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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st gianna rousseau 5005 webFather Robert Rousseau, director of Pro-Life Activities for the Archdiocese of Hartford, receives an award from Heidi Kehlenback, a member of the board of the St. Gianna Center board of directors, left, and Carolyn Falcigno, executive director and co-founder, at a dinner April 18 at Amarante’s Sea Cliff Inn in New Haven. (Photo by Mary Chalupsky)

NEW HAVEN – The St. Gianna Center honored Father Robert Rousseau, director of Pro-Life Activities for the Archdiocese of Hartford, at its inaugural benefit  dinner April 17 at Amarante’s Sea Cliff.

“He was the inspiration for the center,” said Carolyn Falcigno, executive director and co-founder of the center. “He saw the need in New Haven for people to have an alternative to abortion when facing a pregnancy crisis.”

A surprise highlight of the dinner was a Skype message from Dr. Alveda King, pro-life activist and niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speaking from her home in Atlanta, she told the 180 people gathered how crucial it is for women to have spiritual counseling and spiritual guidance when facing a pregnancy crisis.

“The work you are doing is very, very important,” she told participants. “You can’t have a better investment than life.”

In addition to the special presentation honoring Father Rousseau, the dinner also included a live auction and raffle drawing.

Since formally opening on Dec. 12, 2012, the center has served more than 200 mothers, fathers and other family members. The center offers free pregnancy testing, consultations, financial and legal aid referrals, referrals to housing agencies and maternity and baby supplies.

In addition, the center offers education in prenatal development, childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting, natural family planning and sexual integrity, as well as referrals for adoption and post-abortion programs.

The Catholic pregnancy resource center, located at 100 Whitney Ave., is named after Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962), Italian wife, mother and doctor who, when complications arose during her pregnancy with her fourth child, willingly pleaded to give her life in order to save that of her child.

For information about  the center, call 203-624-BABY (2229) or visit

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.