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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pg1-abm-seton st-Lawrence-wh-ABM-at-Col-Day-Breakfast-2012-adjArchbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell stands with children from St. Lawrence School in West Haven. (File photo)

HARTFORD –The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) will honor Archbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award on Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C., for his leadership, commitment and service to Catholic school education.

In his 50 years as a priest, Archbishop Mansell has dedicated his vocation to helping young people receive an exemplary Catholic school education. During his tenure as Archbishop of Hartford, he implemented a tuition assistance program to help students and their families financially to obtain a Catholic school education.

In the last seven years alone, over $6.5 million of the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal has been awarded to the schools in tuition assistance, and over $5 million has been directed to the schools through the Catholic School Support Program.

As a result of Archbishop Mansell’s unwavering support, well over 23,000 students have received scholarship assistance from these funds and have been better able to access a Catholic school education.

Archbishop Mansell’s successor, Archbishop Leonard Blair, said, “Archbishop Mansell has left a splendid example for me and for other diocesan bishops of creative and effective leadership in preserving and furthering our Catholic schools. It is very fitting that he be honored by NCEA for his accomplishments.”

In the Archdiocese of Hartford, Catholic students consistently achieve two to four years above grade equivalency, and Catholic high schools experience a 100 percent graduation rate, with 97 percent of those graduates attending college.

“Archbishop Emeritus Mansell consistently made known his thoughts, recognizing that Catholic schools must be a living witness to the unity we have in Jesus,” said Catholic Schools Superintendent Dale R. Hoyt. “He firmly believes that without the spiritual development, all education is fundamentally flawed,” Dr. Hoyt added.

Upon Archbishop Mansell’s retirement in December 2013, the Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools (FACS) and the Catholic School Board of the Archdiocese of Hartford created an academic scholarship fund in his name to benefit students.

Prior to arriving in Hartford, Archbishop Mansell was the Bishop of Buffalo, N.Y., where he established a foundation for Catholic education and a diocesan volunteer program for young people to serve the social and educational needs of the diocese. He also established a Montessori school in the heart of the inner city to provide the best early childhood education at little or no cost, equipping poor children with the educational grounding needed to succeed in school. As an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of New York, he was one of the founding members of the Archdiocesan School Board.

The NCEA Seton Award is named after Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in recognition of her lifelong dedication to teaching. This award is presented annually to exemplary individuals whose support and service impact Catholic education and the well-being of our nation’s youth. Information is available 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.