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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kofC haitiProsthetist Adam Finnieston helps 3-year-old Anaika Pierre take her first steps on two legs a year after Haiti's 2010 earthquake. She was fitted with a new prosthetic leg at the Knights of Columbus-funded facility in Port-au-Prince.

NEW HAVEN – An award-winning documentary about hope and healing in the midst of horrific tragedy will air on CPTV4U, a Connecticut PBS station and affiliate of Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), at 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12. The showing commemorates the fifth anniversary of Haiti’s historic earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010.

Winner of the Most Inspirational Documentary Award at the DocMiami International Film Festival in September, “Unbreakable: A Story of Hope and Healing in Haiti” tells the story of the thousands of children who underwent emergency amputations and their involvement in “Healing Haiti’s Children,” a program that offered free prosthetics and rehabilitation to every child injured in the earthquake.

The program was a partnership in which the University of Miami-affiliated Project Medishare provided medical expertise and treatment while the Knights of Columbus offered funding of nearly $1.7 million.

To date, more than 1,000 children have received new prosthetic limbs in the program, which has also trained Haitians to continue both the fabrication and rehabilitation work.

Not only did these young people survive, they thrived. The film also captures how some recipients even formed a soccer team composed of amputee athletes that visited the United States in 2011 to introduce amputee soccer to troops who lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Unbreakable” will be preceded at 9 p.m. by “Father McGivney,” a documentary on the life of the young Connecticut priest who founded the Knights of Columbus.

“It is fitting that the documentary on Haiti will air together with the story of Father McGivney since it is Father McGivney’s vision that continues to inspire our charitable work around the world – including in Haiti,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson, executive producer of both documentaries. “It is our hope that both of these documentaries will inspire people to help others in ways that build hope for the future.”

“Father Michael McGivney” chronicles the life and times of the founder of what has become the world’s largest Catholic fraternal group, with more than 1.8 million members organized in 15,000 councils around the world. A strong charitable force within their communities, the Knights donated more than $170 million and 70 million hours to charitable causes in 2013 alone.

Born in Waterbury of Irish immigrant parents just a few years before the Civil War, Michael McGivney grew up in a time when millions of Catholic immigrants were struggling to overcome poverty and prejudice.
Through archival footage and dramatic recreations, the one-hour film covers the range of Father McGivney’s pastoral activities, from ministering to prisoners to aiding families split apart and devastated by the untimely death of a breadwinner.

The documentary reveals a priest committed to helping those on the margins of society, a man who may one day be the first American-born parish priest to be declared a saint. In 2008, the Vatican declared Father McGivney “venerable,” a significant step on the road to sainthood and his cause for canonization remains under consideration at the Vatican.

CPTV4U is a 24/7 television channel featuring award-winning drama, news and talk programming, concert performances, independent films, nature shows, British comedy and more. It is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN). CPBN also includes CPTV, a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including original documentaries, public affairs shows and educational programming, and WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media.

To view a complete list of programs on CPTV4U, to check the CPTV4U schedule for broadcast times, or to find CPTV4U on a local cable provider, visit http://cptv.org/channels/cptv4u/.

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.