Newtown Legislative Delegation Honors Retiring Monsignor, Participate in St. Rose Knowledge Bowl
As part of Catholic Schools Week, State Representatives Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) and Martin Foncello (R-107) along with State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28), presented a citation to St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church Monsignor Robert Weiss on his last day as Pastor of Newtown’s largest faith community, marking his retirement, and recognizing him for his years of devoted service to the parish and the community. The lawmakers also participated in a schoolwide Knowledge Bowl.
“Monsignor Weiss, ‘Father Bob’, is such a special person and, in so many ways, represents the Resiliency, Kindness and Spirit of Newtown. He’s devoted his life to others, and in his 24-years at St. Rose, contributed so much to growing this parish into the community it is today, all the while being a beacon of light, strength, love, wisdom, and perspective, in good times and in more challenging times,” said Rep. Bolinsky. “So many of us have leaned on his broad shoulders when we needed to, and he’s always there. While we will miss seeing him on the alter, I feel blessed to know that, even in retirement, he’ll be a presence in the community that loves him, living right here in Newtown. I look forward to seeing him around town as our wisest, kindest, most caring neighbor.”
“Weiss has touched countless lives, which serves as a testament to his love of and commitment to the St. Rose community,” said Rep. Foncello. “He became a comforting presence in the days, weeks and years after the tragedy in Sandy Hook, not just for his parish, but for the entire town. I want to congratulate him on his retirement and wish him well during this next chapter of his life.”
“I have been fortunate to meet and get to know many incredibly resilient and inspiring people in my life,” Sen. Hwang said. “People with tremendous inner strength. Father Bob is one of those amazing individuals. He is resolutely committed to strive to be kind. He is driven to make others better through healing, connecting, and co-existence. He is a pillar in the community, and we simply want to thank him for being in our lives.”
Following the luncheon with school leaders, the preschool through 8th grade classes gathered for a Knowledge Bowl trivia game. The school population was divided into four groups and competed by grade level. The questions were supplied by teachers, based on what the students have been learning this academic year. Special rounds included Bolinsky, Foncello, Hwang, Police Chief David Kullgren, and First Selectman Jeff Capeci.
“When St. Rose School calls with an invitation to their Knowledge Bowl, I light-up with the anticipation of knowing how much fun it’s going to be! Imagine a gym, packed with 250 Pre-K to Grade-8 students, their parents, St. Rose School faculty, clergy and everyone’s their enthusiasm. It’s electric! It’ll take me a week to wipe the smile from my face,” said Bolinsky.
“These kids were so enthusiastic about showing their parents and fellow students what they have learned since September about math, religion, and so many other topics. Their school spirit was such a treat to see,” said Foncello.
“The Knowledge Bowl had participation from all grade levels, and I was impressed by their performance and insightful answers!” Hwang said. “What a tremendously positive, fun, and challenging competition. It is a testament to everyone at St. Rose School, from students to parents to teachers. It is yet another example of why Newtown is such a special community.”
Weiss, 77, submitted his retirement at age 75 in obedience to diocesan rules, but was granted an extension to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy. He led the parish for 24 years.
Weiss Citation photo (L to R): Rep. Martin Foncello, Rep. Mitch Bolinsky, Sen. Tony Hwang present citation to Monsignor Robert Weiss
Knowledge Bowl photo (L to R): Rep. Mitch Bolinsky, First Selectman Jeff Capeci, Police Chief David Kullgren, Sen. Tony Hwang participate in St. Rose School Knowledge Bowl