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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KearnsTHOMASTON – Father Harold Maynard Kearns, 74, of Waterbury, Pastor Emeritus of St. Thomas Parish in Thomaston, died on Jan. 12, 2010, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury.

He was born in Manchester, the son of Harold M. and Mary F. (Lupacchino) Kearns. He graduated from St. James School in Manchester and St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and completed his seminary studies at Christ the King Seminary in New York and the North American College in Louvain, Belgium.

He was ordained to the priesthood on June 25, 1961, in Louvain by Bishop Thomas Francis Maloney.

Father Kearns served as an assistant at St. Peter Parish in Torrington, the Cathedral of St. Joseph Parish in Hartford, St. Lawrence Parish in West Haven, Sacred Heart Parish in Southbury, St. Maurice Parish in New Britain, St. Stephen Parish in Hamden, Our Lady of Victory Parish in West Haven and Blessed Sacrament Parish in Waterbury.

He served as an associate priest-chaplain and then chaplain at Waterbury Hospital from Feb. 26, 1975, to July 12, 1984, and then as priest-chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury from July 12, 1984, to Aug. 22, 1991.

He then was co-pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Naugatuck and then was Pastor of St. Thomas Parish in Thomaston from Dec. 15, 1993, until Dec. 15, 2003, when he was named Pastor Emeritus of St. Thomas.

Father Kearns is survived by his sister, Julie Ann Kearns of Avon; his cousin, Deacon Eugene Mastrangelo of the Archdiocese of Washington; and Deacon Mastrangelo’s wife, Marge.

A parish Mass was celebrated on Jan. 15 at St. Thomas Church, where Archbishop Henry J. Mansell was the principal celebrant of a Mass of Christian Burial the next day. Deacon Mastrangelo was the homilist.

Burial was in St. James Cemetery in Manchester.

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.