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 17, 1891 when Bishop Lawrence S. McMahon dedicated St. Bernard Church, Enfield.
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Farrell_ThomasFBLOOMFIELD – Father Thomas F. Farrell, age 94, of the Archbishop Daniel A. Cronin Residence in Bloomfield, died on Jan. 11, 2011, at St. Mary’s Home in West Hartford.

A son of the late Joseph F. and Mary (Gorman) Farrell, he was born on July 2, 1916, in Waterbury. He graduated from Crosby High School in Waterbury, attended St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and studied at Basselin College and the Theological College of The Catholic University in Washington, from which he received Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in philosophy and a licentiate in theology.

He was ordained to the priesthood on June 3, 1943, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford by Bishop, later Archbishop, Henry J. O’Brien.

His first assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Norwich. He then taught for 20 years at St. Thomas Seminary, where he headed the history department. During those years, he also was assistant pastor at St. Bridget Parish in Cheshire. He became Pastor of St. Augustine Parish in South Glastonbury in 1965 and, in 1968, Pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Windsor Locks, from which he retired in 2007.

In 1966, he was appointed area chairman for ecumenical activities for the East Hartford-Glastonbury-South Glastonbury area. He also served two terms with the archdiocesan Senate of Priests (later the Presbyteral Council), including as chairman of personnel in 1975. He also served on the priests’ retirement board.

Father Farrell was predeceased by two brothers, Joseph Jr. of Middlebury and James B. of Waterbury; and a sister, Bernadette Farrell. He is survived by several nieces and nephews and a cousin.

A parish Mass was celebrated on Jan. 14 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, where Archbishop Henry J. Mansell was the principal celebrant of a Mass of Christian Burial the next morning. Msgr. Gerard G. Schmitz, vicar for priests, delivered the homily.

Burial followed at New St. Joseph Cemetery in Waterbury.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Town of Windsor Locks Social Services Department, Attn: Janet Lieper, 50 Church St., Windsor Locks, CT 06096.



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.