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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kula333HARTFORD – Father Francis J. Kula, a member of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, 81, died on May 29, 2010, at Hartford Hospital.

He was born on Jan. 20, 1929, in Cloverleaf, Manitoba, Canada, a son of the late Stephen and Caroline (Haier) Kula. He attended schools in Canada before entering La Salette Minor Seminary in Olivet, Ill., in 1947. He professed his first vows in August 1948 and went to Rome in 1950 to study theology. He professed his perpetual vows on Sept. 28, 1951, at La Salette, France.

He was ordained to the priesthood on March 14, 1954, at St. Stanislaus Church in Rome. After performing parish ministry in Red Lake and Elma, Canada, he was appointed director of the seminary in Olivet.

Father Kula became superior of the La Salette Shrine Community at Twin Lakes, Wis., in 1966. While there, he was the director and ministered in many capacities, and was instrumental in the construction and remodeling of the shrine center. He also was in ministry at St. Paul Parish in Milwaukee.

Father Kula became the Catholic chaplain at the State Veterans’ Home and Hospital in Rocky Hill, where he also resided, in 2003. He was especially active in ministry in the hospital section of the facility.

Besides his confreres, Father Kula is survived by a sister, Bernice Zurawski of Alexandria, Va. He was predeceased by two brothers, Edward and Stanley.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on June 3 in the chapel of the Hartford House on New Park Avenue. Interment followed in Mount St. Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield.

Contributions in memory of Father Kula may be sent to the Missionaries of La Salette Retirement Fund, 915 Maple Ave., Hartford, CT 06114-2330.

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.