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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1stIrish 2212-webOrigin Theatre artistic director George Heslin, center; New Yiddish Rep artistic director David Mandelbaum, left; and "Waiting for Godot" translator Shane Baker at the seventh annual Origin's 1st Irish launch party on Aug. 26. (Photo by James Higgins)NEW YORK – The only Irish theater festival in New York City is Origin’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival 2014, which is in its seventh year of presenting new plays and musicals and fresh looks at some older works from Erin. This season features Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” in Yiddish with English subtitles. A blurb describes it as “a ‘Godot’ you will understand.” It’s at the Barrow Street Theater, 27 Barrow St., Greenwich Village.

Origin’s majestic leadership reigns because of George C. Heslin, the wizard who has been putting the festival together all these years. The courage it takes to present seven world premieres and four debuts in America is extraordinary. You can see the full line-up through Sept. 29 on Tickets range from $18 to $40, a lot lower than the costs of Broadway, or even off-Broadway.

There are even a couple of free attractions.

Besides “Waiting for Godot” in Yiddish, there are a few offerings that sounded interesting.

“The McGowan Trilogy,” a serial in three acts by Seamus Scanlon, directed by Kira Simring, is about the Irish revolutionary Victor McGowan It’s at the Cell Theater on W. 23rd St., off of 8th Avenue, 800-838-3006.

“Man in the Moon” by Pearse Elliott, directed by Tony Devlin, features Ciaran Nolan in a tender story of overcoming what life has to offer. It’s at Times Square Arts Club, 300 W. 43rd St., between 8th and 9th avenues.

“Mercy of Trees,” written by Russell Patrick Brown, has a cast of dancers, singers, musicians and storytellers. This is free at the Jefferson Market Library, 425 6th Ave., between 9th and 10th streets.

“Port Authority,” by Conor McPherson, a master poet and wordsmith and one of Ireland’s best contemporary playwrights, will be directed by Ciaran O’Reilly at the Irish Rep, at DR2 Theater, 101
East 15th St., off of Union Square.

Critic Bernard Carragher lives in New York and covers the arts and entertainment.

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.