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 17, 1891 when Bishop Lawrence S. McMahon dedicated St. Bernard Church, Enfield.
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“Easter is the main event. If you don’t believe in the Resurrection, then you’re not a believer.”

A character in a novel says those words. And he’s right.

We are the people of the Resurrection. We are the people of the empty tomb.

In fact, Jesus wasn’t much into funerals, caskets and tombstones at all. Jesus did resurrections, not burials.

So much so, in fact, Easter defines who we are. We believe that Jesus actually, literally, physically rose from the dead. He transformed death into life. Better yet, we believe he will do that for us, too. And that conviction changes the way we live every day. We are Easter people.

Pope Francis said in a General Audience address in 2013,


[T]he Resurrection … offers us the greatest hope because it opens our lives and the life of the world to God’s eternal future, to complete happiness, to the certainty that evil, sin, and death can be conquered. This leads us to living our everyday lives more confidently, to facing each day courageously and with commitment.

In other words, we are Easter people. We know that life conquers death. Grace conquers sin. Courage conquers cowardice. And faith conquers fear.

Do your beliefs in the Resurrection affect the way you live your life? Is there an area of your life that needs resurrection, or needs new life from Christ? A relationship that needs fear to be erased and boldness to be infused? An addiction that has destroyed a part of you or your life? Has greed or materialism snuck in and robbed you of joy? Do you know your neighbors or have you shut them out? Something else?

hunt easter mar18 pg08Spend five minutes each day for three days in prayer for that “fearful” area of your life. Enter the classrooom of silence and listen for how God speaks to you and desires to turn what appears to be dead into the living. Invite God to fill you with the courage and commitment Pope Francis points us toward.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor, was among a group of Christians who stood up to Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. Bonhoeffer helped organize an underground church that refused to obey the Fuhrer. He became well-known for his deep convictions and courage.

Eventually, Bonhoeffer’s leadership decisions attracted Hitler’s attention and landed Dietrich in prison. Finally, he arrived at the concentration camp in Flossenburg.

Even there, Bonhoeffer continued to inspire the men around him. He led prayer, he taught from Scripture and he stood tall against the moral evil of Hitler.

On a Sunday morning in April 1945, as worship was ending, Dietrich was praying when the guards walked in and shouted, “Bonhoeffer, come with us.” The gathered Christians gasped and got ashen faces. They were about to lose their leader. They knew Bonhoeffer was being led outside to be hanged. Death saturated the room.

But as he stood to follow the guards to his death, Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke to his fellow prisoners and fearlessly said, “This is the end. ... But for me, it is the beginning of life.”

Easter is the main event.

We are the people of the empty tomb.

We are a people of hope. Death is not the end, but the beginning.

We are Easter people.

Allen R. Hunt is senior advisor for the Dynamic Catholic Institute.

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.