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 22, 1960 when ground was broken for St. Philip Church, East Windsor.
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back to school 6351 webStudents carry school banners in a procession in this Transcript file photo.

HARTFORD – Archbishop Leonard P. Blair will celebrate a Back to School Mass at 2 p.m. Sept. 13 in observance of the opening of 50 Catholic elementary schools and nine Catholic high schools that are located in the Archdiocese of Hartford. The Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 134 Farmington Ave.

During the Mass, which officially inaugurates the school year, each Catholic school will participate in a procession displaying its official school banner, and each will receive a newly framed version of the Purpose and Vision Statement for Catholic schools recently reaffirmed by Archbishop Blair. The statements are displayed prominently in every school of the Archdiocese.

Archbishop Blair instituted the annual tradition of the Back to School Mass in 2014, bringing together the Catholic school faith community and setting the tone for an academic year built on the celebration of faith.

“Catholic schools provide an outstanding education rooted in fundamental truths about the human person created in the image and likeness of God and called to love God and neighbor. Bringing students together at this Mass with their families, teachers, administrators and friends emphasizes the importance of being united as a family of faith, prayer and mutual support,” said Archbishop Blair.

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.