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 19, 1915 when ground was broken for St. Stephen Church, Hamden.
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WEST HARTFORD – Sister Bernard Joseph (Dorothy Gertrude) Fitch, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, for 75 years, died on Nov. 12 at the order’s provincial house in West Hartford. She was 99.

Born on Feb. 4, 1910, in Hamden, she was a daughter of the late Bernard Joseph Fitch and Mabel Frances (Roberts) Fitch. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on July 22, 1934, and professed her perpetual vows on Aug. 24, 1940.

Sister Bernard Joseph received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from St. Joseph College in West Hartford and The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., respectively. She taught in schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford and also in the dioceses of Norwich, Bridgeport and Springfield, Mass. She was the director of St. John’s School in Deep River from 1951-58.

Sister Bernard Joseph also worked in various areas during her years at the provincial house and moved into St. Joseph Infirmary there in March 2008.

In addition to the sisters in her community, she is survived by her sisters, Barbara Prokop, Annette Donovan and Rosemary Horrigan; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews. She was predeceased by four sisters, Margaret Fitch, Adeline Fitch, Frances Fitch Richardson and Marion Fitch Botarelli; and one brother, Robert Fitch.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Nov. 17 in St. Joseph Chapel in West Hartford. Interment was in the Sisters of St. Joseph Cemetery in West Hartford.

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.