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 16, 1978 when the first Mass was held at St. Monica Church, Northford.
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Joan Pikiell 2014 hedshot-webWILTON – During a eucharistic celebration attended by more than 200 friends, family members and School Sisters of Notre Dame, Joan Frances Pikiell, a native and longtime resident of Bristol, made her first profession of religious vows on July 26, at the order’s chapel at Villa Notre Dame in Wilton.

Sister Joan, 50, has spent the past four years deepening her commitment to God in study and service with School Sisters in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Illinois and Missouri.
She will teach middle school math and science in Timonium, Md.

Sister Joan taught science, technology and religious education at St. Joseph School in Bristol for seven years. Before that, she held graduate assistant and adjunct faculty positions while working on an advanced degree from the University of Connecticut. She also worked with college students as director of residential life at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., for four years after earning her bachelor’s degree there.

She is the daughter of Mary Faith (Crowley) and the late Joseph Pikiell, both natives of Bristol, and former Catholic school educators. She graduated from St. Matthew School in Forestville and St. Paul Catholic High in Bristol. She earned a bachelor’s degree in natural science from St. Anselm and a master’s degree in educational studies from UConn.

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.