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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pg4 malades2Pilgrims and their caregivers wash in healing waters imported from a spring at the grotto of Lourdes, France, during a Mass Sept. 13, 2014. The first such event sponsored by the Order of Malta took place at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass.

The Order of Malta will hold its third annual “Lourdes in a Day Pilgrimage” on Sept. 10 at St. Thomas Seminary at 467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield.

The day will begin at 9:30 am with reconciliation. Archbishop Leonard P. Blair will celebrate Mass at 10. Lunch at noon will be followed by workshops for the sick and their caretakers. The day will conclude at 4:30 p.m.

There is no cost. Register by Aug. 15 by contacting Mark Sullivan at 860-523-1405 or Directions may be found at

Known for its defense of the Catholic faith and service to the sick and the poor, the Order of Malta conducts the one-day pilgrimage to allow those unable to make the trip to Lourdes, France, to experience the joy, grace and healing promised by Our Lady of Lourdes. In 1858, Our Lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, a poor peasant girl, and revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception. Her instructions were to drink and bathe in the waters of the stream, which now holds the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and the baths draw many there. Mass and candlelight processions are daily occurrences in this small town tucked in the Pyrenees Mountains.

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.