HARTFORD At a time when the need is greatest, Archbishop Henry J. Mansell is carving out a fund from the Archbishops Annual Appeal that will expedite emergency aid to parishioners in need.
"The Emergency Assistance Fund is a direct response to the economic climate that we are experiencing right now," said Janell A. George, director of the appeal. "Its certainly affecting everyone to a certain extent, and we wanted to create something from the appeal that would address that and recognize that everyone could be affected by whats happening right now."
Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of Hartford speaks at rally on March 11 at the state Capitol. Click Photo Gallery tab for more.
HARTFORD When thousands of Catholics and their supporters swarmed onto the grounds of the state Capitol and into the Legislative Office Building on March 11, whatever legislative support the anti-Catholic bill S.B. 1098 may have had was gone.
Capitol police reported there were 4,200 people present, but several media sources put the figure at 5,000 or even 7,000. While they stood in chilly rain for a rally at the Capitol, hundreds more overflowed a hearing room in the Legislative Office Building. Seven expert witnesses, rounded up on short notice, testified at a hearing called by members of both parties who were opposed to the bill, even though it had been withdrawn under pressure the day before.
HARTFORD Waving signs proclaiming "leave our Church alone," "religious freedom" and "the Catholic Church is Christs Church," more than 4,000 Catholics from throughout Connecticut stood with people from other faiths and states on March 11 to express their disbelief and outrage over S.B. 1098.
The uproar drew attention across the country.
Bent on sending a message after the bill was recalled, Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell joined by Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport; Bishop Michael R. Cote of Norwich; Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus; and other leaders urged Catholics to go to Hartford to have their voices heard.
HARTFORD When Catholics learned of a proposed bill that would strip pastors and bishops of governing powers, most immediately saw it as a threat to the First Amendment. According to expert testimony on March 11 at the Legislative Office Building, they were right.
"The First Amendment to the United States Constitution says that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or inhibiting the free exercise thereof," said John Garvey, dean of Boston College School of Law. He reminded a mostly sympathetic panel of lawmakers many of them embarrassed members of the Judiciary Committee, which introduced the controversial S.B. 1098 that while some countries may choose to establish a state religion, Americas founders chose not to do so. S.B. 1098, Dr. Garvey said, would change the Catholic Churchs chosen structure.
WATERBURY One hundred years ago on Feb. 28, the fifth and last of then-Bishop Michael Tierneys Catholic hospitals opened on Franklin Street with 120 beds and a staff of 14. As St. Marys Hospital turns 100, it is licensed for 347 beds and is one of the largest employers in the city. It has a staff of 1,600 full-time employees, with 317 attending physicians.
"I think were energized here," Chad W. Wable, the hospitals eighth president and CEO, told a gathering of dignitaries at a celebration in the lobby on March 12. "Its going to be a difficult time. There are challenges. There are challenges at the state level. There are challenges in health care," he said. But, he added, "I think we have a resilient group of folks here ready to take on those challenges."
Posters promote the 2009 Archbishops Annual Appeal. Click here to enlarge.
HARTFORD Amid the current economic crisis, the Archdiocese of Hartford will kick off its 2009 Archbishops Annual Appeal March 14 and 15 with a theme that is particularly relevant this year: "People of Hope Giving in Faith."
The theme, said Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, "highlights a fundamental aspect of our Catholic faith, that we are a hopeful people, believers of the love and mercy of God.
"Through loving and caring for our neighbors," he stated in a brochure outlining the campaign, "we bring this hope into a world that is sometimes bleak with the burdens of poverty, sickness and despair."