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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IHF-Mansell-031114 1855-adj-webArchbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell was honored March 11 at the Institute for the Hispanic Family (IHF) in Hartford, where the community room was renamed The Archbishop Henry J. Mansell Community Room.

It is the same room where on June 17, 2008, then-Archbishop Mansell presided over the dedication of the relocated 22,000-square-foot IHF at 45 Wadsworth St., which now serves more than 3,000 people a year and is considered one of his signature accomplishments during his 10 years as archbishop of Hartford.

Lois Nesci, director of Catholic Charities, pictured here with the archbishop as he cuts a cake made for the event, thanked Archbishop Mansell for the support he provided to the IHF and other Catholic Charities initiatives.

Archbishop Mansell said, “I remember in October of 2003, when Rose Alma Cataldo [then Catholic Charities director] brought me here – not here but a few blocks away, up the street – and showed the Institute for the Hispanic Family at that time. It was teeming with people. There wasn’t enough room to put them all.”

He acknowledged the hard work done by the Catholic Charities board of directors and by individuals, saying, “Your enthusiasm and support make such an enormous difference.” (Photo by Jack Sheedy)

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.