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 22, 1960 when ground was broken for St. Philip Church, East Windsor.
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nate1aNathanial the temporary canine construction supervisor watches as participants get ready to break ground for a new parish hall at St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Windsor Locks. From left are Father Robert O’Grady, pastor of St. Robert and St. Mary Parishes; Mel Hamilton, Tony Fuoco and Ed Bloom. Nathanial is Father O’Grady’s dog. (Photo submitted)

WINDSOR LOCKS – St. Robert Bellarmine Parish has broken ground for a new parish hall.

The parish hall is named for the late Father Thomas F. Farrell, who was pastor of St. Robert for 40 years.

The new hall will be added to the back of the current church building. It will be approximately 13,200 square feet and contain a large kitchen, two meeting rooms and a large hall that can accommodate nearly 300 people for meals and about 400 for talks and assemblies.

Following a prayer and the groundbreaking, Father Robert O’Grady, pastor of the linked St. Mary Parish and St. Robert Bellarmine, said, "This is the culmination of nearly two years of work, meetings and engineering and architectural decisions and presentations. This new hall will be a benefit not only to St. Robert Church, but also to St. Mary Church and our local community."

Architect Robert Mocarsky, of East Hartland and the Orlando Annulli & Sons Inc. Management Services Co. of Manchester will undertake the work.

The project is expected to be completed by April 2014. When completed, a public dedication ceremony and an open house will be held.

Photos of the work in progress will be posted at


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.