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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fortnight-4-freedom-logoHARTFORD – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for a Fortnight for Freedom June 21-July 4, a two-week period of prayer and action related to challenges to religious liberty, including the Aug. 1 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate, Supreme Court rulings in June that could attempt to redefine marriage, and religious freedom concerns in such areas as humanitarian services and immigration.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell will celebrate the televised Mass on WCCT-TV in observance of the Fortnight for Freedom at 10 a.m. June 23.

Parishes in the Archdiocese of Hartford are scheduling liturgies and activities, as well. All of the following listings can be found on the Events Calendar at right:

St. Mary Parish in Branford will recite the rosary at 7:30 a.m. each weekday during the two-week period for the intention of religious liberty. Information is available at

St. Margaret Church in Madison will participate in the bishops’ initiative by offering prayers for religious freedom following the 7:45 a.m. weekday Mass, at a holy hour at 3 p.m. July 1 and on July 4 at adoration followed by Benediction at 7 p.m.

St. Catherine of Siena Parish in West Simsbury will hold a Fortnight for Freedom Prayer Service at noon Sunday, June 30, in its Mary Garden. Prayers and music will unite attendees in defense of religious freedom. The garden will be decorated in red, white and blue. Strawberries and cream will be served afterward. The event is sponsored the the parish Defenders of Faith committee.

Assumption Church in Ansonia plans a holy hour for religious freedom at 7 p.m. July 2 in the convent chapel. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Scripture readings, music, prayer and Benediction are planned.

Also planned at Assumption is a "Patriotic Ice Cream Social" at which conversation about contemporary issues facing the nation will be encouraged.  A sparkler fireworks display will follow, weather permitting. A flyer outlining the event can be accessed here.

St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Naugatuck will have a prayer service with Eucharistic adoration for religious freedom at 6:30 p.m. June 28. An ice cream social on the rectory lawn will follow. It is open to the public.

At St. Rita Parish in Hamden, various parish groups, including the Knights of Columbus and a youth group, will be involved in the activities.

They include a vigil Mass for the feasts of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher at 6:30 p.m. June 21, an old-fashioned ice cream social following the 11:30 a.m. Mass on June 23 and extended adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 24.

Also planned at St. Rita is a talk about immigration and citizenship at 7 p.m. June 26 by Sister Mary Ellen Burns, a member of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who is an immigration lawyer and director of the Apostles Immigration Center in New Haven.

"For Greater Glory," a film about the Cristeros Catholic fighters for religious freedom in Mexico during the 1920s, will be screened at 7 p.m. July 1 in the St. Rita Parish Center. Popcorn and other refreshments will be served. A closing Mass for the Fortnight for Freedom will be celebrated at 7:30 a.m. July 4.

In addition, parishioners at St. Rita are being encouraged to pray the rosary on both Saturdays of the Fortnight for Freedom for the intention of religious liberty.

Also, at Our Lady of Pompeii Church in East Haven, in honor of the Fortnight for Freedom, the 8 a.m.  parish Mass on Independence Day, July 4, will include patriotic hymns. The congregation is being encouraged to wear the patriotic colors of red, white and blue. The rosary that will be recited at 7:30 a.m. will include intentions for our country and religious liberty. Both are open to the public.


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.