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 17, 1891 when Bishop Lawrence S. McMahon dedicated St. Bernard Church, Enfield.
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sr marita charles murphy webSister Marita Charles Murphy

WEST HARTFORD – Twenty-five Sisters of Mercy participated in a festive liturgical celebration commemorating sisters’ 55th- through 75th-year anniversaries.

Twenty-four Mercy sisters marked significant anniversaries that represent more than 1,500 years of fostering and developing dedicated service throughout the dioceses in Connecticut and Central America.



Their works include many varied ministries, from prison programs, special education, autism and theology to pastoral services, spiritual direction, nursing, health care, early childhood education, higher education, religious education direction, leadership administration and efforts to relieve homelessness.

Sister Marita Charles Murphy was especially recognized for 75 years in Mercy ministry throughout Connecticut. She was educated by the Sisters of Mercy in her home parish in Rockville and entered the order of Mercy upon her graduation in 1940 from St. Joseph College, now the University of St. Joseph, in West Hartford.

Sister Marita was a dedicated educator, serving as a classroom teacher, several appointments as principal, and director of guidance at Lauralton Hall in Milford.

Sister Marita gave her life to her students, community and the dioceses of Connecticut for nearly 60 years prior to her academic retirement.

She then volunteered her many gifts in direct assistance to the elderly poor, itself a hallmark of the renowned Mercy fourth vow of service.

Today, at 97, Sister Marita resides at St. Mary Home, part of Mercy Community Health. She said she has always had a gift of adaptability to change.

“I’ve been able to accept whatever comes and maintain a peaceful heart,” she said. Characterizing her religious life, she said, “Prayer, gratitude and relationships.”

The Sisters of Mercy, Northeast Region are part of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, whose charism is based on the corporal and spiritual works of Mercy and the example of its Dublin foundress Catherine McAuley dating from 1831.

The central office for the more than 3,000 American religious women is located in Silver Spring, Md.
The sisters continue to serve the critical unnumbered needs of the underserved, especially women and children.

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.