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 20, 1971 when parishioners settled on a site for the new St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Oxford.
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Jaynika Aguirre-Larios and daughter Danielise Gonzalez were among an honorary residential welcoming committee for Archbishop Leonard P. Blair during his Thanksgiving pastoral visit on Nov. 25 to pray and celebrate with the staff and residents of St. Agnes Home in West Hartford.

Marking its 100th year as a safe haven and refuge for pregnant and parenting adolescent mothers and their infants in the Archdiocese of Hartford, St. Agnes provides case management, prenatal health education, health care management, life skills training, counseling services, educational/vocational services and day care to as many as 16 mothers and infants.

When Archbishop Blair asked Danielise when her birthday is, she responded with an excited, “Chuck-E Cheese,” which her mother acknowledged with a laugh is the planned location of her third birthday party on Dec.12.

Executive director Lorna Little gave Archbishop Blair a tour of the home, introducing him to staff and residents and their little ones, and visiting the day care center, kitchen and living areas before hosting the archbishop and several other guests in the dining room for a short program of prayer, conversation and refreshment.

st-agnes 7522-webOffering the blessing, Archbishop Blair read from a resident-prepared Thanksgiving card and then listened when mom Jaynika Aguirre-Larios rose to offer special thanks to Archbishop Blair and St.Agnes Home, which she credited for having given her the opportunity to go on, “getting the mindset to focus and get my certificate.”

After refreshments, moms and babies gathered for photos with the archbishop. He said to one mom, whose little one he cradled, “sorry to deprive you of your precious little treasure for a minute,” while settling down in a rocking chair with the baby.

St. Agnes Home celebrated its centennial year with a gala banquet at the Hartford Marriott on Oct. 18.

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.