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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HARTFORD – The Archdiocese of Hartford added social media to its ongoing efforts to evangelize as the Year of Faith opened in October.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell began a blog, accessible from the archdiocesan Web site at, and opened a Twitter account in an effort to increase outreach. The archdiocese announced its new presence on Facebook at the same time.

"People, especially teenagers, are vastly involved in social media, and if I can connect with them on this level and teach them the significance of the Year of Faith, I want to do that," said the archbishop.

Pope Benedict XVI, who declared the Year of Faith, chose "Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelization" as the theme for World Communications Day 2013 in the context of the Year of Faith.

The announcement of his theme was made in September by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. The pope said that cyberspace provides the Church with new missionary territory.

That is because "technology has emerged as part of the fabric of connectivity of human experiences," including how people build relationships and seek knowledge, the social communications council said.

Father Jeffrey V. Romans, secretary to the archbishop and assistant chancellor, said the archdiocese was eager and ready to follow the pope’s lead for the Year of Faith.

"The Holy Father has been a strong proponent of using modern-day technology to evangelize the world, and the archdiocese is following in his path by launching these new social media ways of reaching out to Catholics near and far to spread the message of Jesus Christ," he said.

In his first blog, posted on Oct. 11, the first day of the Year of Faith, the archbishop welcomed readers to join him in marking the special year.

"This sacred time will provide Catholics here in the Archdiocese of Hartford and throughout the world a special opportunity to celebrate, deepen and share the spiritual richness of our Catholic faith. This year will be marked by evangelization efforts, increased Catholic formation opportunities, prayer and liturgical celebrations," he wrote.

He also announced the launch of the Facebook page and invited everyone to sign up to receive occasional Tweets from him on the Twitter account.

The first post on the Facebook page provided a link to the archdiocesan site’s Year of Faith page.

Also under discussion are webcasts of conversations about Catholicism among groups of young people, hosted by Father John Gatzak, executive director of the archdiocesan Office of Radio and Television, said Father Romans.

At the same time, more earthbound activities are progressing. Year of Faith prayer cards have been distributed in the churches. Father Romans said cards with the same prayer in Spanish and Polish will be available soon.

A committee is planning a number of events related to the new evangelization. The Catholic Transcript will announce them as they progress, will carry articles about many of them and will highlight items related to the new evangelization by tagging them with the Year of Faith logo.

In the near term, the annual Religious Education Congress for directors of religious education and catechists is planned for Nov. 3 at St. Paul Catholic High School. Its theme is "Catechists and Teachers – Agents of the new Evangelization."

Deacon Arthur Miller, director of the archdiocese’s Office for Black Catholic Ministries, is offering an ongoing Bible study class at St. Mary Parish in Simsbury. The next sessions are from 6:30-8 p.m. Nov. 7 and 20.

The archdiocese also hopes to spread the faith through the arts by way of the Sacred Sounds Concert Series at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford. Concerts will be presented at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 and 3 p.m. Nov. 18. Both are open to the public.

Word y Vino, the bilingual group for people ages 21-29 that discusses the Catholic faith, will have its next meeting from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 26 at the Puerto Vallarta Restuarante in Newington. The topic will be "Cuerpo y Sangre/The Ultimate Gift."

The opening of the Year of Faith coincided with the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council.









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.