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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WORCESTER, Mass. – Sister Michael Joanne Shea, 81, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for 58 years, died on Feb. 22, 2011, at Notre Dame Long Term Care Center.

She was born on June 20, 1929, in Chicopee Falls, Mass., the daughter of John Francis Shea and Ellen Rose (Hederman) Shea. She graduated from Holy Name High School and Our Lady of the Elms College, both in Chicopee, and earned a Master of Arts degree from Fairfield University.

She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame after teaching for a year in a Chicopee public school. After making her vows, she taught at Holy Name and then taught and was an administrator at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in New Britain. She also served on the leadership team of the Connecti-cut province of her community for nine years.

After studying gerontology at the University of Massachusetts, she ministered to the elderly at St. Mary Home in West Hartford, St. Christopher Parish in East Hart-ford and West Mass Elder Care in Holyoke, Mass. After retiring, she worked in the province finance office.

Sister Michael Joanne was predeceased by her parents and her brother, James L. Shea. She leaves a sister-in-law, nephews, grandnieces, a grandnephew and her community.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Feb. 25 at St. Isaac Jogues Church in East Hartford. Interment was in Mount St. Bene-dict Cemetery in Bloomfield

Contributions may be made in her memory to the Sisters of Notre Dame, 468 Poquonock Ave., Windsor, CT 06095.




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.