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 23, 1976 when Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien passed away.
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jezreel1Jack Jezreel

NEW HAVEN – Continuing a 45-year tradition, the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office for Catholic Social Justice Ministry (OCSJM) will present awards for exceptional efforts in social justice ministry to Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, a local service agency and a parish community at its annual dinner Oct. 22 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville.

The dinner and awards event brings together parish and agency representatives from across the Archdiocese of Hartford each year to recognize individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to improve the lives of people.

This year, OCSJM will pay special tribute to Archbishop Mansell, under whose leadership numerous significant initiatives have been accomplished. Archbishop Mansell will receive the Most Reverend Joseph P. Donnelly Individual Award for his instrumental role in creating the Cathedral Green supportive and low-income housing project in Hartford. This project converted the former Cathedral School into 28 affordable family housing units that have easy access to programs and services to ensure that residents continue on a path of stability.

Building on the success of this effort, Archbishop Mansell is currently guiding a similar project in Waterbury, converting the former St. Francis Xavier School into affordable family housing units at Francis Xavier Plaza.

Apostle Immigrant Services (AIS) of New Haven will receive the Most Reverend Joseph P. Donnelly Organization Award for its outstanding service to the immigrant community of Greater New Haven.

Established in 2008 by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, based in Hamden, AIS is a nonprofit agency that provides a range of educational programs and legal immigration services. Its impact extends far beyond the over-400 clients served in its short history, improving the lives of family and community members and promoting greater understanding across cultural divides.

The Dr. Charlie Schlegel Award, established in 2011 in honor of Dr. Schlegel, a founding member of the Cooperative Parish Sharing (CPS) Committee, will be presented to St. Joseph Church in Winsted for its CPS-supported projects that address the needs of low-income and homebound elderly people in their community.

The parish’s Community Life Meal Delivery Project and the Elderly Luncheons Project provide over 700 hot meals annually, offering a source of both nutrition and community for many who lack support in those areas.

Guest speaker Jack Jezreel will offer reflections on the theme: “St. Francis, Pope Francis and a Vision for the 21st-Century Church.” A popular and passionate presenter, Mr. Jezreel is the founder and president of JustFaith Ministries, a conversion-based justice formation program that, since its creation in 1989, has touched the lives of over 30,000 people in over 1,500 communities.

Mr. Jezreel said he looks forward to reconnecting with people who have graduated from his JustFaith program in the archdiocese and to challenging those present to open their hearts and minds to the call for justice and healing in our world.

The event begins with a reception at 5 p.m.

Tickets are available by calling OCSJM at 203-777-7279 or visiting online at www.catholicsocialjustice.org.

Tickets cost $70, or $650 for a table of 10.

The dinner program booklet offers friends and supporters an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the award winners by purchasing an ad. That may be arranged by emailing Linda Roberto at lroberto@catholicsocialjustice.org for more details. The deadline for ad submissions is Oct. 7.

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.