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 20, 1971 when parishioners settled on a site for the new St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Oxford.
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20171010T1135 12102 CNS POPE FARRELL TRINITY DOME 800This poster is part of materials about the Trinity Dome project at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Pope Francis has appointed U.S. Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the Vatican's Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, as his special envoy for the Dec. 8 dedication of the dome. (CNS photo/Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception)WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has named U.S. Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the Vatican's Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, to be his special envoy at the Dec. 8 dedication of the Trinity Dome at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl will celebrate the Mass, which takes place on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the patronal feast day of the United States and the national shrine. The cardinal, who is chairman of the national shrine's board of trustees, also will be the homilist for the Mass, which will take place in the Great Upper Church and will be open to the public.

Msgr. Walter R. Rossi, rector of the national shrine, said he and all associated with the shrine, including the staff and Cardinal Wuerl, are honored the pope named a special envoy to the dedication.

"I am delighted that Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Kevin Farrell to fulfill this role," Msgr. Rossi said in a statement. "Since his days as a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Farrell has been a great friend of the national shrine and was ordained a bishop in the Great Upper Church in 2002."

While he headed the Diocese of Dallas, before his Vatican appointment, then-Bishop Farrell was a member of the national shrine's board of trustees and served on its finance committee, the priest said.

"Even though Cardinal Farrell is now living and working in Rome, he remains greatly interested and supportive of our ministry here at Mary's shrine," Msgr. Rossi added.

Dedication of the Trinity Dome will complete construction of the shrine begun in 1920 "and will truly be an historic moment in the life of this great patronal church of the United States," Msgr. Rossi said.

The dome project was begun more than a year ago. The artwork being placed in the interior of the dome is a mosaic depicting the Trinity, Mary and 13 saints associated with the United States or the national shrine, the four evangelists and words from the Nicene Creed.

The mosaic work is being done at the Travisanutto Giovanni mosaic company in Spilimbergo, Italy, and is being shipped to the national shrine in 30,000 sections weighing 24 tons and composed of more than 14 million pieces of glass.

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.