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 19, 1915 when ground was broken for St. Stephen Church, Hamden.
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Catholic Transcript Reader Survey webFrom left, Michael S. Ranno, past Department of Connecticut commander; Susan Ranno, National CWV Auxliary president; Kathy Granfield; Mark Frazee; Thomas Budd; Michael Kasinskas. (Photo submitted)

DERBY – The Catholic War Veterans of the United States of America, Department of Connecticut, and its auxiliary honored Kathy Granfield, founder and director of Veteran Anglers Charters Inc., at their annual banquet on May 17 at Grassy Hill Lodge.

Veteran Angler Charters, based in West Haven, is a non-profit organization that offers free charter fishing trips to active duty, retired, wounded and recovering veterans and their families, providing recreational rehabilitation and therapeutic support. Started in 2008, it aims to create a national network of charter boat captains.

The groups’ 69th annual convention began with a celebration of the Eucharist at St. Michael Church. Department convention meetings for both the veterans and the auxiliary were held at St. Michael’s Post 1562.

Thomas Budd of Hamden was elected department commander and Judy Piskura of Bridgeport was reelected as the department auxiliary president.

Guest speakers included Susan Ranno, national auxiliary president; Mark Frazee, chief of volunteer Services at the West Haven Veterans Hospital; and Ms. Granfield.

Michael Kasinskas was convention chairman.

Catholic War Veteran posts are located in Ansonia, Bridgeport, Danbury, Derby, Middletown, Naugatuck and Stamford. Membership is open to baptized Catholics who are currently serving or are honorably discharged military veterans.

Information is available at

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.