St. Philip News


Church News Page Archives

January 10, 2013
Welcome, Father Sudhir

As was announced at last weekend’s Masses, our Parish will be served by a new priest beginning February 1st. Fr. Sudhir is a priest for the mission diocese of Varanasi located in North India. He was ordained on April 19, 2005. He has been serving in the diocese of Bridgeport for the past six years. Fr. Sudhir hails from a town named Mangalore in South India, and visits with his mom and dad every year. He is the youngest of four siblings – two sisters and a brother.


Fr. Sudhir was born on August 1, 1976 and joined the seminary after his sophomore year in High school. He has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and Divinity, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Science. Fr. Sudhir graduated from the School of Business (MBA) from the University of Bridgeport in 2012. His studies in Business are to help prepare him for his mission back home in India. He is expected to return to his diocese in the summer of 2015.


While serving in India Fr. Sudhir had been involved in the ministry of serving the poor children with education and in the rehabilitation of the disabled. He continues his mission of serving the poor through his Non-Profit organization, “KAL-PA-VRIKSHTHE GIVING TREE CORPORATION” ( The organization is an affiliate of the Diocese of Varanasi to which Fr. Sudhir belongs, and will support the ministry to the disabled and the poor.


Fr. Sudhir loves music and singing, and carries his Indian musical instruments wherever he goes. He enjoys playing different sports, and outdoor activities. Fr. Sudhir has served in the parishes of St. Thomas the Apostle (Norwalk) and St. Matthew (Norwalk) and has enjoyed working with the youth and children.


As a result of Fr. Sudhir’s serving St. Philip Church, Fr. Boccaccio will give more time to the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal, which sought his help. Therefore, he will dedicate a full day per week, either Tue. or Wed., to canonical ministry.


The participation of our reliable, dependable and faithful weekend priests will continue. The ongoing and important involvement of Msgr. Genuario and the Jesuit Priests Eagan, Fahey, Garavel (summer) and Scalese will be called upon, as has been our practice. We thank them most sincerely for incorporating themselves in our Parish.







Easter Vigil, April 4, 2009
At the solemn first Mass of Easter 2009, five new members of the St. Philip community, having completed the RCIA process, were drawn into full communion with the Catholic Church. Below are some photos of the joyful event.
Lift High the Cross!


December 10, 2008 -


On a rainy Wednesday, the new bell tower, bells and cross arrived at St. Philip Church. Within a few hours, the bells were installed, the cross put atop the tower and the tower lifted into place. Just below is a gallery of a few photos taken during the operation. (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)


Thus did we witness the culmination and climax of the Church Restoration that  began in May 2008. The previous stages of the work included detailed concrete repair, repair of the clerestory window, waterproofing of the entire building, and new flooring. Photos of these various phases can be viewed by scrolling down.


Watch for more photos...

Tower on the ground for installation of bells and cross. Two bells installed at this time.

Father Boccaccio and the cross.

Sidewalk superintendents: Steve Bagnell, John Frank. Father Boccaccio

Placing the cross atop the tower.

Lift High,

Into position.


December 3, 2008 - Work on the church building proper is complete, and recent weeks have seen continuing preparations for the tower. Forms and reinforcing steelwork fot the concrete base across the stumps of the old tower were prepared, and considerable wiring and electrical hardware for the tower functions  has been installed. Today the concrete was poured for the tower base. The operation required a special truck to pump the concrete mix up to the base. Some photos of the operation (click for larger picture):

Scaffolding and form on stumps of old tower.

Pump truck.

Cement mixer arrives.

Placing delivery hose in position.

Concrete mix being pumped.

Hose is disengaged.

November 7, 2008 - This has been an active week in two areas:
1. Preparation has begun for the installation of the new tower, planned for December. The photo at right shows the scaffolding erected around the stumps of the old tower for the pouring of the concrete bridge across the stumps. The bridge will serve as the base of the new tower.
2. The glass for the clerestory window was delivered and was being hoisted by crane and installed today. The gallery of photos below shows that activity (click thumbnail for larger image).



October 10, 2008 - During the last few weeks, much has been accomplished. Work continued on the clerestory window, the floor was finished , and much of the final waterproofing coating has been sprayed on the exterior. The coating is an attractive olive green and can be seen in contrast to the uncoated concrete in these pictures
The Floor is Finished! The photographs immediately below show the finished floor. There are also additional pictures of the floor work in progress.

At the Main Door

The Main Aisle

Before the Altar

At the Side Doors

September 17, 2008 - Scaffolding being erected on the roof of the church for the repair, restoration and waterproofing of the large clerestory window over the sanctuary.
September 11, 2008 - This week the floor tiles are being installed. The photos below show some of the elements of the magnificent design created by Ed Spires, and work in progress, including a picture of Ed himself. kneeling as he works (or prays? or both?).


August 24, 2008 - During the past week, preparations were made for installing the new floor. As you can see in the photos below (click to enlarge), statues, art work, stations of the cross and even the crucifix have been covered to protect from the inevitable dust that will come. This will minimize the amount of fussy cleaning necessary after the installation. The old carpeting is gone, and the installation of the flooring will begin this week. It is also expected that the exterior waterproofing will begin this week.
August 6, 2008 - Damaged interior roof beams being repaired and restored.


July 22, 2008
Additional pictures showing greater detail of the reconstruction.

Wood for the forms: plywood and the half-rounds used to produce the corrugated effect in the concrete.

Assembling a form.

Closeup over the west door.

Over the southwest window.

Over the southeast window.

Over the east door.


July 17, 2008

Reconstruction of the left parapet (viewed from outside) over the west door of the church has been a test of matching the appearance to that of the existing building. The test was successful, and reconstruction of the other parapets is underway. The first photo below shows the west door with the completed "test" parapet farther away, and a wood form on the nearer one, ready for concrete. The second photo shows the parapets over the southwest window, again with one finished and one with the wood form. The third picture shows work continuing on preparing the surfaces at the back of the church. (click the picture for larger view)

June 24, 2008

In the last two weeks, the entire outside of the church building was power washed, to remove dirt and grime and loose concrete dust and chips. Work has now begun on the tedious manual repair of "pockmarks" - spots on the walls of the building where concrete has deteriorated and possibly there has been corrosion of reinforcing bars. The bars may need repair, and the area must be patched with compound by hand. Pictures below show sone of the areas and repairs progressing. (Click for larger picture.)



June 4. 2008

     The pictures just below were taken May 30 and June 2, 2008. All of the photos show what the contractor has confirmed: that the damage to the parapets is more severe than anticipated. Instead of drilling down 4-6 inches, the depth has been 8 inches or more in many parts of the concrete. Progress is moving well and the Sanctuary parapet, the last one to be drilled, should occur during the week of 6/2.
    Once the parapet demolition has occurred, then forms will be constructed to allow the rebuilding of the parapets to their original height. These forms will reproduce the corrugated design of the walls.

(for the four pictures just below, click on the thumbnail for a larger image)  

West entrance parapets, with the test wood form in place for pouring of concrete.

Parapets over west narthex window - substantial removal of deteriorated concrete.

Sweeping away the dust - east side of the church.

Working above the east entrance.


May 28,2008


A view of the work in progress as deteriorated concrete goes off in a cloud of dust from the parapet above the vestibule window on the west side of the church.

On Wednesday, May 21, 2008, after losing two days to weather, work began on the extensive job of removing crumbling concrete, replacing with resin and waterproofing the entire building. The initial work is on the west side of the building, resulting in the closing of that entryway.


Planned schedule of the work-
published in the bulletin of May 18
5/19: Set up protection material, start erecting scaffolding and secure access to the site.

5/19 - 6/30: Perform concrete demolition work and create restoration form mock-ups.

6/30 - 8/11: Complete concrete work. Complete all waterproofing and staining of facade and metal copings.

8/11 - 9/8: Remove, repair and reinstall clerestory window. Perform all flashing, roofing and painting work above the roof.

9/8 - 9/19: Clean up site and complete all remaining work.
Additional scheduling information about thebell tower and the flooring installation will be provided in the near future. Please keep reading the bulletin or this page for this important information.



The above photo of the west entrance of the church was taken Friday May 23, after quitting time, so no work is in progress, but the machine used for lifting workers to the roof is visible, as is the closing of access to the west door.
Sunday, 2 December 2007 - Five Children of Two Parish Families are Baptized
Two parish families came together at St. Philip Church on the afternoon of December 2 for a very special celebration - the baptisms of their five children.
Deacons Frank Chiappetta and Paul Reilly presided. Those receiving the sacrament were Alexus Clarke and Robert Phelps Clarke Jr., children of Lynda A. Aubin and Robert P. Clarke, and Clare Noelle King, Abelino A. King and Rafael A. King, children of Kathleen T. and Robert K  King. Welcome to St. Philip Parish!
Sunday, 18 November 2007. 7th & 8th Graders Bring Desserts.

St. Philip 7th and 8th graders.

Some of the desserts and the greeting cards.

The 12:00 noon Mass was a "Children Are Special" Mass. The 7th and 8th graders in the St. Philip Faith Formation program brought desserts for the Thanksgiving baskets that are provided by St. Philip parishioners for needy families of the community. The children also created greeting cards for the baskets, wishing the families Thanksgiving enjoyment.
Mansion Beautification
During August, major steps were taken to restore the entrance foyer of the mansion building to its original elegance, the major step being the removal of the wall next to the stairway. Here are some pictures showing the result. Click for larger image

Monday, 6 August 2007 - In the Movies

Anyone visiting the St. Philip campus Monday would have had to ask "What is going on?" For many people in Norwalk, however, it will not be a surprise to learn that the St. Philip mansion was yet another location for scenes for the film "For One More Day" based on the book by Mitch Albom and being produced by the Oprah organization. As is usual for these shoots, there was no public announcement ahead of time, because the crews feel a crowd of spectators should be avoided if possible. But Deacon Frank Chiappetta and Steve Bagnell were there, and got some good pictures of the "invasion". Click here to take a look.


Tuesday, 10 July 2007 - Africa!

Four teens of the St Philip Youth Group, and their adult chaperone, arrived in Malawi this date to begin their study tour with WorldVision, after a grueling trip beginning in Norwalk on Sunday, July 8th and including flights to Washington, DC, Amsterdam, Nairobi, Zambia and Lilongwe, Malawi. On their tour they will be working with VisionWorld personnel, observing and participating in the distribution of food and medicines.

Being chosen to participate in this tour is a recognition of the outstanding dedication of the St Philip Youth Group in the 30-Hour Famine for the last four years. During this event teens fast together for 30 hours while praying, playing games, learning about hunger, raising awareness for hunger, and raising money. This year the more than 100 teenagers from St Philip and surrounding area managed to raise the amazing amount of $18,000. Over the last 4 years St. Philip has raised more than $38,400 for WorldVision and more than $7,600 for the local soup kitchen Manna House. Only nine other teens have been so honored this year from around the country.

For the four teens chosen, the tour is a recognition of their personal outstanding dedication. Adrienne DiMarco and Mike Pappa have been the coordinators of the Famine at St. Philip for the past two years. Devan Yoder worked tirelessly on all four famines and Brendan Giolitto raised the most money for the famine. The adult leader, Jill Yoder has put a lot of time and work into the famine.

To demonstrate the support and prayers of the parish, a special sending ceremony was held for the travelling group after the 12:00 noon Mass on June 24. As representatives not only of St. Philip Parish but of the community and even the nation, they will be inspired, and will inspire others to even greater acts of Christian charity. The photos below are from the sending.


Devan and Brendan

Jill, Michael and Adrienne

Parishioners Magnus and Rose Ogazi give a blessing in their native African tongue.

Go with our prayers!

Altar display celebrating the trip. Included. among other items: vigil candle, map of Africa, photo of the group, itinerary.

Also see previous stories on this page and photos from the 2007 30 Hr Famine

22 June, 2007 - The St. Philips Welcoming Committee held its annual Ice Cream Social to greet new parishioners.
Fire and Renewal

Every summer for seven years, the St. Philip Youth Group has gone on a leadership retreat at their beloved
retreat house in Jacksonville, Vermont. The home that they have loved had a tremendous fire in February and all was lost. But, God is Good, and the house will be rebuilt!


This year the Youth Group will be having a Building Adventure/Leadership Retreat and all are invited! The project will be at the Mellos Tuesday, August 7 - Thursday, August 9 (staying at a motel down the road at night). There will be work helping to build the new house, as well as fun activities, swims in the lake, and talking around the campfire. For this trip, all are invited - teens, families, parents, etc. - the more the merrier. Please call Kali (845-2385) if you would like to be part of this amazing three-day adventure.

When the retreat center burned in February, all was lost - for the retreat house and for the Dumaine family as well. The family has been given clothes and some basic furnishings as well. Here at St. Philip, we have taken up a collection to help refurbish the retreat center and purchased a large number of sheets, mattress pads, pillows and blankets for the new rooms. The gifts were presented to the Dumaine Family at the 10 a.m. Mass on June 10.

Kali DiMarco, Youth Ministry Coordinator, describes the project and introduces the Dumaine family.

The Dumaine family.

Procession of gifts.

Gifts at the altar.







Emily Presser (upper photo at left) and Jill Yoder are congratulated by Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia on their awards as Volunteers of the Year  by the Voluntary Action Center of Mid-Fairfield  Emily offers her time and talent at St. Philip in many ways: as assistant catechist for two classes, helping to clean the Church, and babysitting for parent meetings.  Jill has been an integral part of our youth ministry, as a catechist, a member of the Confirmation Team, a leader for the 30-Hour Famine, and the volunteer coordinator of the middle schoo YAC program.


Congratulations to both!




11 April 2007 - Today Kali DiMarco, Youth Coordinator, announced the exciting news that St. Philip has bee invited to send a delegation on a study tour with World Vision. This is of course related to our participation in thye 30 Hour Famine. Kaali's email follows, and below that you can consult the previously posted report on the 30 Hour Famine. Also see  Recent Photos


Kali's email:

Just wanted to let you all know about something very exciting that has happened to our parish - a real blessing for the entire parish!! Our group has been selected to travel to Africa on a Study Tour with World Vision. After the 30 Hour Famine, we sent in the names of one adult leader (Jill Yoder) and four youth who raised over $360 and who, we felt, had worked the hardest and done the most for our last four famines.
Well, yesterday we got the word that we had been selected!!! The trip is a two-week "study tour" - the kids will actually be delivering food and medicine to the African people of Malawi. It looks like it will begin July 8th (they have to fly out of Washington, DC, via Amsterdam and Nairobi) There are only 13 people going in total, and 5 are from St Philip! I cannot tell you how happy we are.
The four youth are: Mike Pappa and Adrienne DiMarco (co-coordinators of the famine for the last two years, both have worked tirelessly for this annual event), Brendan Giolitto (raised the most money - $880 from over 40 donors) and Devan Yoder (has also worked numerous hours on the Famine, helping to coordinate the TRIBE game for three years).
The trip is worth thousands and thousands of dollars, but each teen only needs to pay $1500 for the entire thing. We are thinking of a couple of ways to offset this amount. We would like to make books with photos and writings from the participants and give them to anyone who donates $5 to the trip. We are also thinking of having an African themed dinner, complete with African food, and maybe even African dancers. We would have some baskets to raffle and would charge a small fee per head.
The kids are simply overwhelmed... and looking forward to completing the work they started. I think the five people from St Philip will represent us beautifully! Please keep them in your prayers, as well as the people they will meet and serve.


Also see the 30 Hour Famine website


30 Hour Famine Report


$17,500 . . . AND COUNTING!
There is just no way to sufficiently thank all the people who were a part of our 30-Hour Famine. The two days were an incredible example of faith in community, and we thank each and every one of you for your prayers, support, donations, and good wishes. Our very special thanks to:
● Father Boccaccio for his ongoing support and love, and his steadfast belief in the youth of our parish;
● Mayor Dick Moccia, for taking time out of his busy day, and for reminding us that the teenagers in our community care and want to help;
● Linda Nolan, from World Vision, who gave us some insight into the challenges of world hunger;
● Sister Eileen Good, CND and Sister Marilyn Hammill, CND for sharing with us their experiences in Africa;
● Philip Lucose for teaching us about fasting as prayer;
● Maria O’Kelly, Dana Mattson and the Senior and Junior Choirs for learning and singing two new songs so beautifully;
● The 100 teenagers who fasted for over 30 hours and the 36 sixth and seventh graders who took part in our second Mini Famine; (You raised over $15,500 for World Vision and $2,000 for Manna House. You inspire us!)
● The 136 “Prayer Partners”, who held each of us in prayer during the Famine - we felt your love;
● The parents, parishioners and others in our community who coordinated games, activities, fund raising and publicity; ran the scavenger hunt to the grocery store; chaperoned the lock-in; shopped, cooked and served the breakfast; set up and cleaned up for us; and prayed for our participants;
● Honey Hill Convalescent Home, Sunrise Assisted Living, Notre Dame Convalescent Home, The Marvin, Timothy memorial School, The Emergency Shelter, Elderhouse, and Gregory’s Grocery Store, for allowing us to be in service to others;
● The First Water Taxing District for allowing us to gather on the Green, and Officer Robert Curry for keeping us safe on our walk;
● Joyce Bretherton, Donna Solano and Debi Boccanfuso, who planned and led the Mini Famine;
● Adrienne DiMarco and Michael Pappa, who were our youth leaders for the Famine;
● Terry and Claudia Aloise and Jodi Serasis, who planned and led the midnight prayer service;
● Deacon Frank Chiappetta for the opening prayer and the blessing with water mid-day;
● Patsy Porco for shopping, Linda Pappa for phone calls, Dan Krenicki for tallying all the donations, and Billy Pappa for finding our Karaoke equipment;
● Father Mark McGregor, for spending time with our Mini Famine group and for celebrating Mass with us.

It is amazing what can be done through the Grace of God and the spirit of a powerful community. One of the greatest gifts this year was the number of people involved with the Famine. There are so many to thank - our apologies if we left off any names. Our angels:

Drivers - Terry Aloise, Marian Barbieri, Deb & Roger Bennetts, Maria Brancaccio, Claire Budnik, Marge Costa, Ralph DiMarco, Ceile Fitzgerald, Bob & Margaret Giolitto, Kelly Hefferan, Deirdre Heinold, Lucy Iacono, Debbie LeDuc, JoAnn LoRusso, Rob Nowack, Pat Olson, Ann Otto, Linda Pappa, Ellen Passero, Paul Piasecki, Vere Richardson, Anna Ruggiero, Maria & Vinny Scicchitano, Nancy Surace, Lynn VanDeusen, Gerry Werner, Alan Yoder and Jill Yoder.

Breakfast - Roger & Deb Bennetts, Dan Cunningham, Michael & Janice Falbo, Brian & Ceile Fitzgerald, Neil Harding, Kelly & Steve Hefferan, Melissa Hirsch, Kathy & Brynne Krenicki, Debbie LeDuc, JoAnn LoRusso, Rona & Michael Marotta, Paul Piasecki, Maria Scicchitano, JoAnn Somma, Gerry Werner and Alan, April & Rachel Yoder.

Chaperones - Terry & Claudia Aloise, Debi Boccanfuso, Claire Budnik, Doris Chiappetta, Ralph DiMarco, Michael Falbo, Margaret & Bob Giolitto, Rob Nowack, Pat Olson, Ann Otto, Jodi Serasis, Gerry Werner, Alan & April Yoder and Jill Yoder.



Lessons and Carols

The annual presentation Lessons and Carols at St. Philip Parish was held on the evening of December 22, 2006, under the direction of Maria O'Kelly, Music Director of St. Philip's. A large congregation of parishioners and friend gathered to hear Christmas scripture readings, music and song. The event included presentations by the St. Philip Adult Choir and Junior Choir and by the Eastern Festival Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Zachary Israel Nobile Kampler


(click on image for larger view)



Children Are Special

19 November 2006 - The 7th and 8th graders of St. Philip parish came together at the Children Are Special Mass at 12:00 noon to present the desserts for the annual Thanksgiving baskets. These baskets, filled with food donated by parishioners, are distributed to less fortunate families in the area. In the photo at right Father Boccaccio is reads aloud some of the greeting messages composed by the young people.


St. Augustine Medal of Service

On Saturday November 11, Frank Localzo was awarded the St. Augustine Medal of Service by Bishop Lori. The award is given to an individual in good standing who has served his/her parish in some extraordinary way.

Frank is the second St. Philip recipient of the award, selected by the Parish Staff'.  Frank’s dedication to his parish community has resulted in many accomplishments, from seasonal decorating of the Church to fixing just about anything in need of repair. Sincerest congratulations to Frankie and fondest thanks for all he, and his beautiful wife Jetta, do for St. Philip.



































Drive-by Leaf Raking

November 11, 2006 - The Saint Philip Youth Group carried out its Annual Drive-by Leaf Raking. The group in these pictures is just one of several teams surprising parishioners with their rakes, leaf bags and lots of energy and Christian spirit. Watch this page for pictures of other groups.



News Page Archives: 1.  April-June 2006

                                       2.  Tower Demolition                            








































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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