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 23, 1976 when Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien passed away.
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Immaculee-and-studentsWEST HARTFORD – Rwandan refugee and author Immaculée Ilibagiza told her story of survival, forgiveness, faith and hope to hushed audiences this week at Northwest Catholic High School.

Her presentation grew out of her 2007 book Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, a haunting tale of the 91 days she spent hiding with seven other women in a tiny bathroom during the three-month genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

During her captivity, Immaculée said she discovered the power and solace of prayer, which helped to strengthen her relationship with God and the Blessed Mother and enabled her to forgive those who slaughtered her family and her countrymen.

The book was required Summer reading for all NWC students this year, and it was also adopted as the school’s "community book" in conjunction with the school’s 50th anniversary.


Immaculée spoke on Oct. 24 to a captivated audience of parents, alums and others. On Oct. 25, she met with some students and then spoke to all students, faculty, and staff.

Left to Tell was a New York Times best-seller within weeks of its publication. It since has been made into a documentary. Immaculée was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Notre Dame, and Left to Tell was required reading for 6,000 students at Villanova University in 2007-08.


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.