Pope elevates Connecticut church to status of minor basilica
Published: October 26, 2009
STAMFORD, Conn. (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has elevated St. John the Evangelist Church in downtown Stamford in the Bridgeport Diocese to the status of minor basilica. The designation was announced Oct. 17. Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport said in a statement he was grateful to the pope "for this great blessing on our diocese. As a minor basilica, St. John's now enjoys a special relationship with the Holy Father," he said. "It becomes the pope's church and a center for the promotion of the teachings of the Holy Father and the Catholic Church's magisterium, as well as a center for a deeper devotion to the pope as the successor of St. Peter." Founded in 1847 to meet the needs of a growing Catholic population, St. John is known as the "mother church of Stamford." Twenty-three churches and missions in Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan and Darien trace their roots to St. John. The first wooden clapboard church was dedicated in 1851. The current church, completed in 1886, was the largest stone building in the state at the time.
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