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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monument 1041Father Aidan N. Donahue blesses a monument of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes donated by two Milford councils of the Knights of Columbus during a dedication ceremony held Sept. 29 on the grounds of the St. Mary Parish. (Mary Chalupsky)

MILFORD – St. Mary Parish recently blessed and dedicated an 850-pound, five-foot, four-inch monument of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes that was donated by two local Knights of Columbus councils.

Since 2004, Milford’s 125-year-old Tinto Council 47 has led an effort to place a Ten Commandments memorial on the property of each of Milford’s five parishes, plus the Knights of Columbus Hall in which the council holds its meetings.

Together with St. Mary’s Santa Maria Council 14546, the two groups raised more than $6,000 to purchase, transport and install the memorial, which is easily seen by parishioners as they approach the church from the parking lot.

"I’ve spent many hours on this project," said Andrew Charland, who spearheads the project for the 520-member Tinto Council as committee chairman, "but I feel it’s been well worth it. I saw a need and I followed through with it."

According to Knights of Columbus member John Meuser, who emceed the dedication, Project Moses is a national organization created to restore respect and appreciation for the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes.

Local promoters further stated in the parish bulletin that the monument is a reminder to the faithful "that we live under the law of God and ultimately will answer to God alone."

Project Moses is the brainchild  of a Kansas businessman who decided to fight back when a Ten Commandments monument was removed in 2000 from the Wyandotte County Courthouse lawn in Kansas City after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue over what it claimed was a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

According to the organization’s website, the effort is being raised now because in the last 30 years, respect and admiration for God’s sacred Commandments have fallen victim to both apathy and hostility.

Organizers hope to place 7,000 monuments at churches, synagogues and religious schools and on private properties across the country. National organizers also plan to establish an estimated $10 million memorial in Washington, D.C.

To date, some 600 monuments have been placed in 46 states, with the state of Texas leading the way by erecting 45 monuments. Currently, there are seven monuments in Connecticut, five of which are in Milford, thanks to the Tinto Knights of Columbus council, which already has erected monuments in all but one of Milford’s parishes.

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.