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 18, 2010 when a Centennial Mass was celebrated in honor of St. Margaret of Scotland (Waterbury) Church.
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ENFIELD – Felician Sister Marie JoAnn Lewko, principal of St. Bernard’s School in Enfield, died at age 58 on Feb. 15, 2010, at Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Enfield.

She was a member of the Felician Sisters community for 39 years.

She was born on Oct. 22, 1951, in Brooklyn, N.Y., a daughter of the late John and Theresa (Zur) Lewko. She graduated from the former Our Lady of the Angels Academy in Enfield, where she taught after receiving teaching degrees from Rivier College in Nashua, N.H., and Wesleyan University in Middletown, and entering the Felician Sisters in Enfield.

Sister JoAnn also taught at St. Mary School in Middletown and St. Martha School in Enfield. She was also the principal at St. Martha School and, most recently, at St. Bernard School in Enfield. She also taught in ministries staffed by the Felician Sisters in New York, Massachusetts and Maine.

In addition to the Felician Sisters, she is survived by two sisters, Valerie Walendziak of Uncasville and Lorraine Van Luvender of Brooklyn; and several nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Feb. 20 at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in Enfield. Burial followed in St. Adalbert’s Cemetery in Enfield.

Memorial donations may be made to the Felician Sisters Retirement Fund, 1315 Enfield St., Enfield, CT 06082; or St. Bernard School Scholarship Fund, 232 Pearl St., Enfield, CT 06082.

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.