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 16, 1978 when the first Mass was held at St. Monica Church, Northford.
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mausoleum_4599Henry J. Mansell, assisted by his secretary and assistant chancellor Father Jeffrey V. Romans, walks through and blesses the new mausoleum at Watertown’s Mount Olivet Cemetery Nov. 3.

WATERTOWN – Archbishop Henry J. Mansell told about 50 invited guests at the new $5 million mausoleum at Mount Olivet Cemetery that the granite, marble and glass building is "a reverent place, a place blessed by God."

The Archbishop was on hand Nov. 3 to officially bless and dedicate the new facility, one of 18 mausoleums in the 30 cemeteries served by the Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Remarking on the unique architecture and the picturesque vistas from the mausoleum, Archbishop Mansell said that, like the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem where Jesus prayed the night before he died, Mount Olivet Cemetery is an appropriate place to pray "with respect and admiration for the people who have gone before us."

He noticed marble statues of the Blessed Mother and the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a bronze replica of Michelango’s Pieta that grace the building. "These are signs of sorrow, but also signs of a larger life," he said.

The Archbishop thanked the many cemetery workers from around the Archdiocese who were present, and he thanked the cemetery association’s director, Msgr. David M. Walker, and executive director, Craig S. Neal.

Eugene F. Kinnel, sales representative of McCleskey Construction Co., said the company used granite and marble from Italy inside and out, along with reinforced concrete. The Pieta was cast by Matthews International of Pittsburgh, Pa., he said.

"Granite doesn’t deteriorate," he said. "The marble on the inside will stay just like this."

He said there are 812 cremation niches, each with glass windows so the urns are always visible. There are 2,426 casket crypts, four high on the lower level and six high on the upper level, he said.

The slate roof and the sidewalks are heated to melt ice and snow, he said.

Mr. Neal said that the mausoleum is ready for immediate use by the Catholic communities of Watertown and Waterbury. Sales of crypts and niches could recoup much of the capital spent on the project within the next five or 10 years, he said.

Information about Mount Olivet Cemetery or about mausoleum space availability may be obtained by contacting the Catholic Cemeteries Association at (203) 239-2557 or calling (860) 274

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.