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 23, 1976 when Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien passed away.
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WASHINGTON (CNA/EWTN News) – Ahead of Mother’s Day, the U.S. bishops’ conference has published a prayer to bless an unborn child, the child’s pregnant mother, the child’s father and the child’s family.

"God, author of all life, bless, we pray, this unborn child," the prayer begins. "Give constant protection and grant a healthy birth.

"Lord, who have brought to this woman the wondrous joy of motherhood, grant  her comfort in all anxiety and make her determined to lead her child along the ways of salvation," it adds.

The blessing, titled "Rite of Blessing for a Child in the Womb," is posted online at the U.S. bishops’ conference Web site. It is also published as a booklet addendum to the "Book of Blessings," in which it will be included in future editions.

The portion of the prayer for the child’s father says that God has "singled out this man to know the grace and pride of fatherhood." It asks God to grant him courage and to make him "an example of justice and truth" for the child.

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, explained the intentions behind the prayer.

"We hope the use of this blessing will provide not only support and God’s blessing for expectant parents and their child in the womb, but also another effective witness to the sanctity of human life from the first moment of conception," he said May 8.

Then-Bishop Joseph Kurtz of Knoxville, Tenn., who is now the Archbishop of Louisville, had asked the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the prayer. The committee prepared a text for the Divine Worship committee in March 2008.

The Vatican approved the prayer on March 25, 2012, the Feast of the Annunciation.

In March, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, who chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said he was impressed by the "beauty" of the blessing.

The blessing can be downloaded at http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/prayers/pro-life-blessings.cfm.

In Spanish, the portion of the prayer for the child reads as follows:

"Dios, autor de toda vida, te pedimos que bendigas a este niño aún por nacer; dale una constante protección y un saludable nacimiento, como signo de nuestro renacimiento, un día,al gozo de la vida eterna en el cielo.

"Señor, que has concedido a esta mujer el gran gozo de la maternidad, concédele serenidad en sus preocupaciones y dale decisión para guiar a su hijo por los caminos de la salvación."

 

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.