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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pluciennik fr marcin webFather Marcin Pluciennik

HARTFORD – Archbishop Leonard P. Blair has announced a new Office for Spiritual Healing and Deliverance Ministry that will serve as a resource for pastors in the Archdiocese of Hartford. It will be under the direction of Father Marcin Pluciennik, who is also Pastor of St. Bartholemew and St. Bridget Parishes in Manchester.

Father Pluciennik has studied the subject for many years, having written his master’s thesis on healing and spiritual warfare. He will continue to participate in seminars at the Institute of Pope Leo XIII at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Ill.

Archbishop Blair explained the need for the ministry. “Having a Ministry of Spiritual Healing and Deliverance in the archdiocese is an essential part of what it means for the church to be ‘a field hospital for the wounded,’ to use the expression of Pope Francis. In fact, the Holy Father often speaks of the devil. Yet today so many people foolishly deny the existence of the devil and demonic influence. During his earthly ministry, Our Lord delivered people from both physical and spiritual illness. It is possible to be troubled, oppressed, impaired or ill in soul as well as in body. In rare cases, it is even possible to be under the dominion of the evil one, Satan,” said Archbishop Blair.

“It is important to discern carefully mental illness from demonic activity, but the latter can happen in certain instances,” the archbishop said.

Father Pluciennik explained that the people who seek the help of the ministry desire to be healed by Christ.

“They believe in Jesus’ promise of abundant life, but are experiencing blockages or bondages” that make them “unable to overcome negativity, fear, sorrow, anxiety, grief, resentment, habitual sin and compulsions,” he said.

Initial plans call for an outreach program to educate pastors and parishioners in the archdiocese about the new office. All work with the ministry will be handled through referrals from pastors.

Father Pluciennik, who noted that “you cannot do this work on your own,” explained that he plans to form a team of psychologists, psychiatrists and other professional clinicians for consultation, as well as prayer teams for spiritual support.

“There are people who are so spiritually wounded that they are not able to clearly see Jesus in this world,” he said. “We also know of people who are thirsty to be faithful but are not able to come back to their spiritual beliefs on their own.

“With the help of my brother priests, we hope to be able to help these people live happy, God-filled lives,” he said.

Those seeking the help of this ministry are asked to first contact their local pastor.

Pastors who require guidance are invited to contact the new archdiocesan office by phone at 860-541-6491 or by email to

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.