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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brake cycle webBrake the Cycle team members on a previous ride through Connecticut

MANCHESTER – While many Connecticut residents will be enjoying their morning coffee and starting their day on June 26, 18 men and women will be stretching out and gearing up for the 14th annual Brake the Cycle of Poverty bicycle ride across Connecticut.

Thirteen cyclists and five support staff will begin their trip of six days and approximately 200 miles at 6:30 a.m. from St. Bridget Parish at 80 Main St. Their journey will also end at St. Bridget, at 3 p.m. June 30.

In between, the group will talk with faith-based groups and conduct presentations on anti-poverty advocacy issues; engage political representatives at the local, state, and federal levels, challenging them to work to eliminate the root causes of poverty; listen to and learn from people living in poverty in Connecticut; and provide a voice for those people.

Brake the Cycle was formed under the leadership of the U.S. Bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development. In Connecticut, it is under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office of Catholic Social Justice Ministry.

The yearly ride, which began locally in Manchester in 2003, was created by members of St. Bridget Parish. The initial St. Bridget team cycled to Washington, D.C., and attended an antipoverty rally and press conference.

In 2004, the theme “This Time Connecticut” was adopted when the team returned from Washington and recognized the need to take proactive action within the state of Connecticut as poverty impacts such a significant number of people.

The team’s mission is to learn about poverty in Connecticut, to meet the people who are struggling to get out of poverty in Connecticut and to find solutions to poverty in Connecticut.

The BTC team will introduce ways that people can PEDAL (participate, educate, dedicate, advocate and love) with them.

For additional information and updates on the trip and the Brake the Cycle Team and mission, visit the website at www.brakethecycleofpoverty.org.

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.