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 21, 1934 when Father James J. Kane offered Madison's first Mass in Madison's Memorial Town Hall.
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WEST HARTFORD – Sister Marianne (Mary Louis) LeBel, a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, died on Nov. 28 at St. Mary Home.

A native of East Hartford, she was one of 17 children of James and Matilda (Dube) LeBel. She entered the Sisters of Mercy on June 27, 1933, at age 16 and professed her vows on Jan. 2, 1936. She celebrated her 75th anniversary of religious life last year.

During the early years of her religious life, Sister Marianne taught primary grades in Catholic schools in Hartford, New Haven and Norwich and then entered the health field. A licensed practical nurse with certificates in gerontology and pharmaceuticals, Sister Marianne served at various times as a pharmacy assistant, nurse and resident coordinator at St. Agnes Home, St. Mary Home and Mercyknoll. She also worked with the Office of Communications of the Archdiocese of Hartford and volunteered as a receptionist at her congregation’s administrative offices.

Sister Marianne leaves many nieces and nephews as well as her religious community.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Dec. 1 in the chapel at St. Mary Home. Burial was in St. Mary Cemetery. Donations in her memory may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 55 E. Cedar St., Newington, CT 06111.

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.