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 22, 1960 when ground was broken for St. Philip Church, East Windsor.
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papaltrip2 20150821cnsbr0228 webA police officer in Quito, Ecuador, June 30 covers the popemobile, a Jeep Wrangler, used by Pope Francis during his July 5-8 visit to the country. The pontiff will use the same model during his visit to the United States in September. (CNS photo/Guillermo Granja, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – More than a month before Pope Francis was scheduled to arrive in the United States, his ride landed on U.S. shores.

"A Jeep Wrangler will be used as the popemobile in the USA (like the one used in Ecuador in July 2015)," the Vatican press office said in a statement Aug. 20.

Of course, an official said, there will be more than one. Pope Francis will need a popemobile in Washington, New York and Philadelphia, and besides, "there is always a reserve" in case of malfunction.

The vehicle or vehicles, the Vatican said, have "already been given to the Secret Service" for safekeeping before the pope's arrival. An air cargo company is used for sending the popemobile abroad before papal trips.

The Vatican's popemobile fleet has included vehicles from Mercedes, Toyota, Isuzu, Kia, Hyundai and Land Rover as well as Jeep. And in the Philippines in January, locals adapted their typical "jeepney" bus into a popemobile.

A popemobile, with either open sides or bullet-proof glass sides, gives the pope elevation as he rides through a crowd, making it easier for more people to see him.

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.