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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handelsmessiah1210-29fHARTFORD – To celebrate the Christmas season, the Sacred Sounds Concert Series will offer two opportunities to hear the "Christmas" section of Handel’s beloved oratorio, "Messiah."

Conductor William Boughton will lead the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Schola Cantorum, St. Joseph Cathedral’s professional choir, in the "Christmas" section at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

Jeffrey Douma will lead the Soli Deo Gloria Orchestra and the cathedral choir in an encore performance of "Messiah" at 11 p.m. Dec. 24 in the cathedral. Midnight Mass will follow.

The "Christmas" section includes such favorites as "He Shall Feed His Flock," "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted, and "For Unto Us A Child Is Born." These performances also will feature the perennial audience favorite, the "Hallelujah Chorus."

Both performances will have vocal solos by soprano Sarah Asmar, mezzo-soprano Judith Bowers, tenor Joshua Kohl and bass Dashon Burton.

Admission is free for both, but a free-will offering will be accepted at the door. For more information, visit

"Our ‘Messiah’ performances with the New Haven Symphony have become a tradition in Hartford," says Ezequiel Menéndez. Sacred Sounds Concert Series music director. "We invite families and music fans also to join us this year for our special encore performance on Christmas Eve."

The Sacred Sounds Concert Series at the Cathedral of St. Joseph presents more than 15 full-scale concerts annually to the city of Hartford, making it one of the foremost music series in the region.

Headed by Dr. Menéndez, guest performers for the 2011-2012 season have included the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, The Hartt School orchestras and choirs, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Chorale, New Haven Chorale, Middletown Chorale, and Notre Dame de Paris organist Phillipe LeFebvre, as well as the cathedral’s renowned choirs and orchestras.

In 2007, William Boughton became the10th music director and principal conductor of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Under his leadership, programs have expanded both geographically and musically, with concerts being performed in new venues, and new partnerships offering opportunities to share the NHSO’s high musical standards with audiences throughout Connecticut.



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.