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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HARTFORD – “The light is on for you.”

That’s the message being sent throughout the Archdiocese of Hartford as Catholics prepare for Easter by taking advantage of weekly Lenten confessions being offered in every parish from 6-7 p.m. every Monday, in addition to the parish’s regular schedule.

“The very first week of the campaign, a person who had been away from the sacrament for over 20 years told me that they had seen a billboard promoting the Monday night confessions and that it inspired them to come that evening,” said Father Jeffrey V. Romans, assistant chancellor of the archdiocese, who heads the 12-member archdiocesan Lenten committee.

“This is the second year that the archdiocese has promoted the Lenten confession campaign,” he said, “and it gives [us] priests a great sense of joy that people are returning to the sacrament of reconciliation.”

At Our Lady of Pompeii Parish in East Haven, Father John L. Lavorgna, noted, “The Lenten confessions campaign has been a great source of spiritual renewal for everyone involved, on both sides of the altar. For me as a pastor, it has helped me to focus on the beautiful gift of the sacrament, through homilies and conversations with parishioners and others.

“The sessions have provided a wonderful opportunity for quiet reflection,” he said, “and I know many people have come for the sacrament and some have returned other weeks for the private prayer with the Blessed Sacrament.”

As happened last year, the Lenten confession campaign is being actively promoted through billboards, radio announcements, posters, lawn signs, websites, social media and articles in The Catholic Transcript, as well as through reminders from the pulpit and in parish bulletins.

Father Aidan N. Donohue, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Milford, one of the largest in the archdiocese, said, “Our attendance in the church has been good. I’m not sure where all the people are from, but our parishioners like the convenience of it. We have plenty of opportunities for confession here, but this is just one more. I think it’s a good thing.”

The billboards show the image of a church door with a light shining through it and direct motorists to the campaign’s website,

The Lenten campaign is designed to make it easy for people to drive to any church in the Archdiocese of Hartford on their way home from work or from running errands on Mondays and go to confession. It is also serves as a way to welcome those who have not received the sacrament in a while back to the church to experience God’s forgiveness.

“This campaign provides the opportunity in a unique way to help people start over with a clean slate in the eyes of God,” said Father Romans. “What a gift, and it is so encouraging that many are availing themselves of this opportunity to experience God’s mercy.”

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.