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 17, 1891 when Bishop Lawrence S. McMahon dedicated St. Bernard Church, Enfield.
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SH donates GBeaulieu SDougherty BLoiseau LCipriano ERodriguez 900x600The staff of St. Vincent dePaul Mission comprises, from left in back, Gary Beaulieu, executive director; Shawn Dougherty, director of operations; Bob Loiseau, treasurer; and in front, Lorein Cipriano, office manager; and Edwin Rodriguez, director of communications. Sacred Heart Church in Southbury has donated $200,000 to the St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Waterbury.

This donation came from the Mustard Seed Fund, the charitable fund that the parish established and that was initiated by the bequest from Irma Ziegler Smith and Mildred Ziegler.

The Mustard Seed Fund annually supports social outreach efforts and service awards for parish youth. After a periodic review of the fund, the finance committee noted exceedingly good returns on its investments. The good return over the past years prompted Father Joseph Donnelly, pastor of Sacred Heart Church, to ask, “If a Catholic parish has a significant amount of money in savings, and there are people without a roof over their head, health care or food to eat, are they (the parishioners) any longer authentically Catholic?”

Father Donnelly and the finance committee at Sacred Heart Church agreed to pursue the donation of the partnership grant to the St. Vincent DePaul Mission.

The relationship between Sacred Heart and St. Vincent DePaul dates back 28 years. Today, many ministries at Sacred Heart support the basic needs of St. Vincent DePaul by delivering an average of over 14,000 sandwiches per year to the St. Vincent DePaul homeless shelter and by parishioners’ cooking and serving hot meals every month. 

Even with the parishioners' best efforts to alleviate some of the burdens, however, St. Vincent DePaul is still operating with minimal resources. 

Father Donnelly, who also is chair of the Board of Directors at St. Vincent DePaul, organized a meeting with its staff and determined that $100,000 of the parish’s donation would be allocated to working capital, including salaries and utility payments. The other half will be used for capital improvement, such as fixing the leaking roof in their office building and computer upgrades.

St. Vincent DePaul is a local, independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The organization provides services, housing and basic needs to adults and families struggling with homelessness, poverty, hunger and mental illness, so that they may achieve their highest potential in the areas of wellness, recovery and independence. St. Vincent DePaul shelter is the largest in Connecticut, offering 123 beds.

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.