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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HARTFORD – Archbishop Henry J. Mansell ordained seven men to the priesthood on May 11, welcoming them as “fountains of the Spirit, reservoirs of the Spirit.” Hundreds viewed the solemn but joyous sacramental event at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, including bishops, priests, deacons, servers and families and friends of the newly ordained men.

It was the largest ordination class in the Archdiocese of Hartford since 1991, according to Father Michael J. Dolan, director of vocations.

The new priests are: Father William Agyemang of Ghana, Africa; Father Piotr (Peter) Buczek of Cracow, Poland; Father Michael T. Casey of Prospect; Father Timothy S. Hickey of Hutchinson, Kansas; Father John R. Mariano of Naugatuck; Father Carlos Andrés Piedrahita of Medellin, Colombia; and Father Michael A. Santiago of Vale Maior, Portugal (born in Hartford).

After Father Dolan called the candidates forward to present themselves to the archbishop, the archbishop said to them, “People love our parishes; people love our priests. They love you all the more because you bring them energy; you bring them hope; you bring them your spirit.”

He added, “We give gratitude and appreciation for all you represent and all that your families here know in their hearts that you represent.”

After the ceremonies, the archbishop invited everyone to applaud the new priests, to whom he then said, “You have our prayers and hopes for many, many happy years, and for the people you serve for many, many decades.”

Father Agyemang was born on Aug. 3, 1979, in Ghana. He attended St. Hubert Seminary in Kumasi-Ghana, St. Paul’s Seminary in Accra, St. Peter’s Seminary in Cape Coast and Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.

He was vested by Father Brian Jeffries, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish and St. Joseph Parish.

Father Agyemang will serve at Corpus Christi Parish in Wethersfield.

Father Buczek was born on March 25, 1986, in Poland. He attended Arcybiskupie Wyzsze Seminarium Duchowne in Cracow and SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Mich.

He was vested by Father Stephen A. Krugel, pastor of Holy Rosary and St. Anthony in Ansonia.

Father Buczek will be assigned to a parish following continuing studies in theology.

Father Casey was born on April 16, 1987, in Waterbury, where he attended St. Francis Xavier School and Holy Cross High School. He continued his studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa.; and the Pontifical North American College and Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He is pursuing his licentiate in sacred theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.

He was vested by Father Paul J. Pace, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Waterbury.

Father Casey will begin his priestly ministry at a parish to be announced after completing studies in bioethics.

Father Hickey was born on June 4, 1959, in Kansas. He attended elementary and high schools in Hutchinson, Kan., and then went on to Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., and Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. He is a former editor of Columbia, the magazine of the Knights of Columbus. His priestly studies were at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.; and St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, N.Y.

He was vested by Dominican Father William A. Holt, prior of St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City.

Father Hickey’s first assignment will be at St. Rita Parish in Hamden.

Father Mariano was born Jan. 29, 1944. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut and studying environmental education/biology at Southern Connecticut State University, he served in the Peace Corps for three years in Micronesia in the Pacific Region and for 27 years as a middle school teacher in Fairfield County.

He graduated magna cum laude from the Pontifical Universty of St. Thomas, known as the Angelicum, in Rome. He then served at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury.

He was vested by Father John J. Bevins, pastor of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Father Mariano has been assigned to serve at SS. Peter and Paul and St. Leo the Great parishes, Waterbury.

Father Piedrahita was born on Dec. 23, 1977, in Colombia. He earned degrees in business administration and finance in Colombia before studying at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas; St. Vincent De Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla.; and St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass.

He was vested by Father John Jairo Gomez of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.

Father Piedrahita will pursue his licentiate in spiritual theology and then will be assigned to a parish.

Father Santiago was born on Nov. 27, 1985, in Hartford but moved with his parents to their homeland of Portugal as a child. There, he received his early priestly education, which he continued at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Md.

He was vested by Father Antonio Jorge Tchingui, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Hartford.

Father Santiago’s first assignment as a priest will be at St. Mary Parish in Simsbury.

Moments before his ordination, Deacon Hickey said, “I’m very excited, to the point that my knees are shaking a little bit. When I woke up this morning, I was very much at peace and very happy and content that this was the time.”

Maria Pinto, friends of the family of Father Santiago, said she was “very, very excited. He’s a very devoted young man, and he’s very dedicated. I think he is going to be a great priest. I really do. I think he really has the zest for it.”

Emmanuel Ewusi, a parishioner at St. Mary Parish in East Hartford, is a friend of Father Agyemang’s, who worshipped there also. Mr. Ewusi said, “He is very spiritual. He is also prayerful.”

Rosemarie Flanagan Cronin is a friend of Father Mariano’s. She said, “He’s so serious and so anxious to serve the Lord. He is just bursting with enthusiasm, and he’s a wonderful, kind man.”


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.