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 21, 1934 when Father James J. Kane offered Madison's first Mass in Madison's Memorial Town Hall.
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stjames robot-webHumanoid robot "Mixy" waits for St. James School third-grader Marion Patsalides to enter a command into the computer as Dr. Lin Lin supervises.

MANCHESTER – Second and third graders at St. James School met a Macarena-dancing robot named Mixy on Oct. 31 and learned about the future in the process.

Dr. Lin Lin, assistant professor and program coordinator of engineering science and computer engineering technology at Middlesex Community College, acquainted the students with a programmable humanoid robot named Mixy which introduced itself, walked, danced the Macarena and told jokes.

Dr. Lin, who has a child at St. James, discussed, in a way the children could understand, robotics and programming. She also showed the students, on her computer, what the programming sequence for Mixy looked like. Mixy is one of a line of autonomous, programmable and humanoid Nao robots created by a company in France.

Several students had an opportunity to use the computer to program commands for Mixy.

"Many of today's second- and third-grade students will someday be instrumental in the future of robotics and engineering,” said Dr. Lin. “It was wonderful to see their enthusiasm and be able to answer their questions."

St. James School enrolls children in prekindergarten through eighth grade and is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It was designated a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in 2010.

Among the programs the school offers is an after-school robotics club for students in sixth through eighth grade in which members build and program robots to perform specific tasks.

Additional information and pictures can be found online 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.