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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Lady Candace Knight Comm FrJeffrey V sq webLady Candace Lucore Nesbit of Cheshire and Knight Commander Father Jeffrey V. Romans, members of the Equestian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, met with Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, on Oct. 2 in Jerusalem. They were with a group of pilgrims from St. Bridget of Sweden Parish in Cheshire, where Father Romans is pastor.

Archbishop Pizzaballa presented the two with the Pilgrim Shell, the most significant decoration of the Equestian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

The Pilgrim Shell may be awarded by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem to any knight or lady of the order who is in good standing, makes a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and prays at the Holy Sepulchre of our Risen Lord. Father Romans celebrated morning Mass for the pilgrims at the tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 

Archbishop Pizzaballa talked to the group about Christianity in the Holy Land and his concerns about the preservation of the holy sites.

The Pilgrim Shell decoration consists of a scallop shell, the ancient badge of a pilgrim, in oxidized silver, in the center of which is placed the cross of the order in red fired enamel bordered with gold. 

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.