All Diocesan Articles




Let His Love Shine Through What You Do - Colleen Puscas

Posted on September 08, 2022 in: News, Events

Let His Love Shine Through What You Do - Colleen Puscas

Music, especially Liturgical music, has always been a passion for Colleen Puscas. Some 30 years ago, she was the director of liturgy and music at Christ the Teacher Parish/Newman Center at Northern Illinois University. Then her husband, Michael, had a job opportunity in Connecticut, so she and her family moved to Colchester.

One Sunday morning, after moving there, the family was running late preparing their four children for church, so they ended up attending a later Mass, 11 a.m. at St. Andrew Church. That was the first time Colleen heard the choir sing for Mass, and although the choir was composed of only a dozen members, she was struck by their spirit. 

Sometime after that, the pastor, having learned of her credentials (master’s degrees in Liturgy and Music Composition), offered her the job of director of music. Since then, for the past 28 years, she has not only provided St. Andrew Church with beautiful liturgical music, but 16 Passion Plays, 12 choir concert performances around the world, and assorted Madrigals and dinner/musical concerts.

The St. Andrew choir calls itself the “Gumby Choir” (referring to Art Clokey’s 1950 clay animation figure who could bend and flex in any position), because of the choir’s ability to bend and flex to the musical challenges offered by Colleen. And indeed bend and flex they did. 

Twenty years ago Colleen began formulating what was to be her magnum opus, the St. Andrew Passion Play. Colleen’s version can actually be referred to as “The life of Christ and His Passion,” as it begins with the nativity, progresses through major events of the life of Christ, and culminates with the Crucifixion and Resurrection. 

Up until 2020, when performances were curtailed due to Covid restrictions, she had written and produced 16 unique versions. Each included 120 to 150 actors and dancers, numerous stagehands and behind-the-scenes personnel, professional sound and lighting equipment, and of course the Gumby choir. “Launching a Passion Play was a dream come true, as I know hundreds of people were touched by the Spirit of God as they watched the Gospel come to life,” Colleen said. 

However, the Gumby choir had more bending and flexing ahead of them. At a conference she attended, Colleen came across a workshop entitled,”Take your Choir to Rome.” She inquired and had a discussion about the possibility of the St. Andrew choir singing at the Vatican. Seven months later, in October 1998, the Gumby choir was in Rome singing for Pope St. John Paul II, on the occasion of his 20th anniversary as the Holy Father. This concert was the first of 11 more venues where the Gumbies performed, including: Lourdes, Fatima, Athens, Dublin, Salzburg and others.

Colleen is now moving on to new adventures in her life. Sadly, on Nov. 27, 2021, her husband of 42 years, Deacon Michael Puscas, passed away. 

“Michael’s sudden journey to eternity changed almost everything about my life and caused me, with great sadness and intentionality, to seek the Lord’s counsel regarding my future,” Colleen said. 

As Providence would have it, she was offered the position of director of music and liturgy at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Noblesville, Indiana, the very parish where her daughter, Julia, is the director of youth ministry. 

“I have been inordinately happy to serve the parish of St Andrew for most of my adult life. The Principal Choir and the Young People’s Choir have been my joy,” she said. 

Colleen believes that, “Everybody has a gift that God has given them and it is just so unsettling to me that people use their gifts for something other than worshiping God.” 

She has truly used her gifts to worship and praise God. We thank her for her faithful service, and pray for her continued success.

All are invited to bid farewell to Colleen after each Mass, at St. Andrew Church, Colchester, September 24th and 25th.

By Deacon Ben LoCasto

Most Viewed Articles of the Last 30 Days

Employment Opportunities in the Diocese of Norwich
Looking for a job? We have a number of open positions that can be found at   The updated page includes listings for several employment opportunities within the diocese.         School job postings are online as well   Be sure to keep the link to handy  

Read More

Norwich, Catholic
Healing Masses and Healing Services in Hebron
Come join us for a Mass of Healing and Hope on the third Sunday of every month at 2 p.m. at Church of the Holy Family, 185 Church St, Hebron. The next Mass scheduled will be on May 21. Mass will be celebrated by Father Ray Introvigne with a healing service following the Mass led by Father Ray.  For more information, contact Andrea Hoisl at or (860) 848-2237 ext. 203  

Read More

healing, Prayer
Bankruptcy Court Approves Auction Procedures
The Diocese of Norwich has received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to auction 113.19 acres of its property in Montville, which includes Saint Bernard School, on June 2. The property to be auctioned by Norwich Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation comprises the real estate and all of its improvements located at 1593 Route 32, Montville. The Diocese requested the court order in April. Interested bidders have until 4 p.m. May 26 to submit written bids that satisfy all requirements detailed in the court’s sale procedures. If one or more qualified bids i...

Read More

Reverend George J. Richards Jr. - Obituary
The Reverend George Richards Jr., JCL, of Middletown, passed away at St Joseph's Living Center in Windham, Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the age of 69. Born at the Naval Hospital in Groton, he was the beloved son of the late Margaret and George Richards Sr. Father George is a graduate of St. Michael's Parochial School, Pawcatuck. He graduated from Saint Bernard School, Montville, in 1972, and Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., in 1976. He earned his Licentiate in Canon Law (J.C.L.) degree from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., in 2000. ...

Read More

St. Vincent de Paul, Middletown Much More than Food and Fellowship
Through its soup kitchen and Amazing Grace Food Pantry, St. Vincent de Paul, Middletown has provided meals and groceries to those in need for 43 years.  Our soup kitchen opened with a shelter on Main Street in 1980 as a response to homelessness in our city. The kitchen was modeled after what Dorothy Day started in New York City during the Great Depression: a place to get a warm meal and fellowship.  Today, we’ve expanded our soup kitchen model to do much more than feed people and provide fellowship. As our community and its needs change, so must our pr...

Read More

Watch 'The Chair' - A Conversation About Our Diocese
The story of the faith in Norwich began under the anti-Catholic policies of early Puritan, New England. Grew rapidly with the Irish-Catholic immigrants in the mid-nineteenth century. And carries on today under the leadership of its current apostle, Bishop Michael R. Cote. Bishop Cote and the Cathedral of Saint Patrick were featured in 'The Chair,' a television series that highlights 85 of America's cathedrals. Each episode captures the unique beauty and characteristics of a diocese.    Watch the entire series of The Chair on Roku, Crackl...

Read More


Annual Catholic Appeal






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
    Deacon William McGann, III - 1944~2023
    St. Bernard, Mercy High Schools Hold Graduations
    Mercy Chamber Choir Wins Contest, Will Open for Foreigner During Their Farewell Tour
    We Can Help. Promise to Protect-Pledge to Heal
    Why is June the Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus?
    Memorial Day Masses Honor Sacrifices of Service Members
    Knights of Columbus Doc Explores Extraordinary Life of Fr. Emil Kapaun
    Employment Opportunities in the Diocese of Norwich

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