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.
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey

prolifemass nh 5343 webColumbian Squires and leaders from circles in East Haven, Newtown, North Haven and Branford pose with Archbishop Blair behind a box containing baby items they collected for a baby shower held Jan. 17 after a Pro-Life Mass at St. Mary's Church in New Haven. (Photo by Mary Walsh)

NEW HAVEN – Noting that 2016 is an election year, Archbishop Leonard P. Blair encouraged attendees of the annual pro-life Mass at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven Jan. 17 to “work and pray tirelessly for those in the political and social realm for an end to abortion.”

The archbishop also emphasized, however, that 2016 is a Jubilee Year of Mercy, and that as people follow Christ’s call to defend human life, they must also pray for the conversion of those in the abortion industry.

Recalling the words of Pope Francis, quoting Jesus, Archbishop Blair said that those who are well do not need a doctor, but those who are sick do. The archbishop described ministering in this way as “not so much a denunciation of others as it is a forceful call for the evangelization of others.”

“We must move hearts and minds to conversion, away from the barrenness [of today’s culture] that Pope Francis deplores,” Archbishop Blair said.

He told the approximately 250 people who gathered for the Mass, which is sponsored each year by the Connecticut State Council of the Knights of Columbus, that Mary plays an important role in pro-life efforts.

“She is at the forefront of the right to life,” said Archbishop Blair, who concluded his homily with a prayer entrusting the cause of life to Mary. The prayer, written by Pope Saint John Paul II from his Gospel of Life, asks Mary to help all who believe in Jesus “to proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love.”
After a prayer invoking the intercession of Father Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, the Knights held a reception in the church hall, during which baby items for unwed mothers were collected for distribution to Catholic agencies throughout the state.

“It was great to see the church this filled, and we are pleased to have the archbishop down to say Mass,” said Thomas J. Vita, state deputy of the Knights of Columbus. “It’s a wonderful day to support pro-life. We do it once a year, but we should keep the unborn and prolife in our minds all the time.”

Concelebrants were Bishop Emeritus Basil H. Losten of the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Stamford; Dominican Father John Paul Walker, pastor of St. Mary’s; Dominican Father William Holt, former pastor, who recently returned to reside at St. Mary’s; Dominican Father Jonathan D. Kalisch, director of chaplains and spiritual development for the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus; and Dominican Father Steven C. Boguslawski, vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Archdiocese of Hartford.

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.