Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

As we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Archdiocese, we look back… on July 20, 1971 when parishioners settled on a site for the new St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Oxford.
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HoulifortynineHARTFORD – Fresh from a national tour on which he played all six organ symphonies of Louis Vierne (1870-1937) in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the composer’s death, Christopher Houlihan will perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

Formerly the cathedral’s organ scholar, Mr. Houlihan will play Symphony No. 2 in e minor, Op. 20 and Symphony No. 6 in b minor, Op 59, for the Hartford audience. The concert is being presented in memory of Vera Lavery.

A Connecticut native, Mr. Houlihan is acknowledged as one of the brightest stars in the new generation of American organists. While a student of Maestro John Rose at Trinity College, he spent his junior year in France, studying at the French National Regional Conservatory in Versailles, performing throughout the country and serving as the assistant musician at the American Cathedral in Paris.

He then went on to graduate studies at The Juilliard School with Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs.

The Sacred Sounds Concert Series at the cathedral presents 14 full-scale concerts annually to the city of Hartford, making it one of the foremost music series in the region.

It is headed by Dr. Ezequiel Menéndez, archdiocesan music director. Guest performers for the 2012-13 season will include The Hartt School orchestras and choirs, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, CONCORA, Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus, renowned Gospel artist Theresa Thomason, The Farmington Valley Symphony under the direction of John Eells in their debut performance in this space, as well as the cathedral’s own choirs and orchestras.

Organizers are suggesting a donation of $20. All proceeds will benefit the musical efforts of the Sacred Sounds Concert Series. There is ample secure parking for all concert events. For more information, visit or call (860) 578-1433.

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.