Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Friday, February 23, 2018


HARTFORD – The Pro-Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford will honor people with a special award for the first time this year in conjunction with the annual Respect Life Mass.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell will celebrate the Mass at 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

The archbishop will present the Saint Gianna Beretta Molla Pro-Life Award to Father James J. Cronin, Dr. Judith M. Mascolo, Mary Hayden and a group of students from Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury for their strong dedication to the sacredness of human life.

"The awardees have earned this recognition by being public witnesses to the innate dignity of human life," said Sister Suzanne Gross of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, program coordinator for Pro-Life Activities.

Father Cronin had been director of Pro-Life Activities in the archdiocese for many years when he retired from the position on June 30. He sent monthly letters to parish pro-life representatives and those who work in the public arena. He visited lawmakers each year during the March for Life, for which he annually organized buses. He also demonstrated dedication to Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry of Priests for Life that offers retreats for healing after abortion. He is the pastor of St. Mary Church in Milford.

Dr. Mascolo started a pro-life family medical practice in West Hartford several years ago to keep her career in line with her faith and belief in the teachings of the Catholic Church. She also speaks at conferences, demonstrating the truths and realities of pro-life approaches to medical care. She is a 1991 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She and her family live in West Hartford.

For 12 years, Ms. Hayden has been the local coordinator for Rachel’s Vineyard. The Rachel’s Vineyard retreats, for men and women, are designed to allow participants to experience God’s mercy and passion after an abottion. To date, Ms. Hayden has organized and overseen 33 retreats.

The students have committed themselves to professing Catholic pro-life positions. Sacred Heart High School will present the awards, and each student will be recognized in a personalized letter from Archbishop Mansell. The students’ medal will be kept at Sacred Heart High School as a reminder to the student body of the honor of having reverence for human life.

Also in conjunction with the Mass, Archbishop Mansell will commission new parish pro-life representatives. Candles will be given to all parish pro-life representatives who attend.

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, a pediatrician, discovered that she had a uterine tumor near the end of the second month of her fourth pregnancy. She decided against having an operation that would have saved her life but meant the death of the fetus.

Dr. Molla died in 1962, a week after giving birth to a little girl.

She was canonized on May 16, 2004.