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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divine mercy 2018 aj 026 900x600Young men carry the Divine Mercy image at the start of the procession from St. Stephen Church to St. Rita Church in Hamden. (Photos by Aaron Joseph)HAMDEN — Mercy and love go hand in hand, Archbishop Leonard P. Blair said during Divine Mercy devotions on April 8 at Divine Mercy Parish. The devotions for Divine Mercy Sunday followed a procession from St. Stephen Church on Ridge Road to St. Rita Church on Whitney Avenue.

The celebration included confession at both churches. After hearing confessions at St. Stephen Church, Archbishop Blair blessed a Divine Mercy image that was carried in at the front of the procession of 150 faithful. They sang along the 1.3-mile walk to St. Rita Church, where they were joined by others who had already assembled.

Amid Easter hymns and an altar bedecked with white lilies, the holy hour included a sung Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Litany of Divine Mercy, and exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. 

In his homily, Archbishop Blair stressed the spiritually rich message of mercy and love that is central to the Divine Mercy devotion.

See gallery of photos by Aaron Joseph at

“Mercy is love’s second nature,” said the archbishop, quoting Pope John Paul II, who proclaimed the universal feast day in 2000.

“What brings us together is faith, complete and total trust in Jesus,” said Archbishop Blair, who urged the faithful to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. If we don’t show mercy here on earth, “we will not obtain his mercy on the day of judgment,” he said.

“What does this Divine Mercy Sunday ask of us?” he said. “To be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful.”

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, and is based on the revelations of Jesus to St. Faustina Kowalska as written in her diary. Jesus told her that a person who goes to confession and receives holy Communion on that day will receive the total forgiveness of all sins and punishment. 

In his messages to St. Faustina, Jesus said, "Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy.”

divine mercy 2018 aj 001 500x550Archbishop Leonard P. Blair hears a confession at St. Stephen's Church in Hamden.“Divine Mercy is a very special day,” said parishioner Gina Dagostino, who also serves as a parish nurse and as a Knights of Columbus Columbiette.

“Now that we’re also Divine Mercy Parish, it is very important that we glorify that by celebrating the day.”

Echoed Mary Pasquariello, “The idea that God wants to give us his mercy, love and forgiveness is a message that is so compelling and is what makes me want to be here today,” she said. “It’s a message that is for this century.”

“I believe in Sister Faustina’s visions and what it means for us,” said Carol Liquori, a member of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish in North Haven. “I know that in God’s great mercy, he will come to us; and I want to believe in the message that is for those who have faith, hope and love.”

Members of the Knights of Columbus marched in the procession participated in the holy hour. 

Father Joseph DiSciacca, pastor of Divine Mercy Parish, thanked Archbishop Blair for celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday at the parish and invited guests to a reception in the parish hall.

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.