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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HARTFORD – The Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, a St. Francis Care provider, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This is the largest research grant ever received by the Mandell center, which will use it to research the capacity and performance of upper extremities, including arms, hands and shoulders, in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Dr. Albert Lo, Ph.D., director of neuroscience research at the Mandell Center for Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research, and Elizabeth Triche, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at Brown University, are co-principal investigators for the grant.

“Much attention is given to the lower extremities in multiple sclerosis research, but upper body movement is essential to maintain independence and social function, and we have much less information available,” stated Dr. Lo. “An integrated clinical examination of how strength, coordination and pain contribute to upper extremity function is needed in order to identify what is important to future upper extremity rehabilitative interventions. Effective rehabilitative approaches could mean improving the quality of life in individuals with MS.” 

A random, community-based population of 300 people will participate in the two-year study to determine impairments in body functions that most contribute to deficits in upper extremity capacity and performance. The study will examine physiological changes in upper extremity body functions during physical activities, and study the impact and variability of pain and fatigue on a person’s capacity to perform daily tasks like writing, driving, eating, showering, grocery shopping, working or dressing. Once the study is completed, the researchers hope to help clinicians better customize individual care for MS patients.  

“If one patient uses a computer for work, has mild weakness and some pain, we may be able to provide information to the clinicians that will help them to individualize patient care in order to possibly help a  patient stay in the work force and maintain their independence longer,” stated Dr. Lo. “We also hope to use our findings from this study to design future studies to evaluate which therapies work best for specific combinations of impairments.”

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.