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 20, 1971 when parishioners settled on a site for the new St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Oxford.
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Teaser_OLG001HARTFORD – Park Street was filled with color on Dec. 11 as people of all ages gathered at St. Anne-Immaculate Conception Church for a mile-long procession to pay homage to Our Lady of Guadalupe with costumes, songs, prayer and dance. Click on Photo Gallery at right to see more photos.

The festive event was just one of the activities organized in Hartford over three days around the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Latinos paid similar homage to Our Lady of Guadalupe at other churches in the Archdiocese of Hartford, as well.

For the procession in Hartford, which ended at St. Peter Church, children dressed in costumes reflecting their rich heritage or representing events associated with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Young boys wore mustaches, sombreros, ponchos and other attire symbolic of what Juan Diego may have worn on Dec. 12, 1531. According to tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared to an Aztec Indian Juan Diego near Mexico City on that day. She spoke to him in his own Aztec language, asking him to build a church in her honor. Before leaving, she left her impression on his cloak as proof that she had spoken to him.

A mariachi band played during the procession, for which many people carried statues or images of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Dancers from the Azteca Danza group of Wallingford performed before a Mass at St. Peter Church that was celebrated after the procession by Father Dairo Diaz, pastor.

Men representing the Committee Guadalupano also participated in the procession, carrying a blessed flame that had traveled more than 3,100 miles. The blessed flame began its spiritual journey in early October at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Mexico, where runners began carrying it through various Mexican cities before entering the United States to visit more than a dozen states.

Latinos paid similar homage to Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 11 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hamden, which also had a procession before Mass.

The torch also visited St. Rose of Lima Church in New Haven, arriving at about 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 via a bus from New York, according to The New Haven Register.

The torch arrived in Hartford at 7 that evening, where a Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph was celebrated in observance of the Virgin Mary.


Last year was the first time that the torch was carried to Hartford, and members of the Committee Guadalupano hope it’s a tradition that will last forever. According to Pedro Ruiz, president of the Committee Guadalupano, the faithful, especially in the Hispanic communities, relate to the Virgin Mary in a very special way.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell celebrated the Mass, which was attended by members of various churches and ethnic backgrounds across the archdiocese. A mariachi band performed and traditional cantos, or songs, were sung.

On Dec. 12, people gathered at 5 a.m. at St. Peter for the singing of las mañanitas, a traditional morning serenade dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Mass, also featuring a mariachi band, was celebrated that evening, as well.


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.