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 16, 1978 when the first Mass was held at St. Monica Church, Northford.
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Archbishop Blair B 7 16 web

HARTFORD – Archbishop Leonard P. Blair shakes hands with inmates of the Cheshire Correctional Institution, where he celebrated two Masses for 113 men on Tuesday as a continuation of his pastoral visits during the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

The year, declared by Pope Francis seven months ago, emphasizes the importance of fulfilling the corporal works of mercy, which include visiting the imprisoned.

In his homily, Archbishop Blair said, "We are all sinners. If we are not sinners, God can do nothing for us." We must "realize that it is love that truly rules the world."

The archbishop used a relic of Saint Maria Goretti, the patroness of youth, victims of rape, young women, purity and forgiveness, in his final blessing.

He asked the men to pray for him and promised that he would continue to pray for them.

The occasion marked the first time that Archbishop Blair visited the Cheshire Correctional Institution.

Father Anthony Bruno, director of religious services for the Connecticut Department of Correction, and Father Robert Villa concelebrated the Mass. Deacon José Robles assisted at the Mass. (Photo courtesy of Department of Correction)

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.