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 16, 1978 when the first Mass was held at St. Monica Church, Northford.
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Obit-Bennett_ThomasBLOOMFIELD – Father Thomas F. Bennett, a native of Waterbury, passed away peacefully on Nov. 6 at his family home in Amherst, Mass.

He was born on Feb. 8, 1942, the son of the late Thomas F. and Gertrude Ann (Powell) Bennett. He graduated from St. Margaret School and in 1959 from Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury. He studied for the priesthood at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and St. Bernard Seminary in Rochester, N.Y.

Father Bennett was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1968 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, by Hartford Auxiliary Bishop Joseph F. Donnelly.

Father Bennett served many parishes within the Archdiocese of Hartford, beginning as an assistant pastor at St. John Parish in Watertown in 1968, then at St. Mary Parish in Branford from 1968-72 and at St. Joseph Parish in Meriden from 1972-76.

He began in the Family Life Office for the Archdiocese of Hartford in 1976 and a year later was named as its director, serving there until 1984. Father Bennett was temporary administrator at St. John Fisher Parish in Marlborough until he was appointed to his first pastorate, at St. Thomas Parish in Southington.

In 1992, Father Bennett became Pastor of St. Gabriel Parish in Milford. His final pastorate began in 1995 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Washington Depot and St. Patrick Mission  in Roxbury, where he served until beginning a medical leave in 2008. He was named Pastor Emeritus of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Patrick Mission last June.

Despite his challenging health issues, he contributed greatly to the formation of future priests, assisting in the Archdiocese’s Vocation Office until his unexpected death.

Father Bennett is survived by many cousins. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his only sister, Dr. Mary Katherine Bennett.

Family and friends may call from 9-10:30 a.m. Friday (Nov. 12) at the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, 467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell will be the principal celebrant of a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Friday in the chapel of the archdiocesan center.

Burial will be in the Priests' Plot at St. Thomas Cemetery in Southington.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Vocation Office of the Archdiocese of Hartford, 467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield, CT 06002.



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.