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remotepopeinstall0312-26Dozens of people gather Tuesday morning in the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford to view a live broadcast from Rome. Photo by Bob Mullen/The Catholic Photographer)

HARTFORD – Neither snow nor sleet nor the hour of the morning kept the faithful away from viewing the Installation Mass for Pope Francis on Tuesday at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

Dozens of people travelled from all over the archdiocese to view the historic event with Archbishop Henry J. Mansell. The live Mass from the Vatican, which began at approximately 4 a.m. EDT, was streamed by EWTN, the global Catholic network, and projected onto a large screen at the cathedral.


For Lise Rushlow and her son Daniel, who live in Torrington, it didn’t matter how snowy it was or how early it was. They said it was important for them to be there.

"I come from a large, spiritual family and I wanted to share this day with the archbishop," said Ms. Rushlow.  Daniel echoed her sentiments, and added, "This sort of thing doesn’t happen too often."

Giovanna Espinoza of Wethersfield, a catechist, said that she participated in the viewing so that she could tell her students first-hand what it meant to see the pope installed.

"I will tell them that I watched it on a big screen and that it was very emotional," she said.

Her sister, Resa Jara, said that she made the effort to come because Pope Francis is the first pope to hail from the Americas. "I am from Peru, so it was important for me," she said.

Anastasia Agbassan did not travel as far as the others. She lives in Hartford, but said she was thrilled to witness the Mass with others in the archdiocese.

The newly installed pope, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, decided to call himself Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, the humble friar who dedicated his life to helping the poor. He mentioned his commitment to the poor and disenfranchised in his homily, when he made an appeal to Catholics and all religious groups to be kind to others.

"We mustn’t be afraid of goodness or tenderness," the pontiff said.

As Pope Francis administered holy Communion to the masses in Vatican City, Archbishop Mansell did the same in the cathedral.

The archbishop acknowledged the momentous occasion by thanking people for waking up at an "ungodly hour for a Godly ceremony."


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.