the gifts. The bishop acknowledged Saint Catherine Center staff, the Center’s Board of Directors, and Executive Director Helen Burland for their work with young people with special needs. “The Center is not a ‘Center,’” he said. “It’s a home.”

At the conclusion of the Mass, Bishop Caggiano presented Joe and Carrie Sindelar of New Canaan with the St. Augustine Medal of Service for outstanding volunteerism. (The couple was unable to attend the prayer service and award ceremony in October.) A longstanding member of the Board of Directors, Joe is a tireless advocate for Saint Catherine Center. Carrie has volunteered her time and expertise in numerous ways, assisting in the Library Program and organizing tables for the Center’s annual “Joy & Gratitude” Dinner. “Both Joe and Carrie have been outstanding advocates for our students and young adults,” said Helen Burland, Executive Director. “They always respond to whatever is needed.”   View photos

Keeping the Vision Clear: 20th Anniversary Mass Celebration

Helen Burland, Executive Director, thanked the guests for their support and commitment to the Center over the past 20 years.

Bright sunflowers and smiling faces helped to transform the gym into a sanctuary at Saint Catherine Center as more than 125 students and their families, faculty, staff, and friends gathered together on September 22 to celebrate 20 years of service to young people with disabilities.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano was the principal celebrant, along with concelebrants Msgr. Robert Weiss, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Newtown and Center board member, and Msgr. William Scheyd.

“How blessed are we that for 20 years we have St. Catherine’s Academy and those who lead it, who see the world differently,” Bishop Caggiano said. “Everyone who comes here is here because they are beloved, first by God and then by His servants who are you and me.”

Readers included Charles Chiusano, Chairman of the Center’s Board; Anna Stowe, an Academy student; and Eric Spencer, Director of Education. Erin Aoyama led the congregation in song. The beautiful sunflowers were donated by Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens. A reception followed the service.

Virginia Dwyer-Aoyama, a volunteer from the Order of Malta who helped coordinate the Mass, posed with her daughter Erin, who led the congregation in song.

The bishop expressed appreciation to the Saint Catherine Center Board. “To have a vision is one thing. To make it real is another,” he said. He also recognized Helen Burland, Executive Director, for being the “animator of this entire enterprise,” and thanked the young people of the Center. “You keep our vision clear,” he said.

View photos and read more about the event in the article in Fairfield County Catholic.

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