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 17, 1891 when Bishop Lawrence S. McMahon dedicated St. Bernard Church, Enfield.
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fortnight-4-freedom-color-BHARTFORD – The Archdiocese of Hartford is gearing up to participate in the Fortnight for Freedom, a pre-Independence Day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious liberty.

Its Web site offers materials from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has asked Catholics across the United States to participate in the effort from June 21 to July 4. 

In his June column in The Catholic Transcript, Archbishop Henry J. Mansell outlines the threats to religious liberty and calls on all archdiocesan parishes and institutions to participate in the Fortnight for Freedom.

Parishes are joining the effort. St. Ann Parish in Avon has created a ministry called "Defenders of Faith" which will research issues and communicate methods by which people can fight legislation and mandates that threaten religious liberty. A book of intentions and prayers has been placed at the pulpit at Sacred Heart in New Britain for parishioners who wish to enter their intentions. SS. Peter and Paul in Wallingford will have an evening of prayer at 6 each night from June 21 to July 4 that will be dedicated to ending threats to religious liberty. Other parishes are also coming up with initiatives.

Included on the archdiocesan site is a link to the USCCB Web site and a link to the letter from the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities about a mandate that would require Catholic institutions to cover contraceptives and sterilizations in their health plans.

Also on the archdiocesan site are suggested homily notes and commentaries for daily Masses and sample homilies for Masses on Sundays June 24 and July 1. A sample Prayer of the Faithful and special Litany for Liberty for group prayer also are included.

The materials also have been mailed to all archdiocesan parishes and institutions with a letter from the archbishop that says he "heartily and enthusiastically" endorses support for the period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action.

The Fortnight for Freedom is designed as a response to the threat against religious liberty posed by the health coverage mandate.

The liturgical calendar during the two-week campaign observes several saints who were killed for standing up against political power, including Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More (commemorated together on June 22).


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.