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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carolyns place 25yrs 2017 017 webAl Terzi, left, television journalist at Fox 61, and Father John P. Gatzak, executive director of the Archdiocese of Hartford's Office of Radio and Television and general manager of WJMJ-FM, chat before Carolyn's Place's 25th anniversary dinner on Nov. 5 at La Bella Vista at Waterbury's Pontelandolfo Club.

Mr. Terzi emceed the event, at which Father Gatzak was awarded the Carolyn's Place Ministry Award, given yearly to a person with a vocation who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to protection of the sanctity of human life.

Middlebury resident M. Jane Teta received the Walter J. Williams Service Award for her involvement with Carolyn’s Place over the last decade.

The Maureen Anne Donohoe Life Award was presented to Carolyn’s Place’s founding parish, St. John the Evangelist Church in Watertown. Also recognized were many individual parishioners who have been involved with Carolyn’s Place in many capacities.

Carolyn's Place is a pregancy care center started by Father Robert Rousseau, then pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Watertown, after he discovered in 1991 a three hours-old baby girl left in a box in the entryway of the church. The girl, later named Carolyn Marie, was adopted confidentially. (Photo by Jack Sheedy)


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.