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.
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey

st jos medal mz 4799 900x600 webHARTFORD –  Every year since 2002, pastors from across the Archdiocese of Hartford nominate a person or couple from their parish to receive the St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation for volunteering their time and talent with their church community. Archbishop Leonard P. Blair will present 118 candidates with this medal at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 18 during a prayer service at St. Joseph Cathedral, 140 Farmington Ave.

The medal recipients volunteer in a variety of ways that enhance their parish communities. Some are religious education teachers, lectors or eucharistic ministers, while others serve the needy and coordinate parish events and fundraisers.

According to Archbishop Blair, they set an admirable example for others by adhering to the Scripture: “Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all the humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:1-2).

Among the many noteworthy volunteers are the following: 

• John and Doreen Blondin of South Windsor:  Doreen and her husband have been members of their parish for 12 years. When St. Margaret Mary merged with St. Francis of Assisi to form St. Junipero Parish last June, Doreen became president of the merged parish council. She says it is important to her that everyone feel welcome at the newly formed parish. She also works with youth. preparing them for confirmation and helps with youth fundraisers. John assists the parish in other ways including cooking at the parish shelter and transporting food. He is the deputy grand kight of the local Knights of Columbus Council. 

• Rose Ann Gulisano of West Haven: Rose is the co-director of Beacon on the Hill, which provides many social justice ministries to people of West Haven and adjoining towns. The “Beacon” provides clothing, canned goods, diapers and other essentials to those in need at her parish. She also serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion.

• Marlene Harris of Hartford: Marlene is an extremely active member of St. Justin-St. Michael Parish who serves on the Pastoral Council and Steering and Evangelization committees. According to her pastor, Father Emmanuel Ihemedu, she serves quietly and patiently, always offering sound and  clear suggestions and solutions. These skills came in handy when the parishes of St. Justin and St. Michael merged last year, he said. Marlene was a member of the “Faithful Ten” committee, which played an instrumental role in transitioning members of both parishes to the newly established St. Justin-St. Michael Parish. She also uses her nursing talents to organize free health clinics at the parish.

• Kevin Knowle of Naugatuck: Kevin has been a life-long member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. He serves at many special liturgies and has been an usher for over 40 years. He shares his love for gardening and his handyman skills with his parish community. He plants mums in the fall and says he is looking forward to the flowers this spring. He also recruits members to help him with painting, cleaning, mowing and maintaining the church grounds.

Handicapped accessibility is available at the cathedral via an elevator located from the parking lot on Asylum Ave.

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.