Home/Stay Informed/All Diocesan Articles

All Diocesan Articles

 

 

Welcoming the Stranger: Archbishop Kevin S. Randall Embraces Diversity, Service in Bangladesh as Church's new Apostolic Nuncio

Posted on November 21, 2023 in: News, Vocations

Welcoming the Stranger: Archbishop Kevin S. Randall Embraces Diversity, Service in Bangladesh as Church's new Apostolic Nuncio

Archbishop Kevin S. Randall had the opportunity recently to celebrate Mass with members of Connecticut’s Bangladeshi community, a tight-knit group of about 600 worshipers based in Manchester. 

A well-traveled man who has served in Roman Catholic diplomatic posts on four continents, Archbishop Randall, the Church’s newly-named Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh,c

“We’re a country of immigrants and it takes different forms at different times. It’s interesting to see what attracts them,” the New London native said several weeks before his ordination to bishop Nov. 4, 2023 at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. “The Bible says to ‘Welcome the stranger,’ and we know that is certainly a big theme of Pope Francis, to welcome with open arms those who are in need.”

Connecticut’s Bangladeshi Catholics were present at the ordination, where members of the choir sang. Soon, their countrymen will welcome the Archbishop with the Titular See of Glenndálocha, as he is now known, to his new home. Archbishop Randall will move abroad on Nov. 23 and be based in Bangladesh’s capital of Dhaka, in the nunciature there. 

It’s a country of about 170 million people, 91% Muslim and 8% Hindu. Catholics comprise about 400,000 of the population. 

A soft-spoken man never at a loss for words, he felt a mix of excitement and nervousness when he learned in August of his appointment as Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh by Pope Francis. 

“I’m excited to become a bishop and to be given this Apostolic mission,” he said. “The nervousness would be more about what does it mean to become an Apostle,” he said. 

From North and South America to Europe and Africa, Archbishop Randall, 57, has traveled much of the globe during his 20-plus years as part of the diplomatic service of the Holy See.

It’s given him a unique window on the world that, he said, will help him in his role as a Papal ambassador in Bangladesh. It’s his first assignment in an Asian country. 

“I appreciate the confidence that the Holy Father and superiors in Rome have placed in me,” he added. 

The Nuncio is “the person that represents the Pope to the local church,” he said. “And is an accredited diplomat to the local government.”
In his long diplomatic career, he has had the opportunity to be on the ground in Rwanda, Serbia and Montenegro, in Slovenia and Macedonia, Peru and in the Republic of South Africa, where the Nunciature is also accredited in Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. 

Later, he served in Mexico, and was most recently assigned to the Pontifical representation in Austria.  As a young priest, he spent time locally at Our Lady of Lourdes in Gales Ferry and St. Joseph parish in New London. His diplomatic service began in Rwanda, a country ravaged by genocide just a few short years before his arrival. “It was a difficult period, but a lovely time for me. The people were wonderful, the culture very interesting,” he said. 

He recalled visiting a missionary parish up in the mountains on the Ugandan border. After a difficult trek up the mountain, his group encountered a community that had been neglected since the 1994 genocide.
“It was very touching to meet the many, many people who had walked for hours just to come to this Catholic Mass with the nuncio,” he said. While in Rwanda, he was able to help his first nuncio in the administration of constructing  an entirely new nunciature and nurture an ecclesiastical balance during a delicate social period for the Rwandans.

In 2017, he retired from a highly-decorated military career of some 28 years, serving as a U.S. Air Force Reserve Chaplain attached to the 31st  Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy, among other assignments at home and abroad. 
“It was a joy of my life to give my service, give my summer vacations to serve in the Armed Forces,” he said. “It was fantastic work. You’re just a priest in a different uniform.”

Archbishop Randall tries to heed the words of Pope Francis, to “get out from behind your desk,” he said. “He wants a Nuncio with his feet on the ground and visiting pastorally with his people,” the archbishop said. 

Serving also as a diplomat to the local government is an important role. “You work and collaborate and write reports on the health of that state in which you serve,” he said. The nuncio typically serves for about five years in a particular diplomatic post.

With decades of diplomatic service, Archbishop Randall says the joy in his vocation boils down to this: “I think that every country and culture has something beautiful to offer in its people,” he said. “A priest is at the service of his people. The beauty of the service to be there is in meeting them, in knowing their life stories and their hopes, their dreams.”

By Ryan Blessing


Most Viewed Articles of the Last 30 Days

New London Couple Recognized as State’s Longest Married Couple
New London Couple Recognized as State’s Longest Married Couple   In each of the 71 years that Russell and Pauline DeMarco have been married, their love for each other has grown stronger. How does such an enduring love last despite the challenges and differences that all married couples face? The answer, the couple says, lies with two necessary and key ingredients – patience and understanding. As a way of recognizing and honoring the enduring love of couples like the DeMarcos, Worldwide Marriage Encounter, (WWME) a faith-based marriage enrichment pr...

Read More

Resources to Help You on Your Lenten Journey

Posted on February 15, 2024 in: News, Lent

806

Resources to Help You on Your Lenten Journey
During Lent, we prepare for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection through prayer and reflection. We contemplate the promised Second Coming of Jesus as Savior. And amid the flurry of preparations, we look for practical ways to observe the holiness of the season in our everyday lives. To help you with this preparation, we have gathered various Lent resources into one convenient online location. Here you will find several articles and videos about Lent, along with tools and links to help guide you in the understanding of this holy time.    ...

Read More

Rest in Peace- Deacon Nicholas J. Cannata

Posted on February 06, 2024 in: News

706

Rest in Peace- Deacon Nicholas J. Cannata
Deacon Nicholas J. Cannata   (January 20, 1931 - February 4, 2024)   Nicholas J. Cannata, 93 (although he was aiming for 100 in his draft obituary), of Portland, husband of 65 years to Bianca Russo Cannata, left this world on Sunday, February 4, 2024. Born January 20, 1931 in Middletown, he was the son of the late Nicholas and Francesca (Giardina) Cannata. Nick was predeceased by his eight older siblings. Two brothers-Emanuel and Sebastian Cannata; and six sisters-Anna Santavenere, Antoinette Spallone, Rose Filette, Helen Marino, Viola Bozzi a...

Read More

Archdiocesan Time Capsule: ‘Do Not Open Until … November 2093’
Have you ever wondered what happened to the time capsule from the Archdiocese of Hartford’s 175th Anniversary celebration? You may recall that at the 175th Anniversary Mass on Nov. 28, 2018, Catholic parishes, schools, and other organizations were asked to bring packets of memorabilia to be buried the following year in a time capsule on the grounds of the Cathedral of St. Joseph, for reopening sometime in the distant future. The precious items are now organized and safely tucked away, but not underground as you might expect. Instead, they are housed in the Archd...

Read More

A Ticker Tape Message from God: How a non-Catholic Sociologist Became a Catholic Theologian
A Ticker Tape Message from God: How a non-Catholic Sociologist Became a Catholic Theologian   IN THE SUMMER OF 1987, Cynthia Toolin-Wilson reluctantly consented to accompany her husband and mother-in-law on a trip to Rome. Her husband Jim and his mother were devout Catholics, Cynthia was not. She was not anti-Catholic, she just wasn’t particularly interested in things religious. But, since visiting Rome was her elderly mother-in-law’s lifelong dream, Cynthia agreed to go on the condition that she would not have to visit any “religious&rdquo...

Read More

Vatican Doctrine Office Releases Note on Discerning the Validity of the Sacraments
ROME- The Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) released a note on Saturday on discerning the validity of the sacraments. The new document signed by Pope Francis and DDF Prefect Cardinal Victor Fernández is titled “Gestis Verbisque,” or “Deeds and Words.”  Fernández wrote in his introduction to the text that the note on the sacraments was written “to help bishops in their task as promoters and custodians of the liturgical life of the particular Churches entrusted to them.” “The Dicastery for t...

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: Nativity photos
    Click to view album: Archbishop Kevin S. Randall - Episcopal Ordination, Nov. 4, 2023
    Click to view album: Rite of Election
    Click to view album: Mass of Ordination  for Fr. Jacob Ramos
    Latest Articles
    Program Awakens Retreatants to Holy Spirit’s Presence in Their Lives
    Save The Date: Steubenville NYC 2024 To Be Held in July
    'The Greatest Gift' - Hope & Faith Video Series
    The Courage of Christian Martyrs is a Blessing for Everyone, Pope Says
    24 Hours for the Lord
    Lenten Recipes
    Vatican Announces Theme for World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
    Calendar of Events

    Annual Catholic Appeal

    ACA DONATE

    English

     

    Español

     

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