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 15, 1872 when the first baptism was recorded at St. Peter's Church, New Britain. The child's name was, Joseph Graff.
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Archbishop Leonard A. Blair welcomes Father James A. Shanley as rector of the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford during a Mass and installation ceremony on Aug. 9, as the congregation applauds.

The Rite of Installation included an oath of fidelity, or renewal of priestly vows, and presentation of Father Shanley to the parish.

Ordained to the priesthood on Sept. 6, 1980, Father Shanley has served as director of pastoral care at the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven and pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Rocky Hill, Our Lady of Pompeii in East Haven and, for the last five years, St. George Parish in Guilford. In addition to becoming the new rector of the cathedral, Father Shanley is the vicar for pastoral and strategic planning, a position in which he works in close collaboration with parishioners, priests and community leaders to chart the future direction of the church in the Archdiocese of Hartford. Father Shanley also is the episcopal vicar for the Hartford Vicariate.

Father Shanley received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.; a Master of Divinity degree from St. John Seminary in Brighton, Mass.; and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from Yale Divinity School.

“In my 35 years as a priest, I have had the privilege of serving God and his people. My assignment as the new rector of the cathedral will continue to allow me to minister in a spirit of welcoming hospitality,” said Father Shanley. “The cathedral is a beautiful building as well as a thriving, diverse parish community where people from many nations and cultures gather to worship God and provide for the needs of their sisters and brothers. I am excited to be part of this vibrant parish.”

shanley install bm8c0a k webFather Shanley receives a congratulatory hug from Sister Carol Sansone of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, principal of Our Lady of Mercy School in Madison.

The Cathedral of St. Joseph is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Hartford, which comprises 213 parishes serving Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven Counties. Dedicated on May 15, 1962, the cathedral stands on the site of the old cathedral structure, which was destroyed by a fire on Dec. 31, 1956.

Every year, more than 100,000 visitors pray at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. It is where Archbishop Blair welcomes new Catholics, ordains new priests and deacons, administers the sacrament of confirmation, celebrates the Chrism Mass and the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum, and recognizes the achievements of individuals in ceremonies such as the conferral of the St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation. It is also where many ministries and volunteers share their time and talent to provide excellent music, welcoming liturgy, programs of education in the faith, and community outreach. (Photos by Bob Mullen)