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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mansell scholarshipIn this archival photo, Archbishop Henry J. Mansell joins Catholic students from St. Rita School in Hamden before a fund-raising event. (Photo submitted)HARTFORD – The Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools (FACS) and the Archdiocesan School Board have created a new academic scholarship fund, The Archbishop Henry J. Mansell Scholarship Fund, to benefit Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of Hartford.

According to the president of the FACS board of trustees, Brian A. Giantonio, one of the most significant achievements that Archbishop Mansell has made during his tenure is the implementation of a tuition assistance program through the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal to help Catholic school students pursue an exemplary academic education combined with faith-filled instruction.

“FACS and the Archdiocesan School Board wanted to honor Archbishop Mansell in his retirement with the creation of a scholarship fund in his name,” said Mr. Giantonio.

Hartford’s fourth archbishop officially retires on Dec. 16, the day that Archbishop Leonard P. Blair is to be installed as the fifth archbishop.

"Archbishop Mansell strongly believes in Catholic school education; he believes in our students and in our community of fine educators in the schools. He has worked tirelessly to keep our schools as state-of-the-art, premier learning centers,” added Mr. Giantonio.

The chairman of the Archdiocesan School Board, Robert O’Hara, echoed these sentiments.

“Over the last 10 years of his leadership, Archbishop Mansell has put Catholic school education front and center. Through his tuition assistance program, many families who would not have been able to afford to send their children to Catholic school have been given the opportunity. The Archbishop Henry J. Mansell Scholarship Fund will allow us to carry out his legacy for generations to come.”

Mr. Giantonio and Mr. O’Hara said that Archbishop Mansell has made a personal donation to the scholarship fund that bears his name.

FACS is a local, nonprofit corporation that has supported the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford since 1982. Its mission is to provide scholarships and fund special projects in the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford. FACS raises money through donations from generous individuals and businesses, special events and planned gifts. For more information visit:

The mission of the Archdiocesan School Board is to further the advancement of quality Catholic education for students in the Archdiocese of Hartford by providing leadership, direction and support to the archbishop and superintendent of Catholic schools.

Cindy Basil Howard, executive director of FACS, said the seed money for the new scholarship fund was provided by a donor. The scholarship will benefit both elementary and high school students and is in addition to existing scholarships provided through FACS and other archdiocesan sources, she said.


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.