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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knights columbus logo webBALTIMORE, Md. – The Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, has donated $500,000 to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to support the Jordanian Catholic Church’s schooling of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in that country. The check was presented on Nov. 15 to CRS CEO Carolyn Woo by Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in Baltimore. The donation will provide education to many hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi children – the latter mostly Christians who fled ISIS advances in Mosul and Nineveh.

This generous gift will support the expansion of programs in 18 Jordanian Catholic schools that provide refugees with a safe space to learn, heal from trauma and regain a semblance of childhood, while catching up to their grade level after years out of school. These kindergartens, primary and secondary schools work extra shifts of classes and tutoring sessions for the refugees. 

“Having already sponsored food, housing and medical projects in the Middle East, the Knights of Columbus is pleased to partner with CRS in the important work of educating refugee children now living in Jordan,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “These children represent the future of Christianity in that region, and with the help of this education that future will be a brighter one.”

“Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan have many needs, but the education of children is the most crucial for their future, and it is something the Catholic Church – with its strong network of schools in Jordan - is uniquely placed to provide” said Kevin Hartigan, CRS Regional Director. “On behalf of the refugee children, CRS and the Jordanian Church are extremely grateful to the Knights of Columbus for this enormous gesture of solidarity to the most innocent victims of the horrible wars in the Middle East.”

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.