All Diocesan Articles



Wellness in the Wallet: Catholic Charities Financial Empowerment Program

Posted on May 03, 2023 in: Events, Catholic Charities News, Around the Diocese

Wellness in the Wallet: Catholic Charities Financial Empowerment Program

Catholic Charities Financial Empowerment Workshop

Next workshop:

When: Monday, May 8, 2023 9am-12pm and 1pm to 4pm

Where:Catholic Charities Norwich Office, 331 Main St

All are welcome!

Meeting to share stories about paying bills and avoiding identity frauds and scams is usually not a happy time. However, recently at Catholic Charities Norwich Office, participants vied with one another to share their monetary success stories. They were among the women and men who have already completed the Financial Empowerment Program in the Diocese of Norwich since January. The goal is to equip participants with the financial know-how to secure stable and more confident futures.

Free to participants of low to moderate income, the Financial Empowerment Program, was designed by Catholic Charities USA in partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to cultivate financial wellness to people served by Catholic Charities. More sessions are planned in areas served by Catholic Charities.

This writer attended the last of three, 3-hour morning monthly sessions for Spanish-speaking adults. A final afternoon session took place for English-speakers.

Keyla Santos, Program Director and Caseworker, explained that facilitator training sessions for caseworkers, staff, and volunteers follow the program provided by Catholic Charities USA.

“Our purpose,” Ms. Santos noted, “is to help people who come to us to become self-sufficient and independent. The three sessions provide the basic skills to improve financial wellness in daily living: saving, budgeting, tackling debt.”

The first session teaches Basic Budgeting Skills: Keeping a record of all expenses for one month and beyond, creating a family budget and following the budget. The second session focuses on Basic Budgeting Objectives: Opening and maintaining a checking account, developing a savings plan and opening and maintaining a savings account, identifying strategies to curb impulse spending. The third session encourages the daily use of Basic Consumer Skills: Developing a meal plan with a menu and shopping list, ways to save at the grocery store, identifying the difference between wants versus needs and developing strategies to curb impulse spending.

Jack Babbitt was the facilitator for this session. He was Director of Information Technology at UConn Storrs. He is a past member of Catholic Charities Board of Directors and has served for several years as the ever-persistent Grant Writer. Last year, he attended a meeting of Catholic Charities USA and returned with the Catholic Charities Financial Empowerment Program.

Mr. Babbitt explained, “I would like to see this Financial Program offered throughout the Diocese of Norwich, including teenagers and senior citizens who are often the victims of money scams. The Program was recently completed in Groton’s Branford Manor.

Four participants in the Norwich sessions enthusiastically agreed to share their experiences for this article.

Adaligiza Estevez explained, “This is a powerful program and I thank Catholic Charities for it. I wish I had this experience years ago so I could have told my daughter how to control her finances. I hope this

program can be expanded to help all of us form a better life. I would love to see a Support Group formed to help us continue on this positive way of life.”

Alba Starr related that she was on a fixed income and felt she had no control over her finances, even after working. “I learned to track my expenses, get rid of credit cards and paid off the interest on them. For the past two months, I am putting money into savings instead of taking it out. I am happy I came.”

Annie Bautista exclaimed, “I loved the program. I learned to track expenses and to control my spending. I had boxes and boxes of items that I had collected and no longer needed. Now I have control of my finances.”

“This program changed my life”, added Maria Echevaria, “and not just about money”. She added, “The presentations enabled me to see how I could take charge of my finances and out of the darkness of being powerless.”

Mr. Babbitt concluded the session following applause from participants saying, “Money does not buy happiness, but it does influence our perception of happiness and our potential for success. When we are in control of our finances that make up a large part of our lives, our lives and those around us are enriched with our mental, physical and spiritual well-being.”

The next Financial Empowerment Workshop will be May 8, 2023, at the Catholic Charities Norwich Office, 331 Main St. The first workshop group is from 9 a.m.-Noon. The second workshop group will be held from 1 p.m-4 p.m.

Individuals and families of low to moderate income are invited to enroll in the Catholic Charities Financial Empowerment Program by calling 860-889-8346 or emailing Catholic Charities Program Director Keyla Santos at

By Jacqueline M. Keller, Catholic Charities Board Member

Most Viewed Articles of the Last 30 Days

Calendar of Events

Posted on September 15, 2023 in: Around the Diocese


Calendar of Events
Brothers in Christ Virtual Meeting Brothers in Christ is a gathering of men who share faith, personal experiences, and discussion. BIC fellowship meetings are held the second Thursday of the month either virtually or on-site. Thursday-October 12th, Brothers in Christ will be Virtually from 7pm – 7:45pm.  Deacon Dennis Dolan will be speaking on “Children who don’t go to Mass”.  If you are interested in hearing great speakers as well as developing fellowship with other men devoted to Christ, please register by email Liza Roach at lroach@no...

Read More

Register Today: CT Catholic Men's Conference Returns
Greetings, Men of God!          It’s time to get ready for the 16th Annual Connecticut Catholic Men’s Conference at Northwest Catholic HS, West Hartford, CT on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2023.             BUY TICKETS ONLINE Doors open 7:30am and the event concludes with the Vigil Mass at 4pm. We’re calling all men of the parish to join us for a day of dynamic speakers, Exhibitors, incredible worship, Confession, Adoration, fellowship, and food! Thi...

Read More

The Importance of Attending a Catholic Men's Conference
             The 16th Annual Connecticut Catholic Men's Conference is almost upon us. We are so looking forward to seeing men at Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford on September 23rd. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Catholic men's conferences offer a unique and invaluable opportunity for men to grow in faith, help discern God's call for them in their lives, and contribute to the Church's mission. In this article, we will present several reasons why men shou...

Read More

Pope St. John Paul II Hiking Club Blends Faith, Friends and the Beauty of God’s Creation
Pope St. John Paul II, who had a passion for the great outdoors and used it to evangelize the Catholic faith, is inspiring others locally to do the same. Suzi Porter, leader of a women’s Bible study group at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, was driving to a class last March when she felt called to start a Catholic hiking group and name it after the saint and former pope. “Our former Pope loved the outdoors and I had seen pictures of him hiking and skiing and kayaking well into his senior years,” Porter says. “I thought wh...

Read More

Church Craft Fairs & Bazaars

Posted on September 13, 2023 in: Events, Around the Diocese


Church Craft Fairs & Bazaars
Discover an array of unique and handcrafted gifts at one of the many Fairs happening throughout the Diocese. Each one is unique and showcases the talents of local artisans, offering everything from beautifully crafted ornaments and decorations to delectable holiday treats. You'll also find a wide selection of hand-knit scarves, cozy winter wear, and stunning jewelry – perfect for finding that special something for your loved ones or treating yourself. Your presence makes our holiday season brighter, and your support of our churches helps us spread ...

Read More

Youth and Family Explosion

Posted on August 24, 2023 in: News, Events


Youth and Family Explosion
The Family and Youth Explosion will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. December 3 at Mercy High School in Middletown with speaker, song writer and musician Jesse Manibusan.   Jesse has that knack to build instant rapport, connect to his audience, and create life-giving memories that help deepen faith and cultivate the joy that inspires service, sacrifice and the celebration of life. He works with any and every age group, so everyone is invited to attend!  Tickets will be $5 per Person, $25 for a family or $4 per person for a youth group. For more information...

Read More

Annual Fundraiser

Help Us Spread the Word with Your Gift

Your 100% tax deductible gift will help us continue to bring the gospel message and the news of the diocese to the faithful throughout eastern Connecticut and the world. Your generosity helps defray the production costs of our print, online, and email newsletter editions of the Four County Catholic, as well as enhancing our Social Media presence. 

For those who would rather mail their gift click here.

Signup for Weekly Newsletter

    Recently Added Galleries
    Click to view album: Rite of Election
    Click to view album: Mass of Ordination  for Fr. Jacob Ramos
    Click to view album: Mass of Ordination for Father Lawrence Barile
    Click to view album: Palm Sunday
    Latest Articles
    Awakening: How is the Holy Spirit at work in your life? 
    Video: Come See the Relics of the Saints at the CT Catholic Men's Conference Sept. 23
    Monthly Pro-Life Mass to be Held Oct. 7
    Clergy Appointments
    National Migration Week Highlights “Overlooked Right” Not to Migrate
    Respect Life: September Prayer Guide
    40 Days for Life to Start with Mass Sept. 26
    Calendar of Events

    Annual Catholic Appeal






    Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
    201 Broadway
    Norwich, CT 06360-4328
    Phone: 860-887-9294