Services Honor Connecticut school shooting victims

Residents from around the region streamed Friday into St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn., to mourn the 20 children and six adults who were killed when a gunman opened fire in an elementary school. A memorial Mass got under way at 7 pm ET at the church, whose pastor, Msgr. Robert Weiss, spent much of the day at a firehouse that had been turned into a gathering place for families affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The church was packed, and hundreds of people who couldn’t get in stood silently outside, where 26 candles were set up by a tree wth a cross. Some held hands, praying as a group. Others reverently touched a statue of Saint Rose, the first person native to the Americas to be canonized by the Catholic Church, before crossing themselves. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was among the speakers at the service inside the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic church, “Many of us today and in the coming days will rely on what we have been taught and what we believe, that there is faith for a reason,” Malloy said. The service was just one of many prayer services and vigils planned across Connecticut through the weekend, NBC Connecticut reported. A statewide moment of silence was observed at 9 pm ET. After the vigil at St. Rose, Weiss told reporters gathered outside that six or seven kids who had attended the church were among the 20 children who died. “I think the families are very broken,” he said. “I’m sure that they’re still wondering and

South Central Connecticut: Castles and Submarines

South Central Connecticut: Castles and Submarines

Drive through the country side of South Central Connecticut. The country is very rolling, with many field stone fences. In East Haddam is St Stephen’s Episcopal Church, which has a bell dating from 815 A.D. It is said to be the world’s oldest church bell still in use. The Spanish monastery, from which it comes, was destroyed by Napoleon and the bell was salvaged. It arrived here on a shipload of metal and found a home in this parish church to toll again.

Also in East Haddam is the Goodspeed Theater, in which are performed musicals. Victorian in architecture, the theater overlooks the Connecticut River.

Also overlooking the river is the Gillette Castle. Built between 1914 and 1919, this building built entirely of fieldstone (six million on the property) is an example of the post Victorian Movement, reminiscent of the Prairie School of Chicago. William Gillette (no relation to Gillette Safety Razor Company), once a neighbor of Mark Twain in Hartford, ignored the wishes of his father and became an actor. During his career he wrote and stared in over twenty plays, most notably bringing the role of Sherlock Holmes to the stage. Around the turn of the century he was earning over 0,000 per year. He fell in love with the overlook of the river, which he called the Seventh Sister and proceeded to build this home. Consisting of 24 rooms, the house contains many ingenious inventions thought up by Gillette. Every door and lock is of a different design. He had a special lock on his liquor cabinet that even Albert Einstein or Mark Twain could not figure out how to open. He would silently laugh at them by viewing their frustrations in strategically placed mirrors. He had a small scaled railroad erected on his grounds with over three miles of track, including trestles and a hundred yard tunnel. The house itself has undergone extensive reconstruction and has now reopened to much of its former glory. At five dollars per person it is a bargain to see the tribute of William Gillette. Did I mention the view? Overlooking the Connecticut River and the surrounding countryside, you can see the small ferry crossing the River with passengers and cars.

Old Saybrook is at the tip of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound. Once the home of Yale University before it moved to New Haven, it is now a quiet community. In the memorial park are the remnants of an old train roundhouse, a building in which maintenance was performed on the engines. A boardwalk leads out to an estuary and marsh lands with a description of the flora and fauna found there. An interesting plaque gives the history of the Pequot Wars. The tale told that the Pequot started the war with the British and the British finished it off. Is there a third side to the story?

Across the river is Old Lyme, purported to be the home of many ship captains. There is no map designating the historical homes. The locals claim that the town residents want to live in anonymity and keep the tourists away. On the Northern edge of town is Florence Griswold Museum with a collection of American Impressionists. Adjacent is an art academy and museum, which accepts tourists.  Today Lyme has the dubious distinction of being the name of Lyme disease carried by the deer tick.  There goes anonymity.

Further East is Groton, the home of the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, launched in 1954. She and her crew were the first ones to sail under the North Pole. Audio guided tours are available for free aboard the sub. She is the only nuclear submarine on display in the world. Groton is also the home of the Coast Guard Academy.  

On the grounds is the submarine museum, with displays of submarines used since Bushnell invented the Turtle during the revolutionary war. Hand propelled he drove the sub into New York Harbor to blow up the English ship Eagle, but was unable to attach the charges. The museum has many hands on displays on life in a submarine, from the attack room, the conning tower with periscope, torpedo room, sonar and radar. Outside are one man and two man subs used by Italy, Japan, and other countries in war.

John Pelley is a Geriatric Gypsy. He is retired from the rat race of working. He is a full-time RVer, who ran away from home. He began our travels on the East Coast and, like the migrating birds, seek the warmth of the seasons He has discovered volunteering with the National Park System. He has a CD he has recorded of Native American flute music., A Day with Kokopelli. For pictures, links, and more information visit


(PRWEB) September 10, 2003

Hartford, Conn. — The Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding, Inc., today announced its second annual 9/11 Memorial remembrance service.

Titled September 11: An Interreligious Prayer Service for Remembrance and Peace, it will offer prayers from the following religions: Baha’i Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hindu, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, and Unitarian Universalist. Members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend on Thursday, September 11, 2003 at Christ Church Cathedral (Church and Main Streets in Downtown Hartford) from noon to 1:00 p.m.

“We gather in the spirit of prayer, together, to remember those who lost their lives and their loved ones who survive them,” stated The Rev. Dr. Stephen J. Sidorak, Jr. Executive Director of the Christian Conference of Connecticut.

Speakers for the program include Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez; Reverend Andrew D. Smith, Bishop of the Espicopal Diocese of Connecticut and Reverend Dr. Stephen J. Sidorak, Jr., Chair of the Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding, Inc.

Parking, within easy walking distance of the Cathedral, is available at the following parking garages: MAT Garage (Hartford Stage Company Garage – across Church Street); Sheraton Garage – behind the hotel on Church Street; LAZ-Metro Lot (corner of Church and Ann Streets) or Talcott Street Garage (behind Capital Community College – old G. Fox).

The Connecticut Committee for Interreligious Understanding welcomes the increasing religious diversity in our society and recognizes the need for dialogue and interaction among participants of all religions in order to promote mutual respect. We foster interreligious understanding and act against ignorance, intolerance, and violence.

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