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 19, 1915 when ground was broken for St. Stephen Church, Hamden.
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ashwednesdayhartford0212-8Father Daniel Akho places ashes on the forehead of 5-year-old Ayva Mullen on Feb. 22, Ash Wednesday, in the Cathedral of St. Jospeph in Hartford.

Fasting, almsgiving and prayer are three traditional disciplines by which the Church observes Lent from Ash Wednesday until the evening Mass of Holy Thursday, when the Paschal Triduum begins. All of the faithful and catechumens are called to practice these traditions.

Catholics, ages 14 and older, are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, February 22, and on all Fridays in Lent. The rule does not apply when health or ability to work would be impacted seriously.

In addition to abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays, Catholics who have celebrated their 18th birthday, but have not yet marked their 59th, are to fast on Ash Wednesday, February 22, and on Good Friday, April 6. On days of fast, one full meal is allowed. Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to individual needs but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and juices, are allowed.

Here are some resources for the Lenten journey:

Online resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Online resources from the Vatican:

Locally, the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, in cooperation with the William G. Congdon Foundation, is presenting an exhibition of paintings by American artist William Congdon, together with a series of Lenten meditations written in the 1960s by Father Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Information about it can be found here.

(Photo by Bob Mullen/The Catholic Photographer)

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.