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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joaquimMembers of St. Joaquim Parish in New Britain, in photo at left, pose during the parish's encuentro, or encounter, on July 29.

Hispanic/Latino Catholics from more than 20 established Hispanic/Latino communities in parishes throughout the archdiocese have been participating in grassroots missionary efforts and fact-finding over the past months in preparation for the upcoming archdiocesan encuentro to be held on Sept. 16 at the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield.

The archdiocesan encuentro is part of the “V Encuentro,” or “Fifth Encounter,” a national initiative called by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in which the Catholic Church gathers with Hispanic/Latino Catholics, the fastest growing Catholic community in the United States.

The bishops’ goal is to get to know and better serve the Hispanic/Latino Catholic community and, at the same time, to increase Hispanics’ sense of belonging and participation in the U.S. Church.
The parish gatherings will continue as a lead-up to the archdiocesan encuentro event.

In parishes, both lay ministers and parishioners responded to the call for “missionary disciples.” Groups of seven to 10 people met for five sessions. They received a crash course in how to listen attentively without judgment, genuinely befriend others as Jesus did, reach out to people on the peripheries of the Church and in society, and invite newcomers into the parish community and to a parish encuentro.

In photo below, members of All Saints/Todos los Santos Parish in Waterbury take part in their parish encuentro, also on July 29.

Miembros de la Parroquia de San Joaquin en New Britain, en la foto a la izquierda, posan durante el Encuentro Parroquial del 29 de julio.

El Encuentro Arquidiocesano reunirá Hispanos/Latinos católicos de más de 20 parroquias con comunidades Hispanas/Latinas establecidas en la arquidiócesis.

El Encuentro Arquidiocesano forma parte del proceso del “V Encuentro”, una iniciativa nacional convocada por la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos (USCCB) que reúne a la Iglesia católica y a los Hispanos/Latinos católicos, quienes son la población católica de más rápido crecimiento en los Estados Unidos.

El objetivo de los obispos es conocer y servir mejor a la comunidad católica hispana y, al mismo tiempo, aumentar el sentido de pertenencia y participación de los hispanos en la Iglesia de los Estados Unidos.

Los encuentros parroquiales continuan como una preparación para el Encuentro Arquidiocesano.

En las parroquias, tanto los ministros laicos como los parroquianos respondieron a la llamada del "discipulado misionero". Grupos de siete a diez personas se reunieron durante cinco sesiones. Ellos recibieron un curso intensivo de cómo escuchar atentamente sin juzgar, cómo establecer una amistad sincera con otros como lo hizo Jesús, y cómo llegar a las personas en las periferias de la Iglesia, de la sociedad para invitar a los recién llegados a la comunidad parroquial y al encuentro parroquial.

En la foto abajo, miembros de la parroquia All Saints/Todos los Santos en Waterbury, participan en su Encuentro Parroquial, también celebrado el 29 de julio.

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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.