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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WATERBURY – Carolyn’s Place, a pregnancy care center serving Greater Waterbury, will celebrate its 20th year of caring for babies and families with an anniversary dinner from 4:30-9 p.m. Nov. 4 at La Bella Vista at the Pontelandolfo Club.

The celebration will also honor several men and women for their exceptional advocacy for life. Archbishop Emeritus Daniel A Cronin, Archbishop of Hartford from 1992 to 2003, will be presented with the Carolyn’s Place Ministry Award. This award was established to recognize people with a religious vocation who exemplify extraordinary commitment to the sanctity of human life.

Jim Vicevich, WTIC-AM radio host, will be honored with the Carolyn’s Place Maureen A. Donohoe Life Award. This award is given to a person who represents life-affirming values and actively promotes them in the general community.

The award is named for Maureen Anne Donohoe, daughter of Ray Donohoe and the late Jessie Donohoe, who died in 1986 at the age of 20. Despite living with cerebral palsy, Miss Donohoe spent her short life courageously speaking out and writing in defense of the sanctity of human life.

Carolyn’s Place also was founded in memory of Miss Donohoe.

The Walter J. Williams Service Award will be presented to the original founding members of Carolyn’s Place, including: Father Robert Rousseau, Peter and Mary Arduino, Ellen Cavallo, Mr. Donohoe, Marge Fisher, Barbara Fydenkevez, Maria Mancini, Mary Moynihan and Clare Townsend Keating. This award is given to those who have provided outstanding volunteer service to the Carolyn’s Place ministry. It is named in memory of Mr. Williams, who served on the agency’s board of directors from 2000 until his death in 2009.

As a lawyer, Mr. Williams provided invaluable legal advice to organizers of fund-raisers for Carolyn’s Place. He also assisted a pro-life group and a monthly pro-life rosary recitation at his parish, St. Teresa in Woodbury.

WATR-AM radio host Ed Flynn will be the emcee. Gomez and Sadlon will provide live jazz music. A silent auction will feature Yankees tickets, wine baskets and more.

All funds raised will help the nonprofit center continue its work of "empowering individuals through education, comfort and assistance to make life choices related to their sexuality and child-bearing that are consistent with the sanctity of human life," as its statement of purpose reads.

The cost of attending the dinner is $50. Reservations are required. For tickets or for more information, contact Ginny Baudinet at (203) 597-9080 or e-mail staff@carolynsplace.net.

The event was scheduled for Nov. 4 to commemorate the 21st birthday of Carolyn Marie, an abandoned baby for whom Carolyn’s Place is named.

On Nov. 4, 1991, Father Rousseau, then pastor at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Watertown, discovered a three-hour-old baby girl, left in a box in the entryway of the church. Because she was born on the feast of St. Charles Borromeo, Father named her Carolyn.

Father Rousseau said he could scarcely imagine how afraid and alone the mother must have felt, but how courageous she was to choose life for her child and place her in a safe surrounding where she would be found. He and a core group of parishioners formed a committee that worked and prayed.

In the fall of 1992 the group opened the doors to Carolyn’s Place so that no woman might face pregnancy alone.

Baby Carolyn Marie was adopted confidentially, but her legacy continues in the more than 1,000 babies born through the center and countless other lives touched.

Also since its opening, Carolyn’s Place has conducted nearly 1,200 education presentations to schools, logged over 166,000 hours on its 24-hour hotline, filled nearly 4,000 requests for personal care items requests, and taught childbirth preparation and parenting skills to nearly 200 mothers and fathers.

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.