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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easter airforce Mar27 42758AM web

Father Dairo E. Diaz, a priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford who currently serves as a chaplain in the United State Air Force, celebrates the Easter Vigil Mass on an aircraft as it flew to a deployment on March 26.

As he put it, in an email, “As we were [at] 35,000 feet flying toward Afghanistan, I realized we were going to be in the air for a long time. I decided to invite the military personnel to come to the back of the aircraft to celebrate with me the Easter Vigil Mass.

“After hearing some confessions, we celebrated the holy Eucharist together. Turbulence did not stop the lieutenant colonel who was proclaiming the liturgy of the word out of his iPhone. It did not scare the participants who were standing, waiting to receive Holy Communion. It was a great experience for all of us. We felt so close to God, they said, not only spiritually, but even physically. 

“This experience made me realize even more the great blessing I had received through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. A priest is always bringing the presence of Jesus to his people, even on an aircraft 35,000 feet in the air on a Saturday night.”

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.