Archbishop Henry J. Mansell stands next to Walter J. Nester Jr., grand marshal of the 2011 New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade; along with parade queen Kristina Conroy and her honor attendant, Carolyn Shea, as well as former grand marshals, organizers and other dignitaries on the steps of St. Mary Church in New Haven on March 13, when the Archbishop celebrated a Mass with them hours before the 55th annual event. The Mass was also celebrated in memory of Joan Moynihan, who died on March 13, 2009, and who was very active in the Greater New Haven Irish Community as a writer and researcher on the parade and Irish history in New Haven. (Photo by Mary Chalupsky)
At 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.
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.”
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.”