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 21, 1934 when Father James J. Kane offered Madison's first Mass in Madison's Memorial Town Hall.
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MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Sister Joan Louise Melanson, 74, a member of the Religious Teachers Filippini who taught in the Archdiocese of Hartford, died on March 10 at Villa Walsh.

Born in Lynn, Mass., she entered the order on May 30, 1959, and made her religious profession on Aug. 22, 1964. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Notre Dame College in Manchester, N.H., and pre-primary credentials from the Northeast Montessori Institute.

Sister Joan began teaching in 1961 and, over the years, taught at St. Anthony in Bristol and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Meriden as well as at St. Sebastian in Middletown. She directed the Montessori program at Queen of Apostles Education Center from 1990-96. She also taught in New Jersey, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania before serving in Florida from 1996-2004, when she retired to Morristown.

She is survived by a brother, Richard. She was predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Etta May Marks, and her stepmother, Margaret Hussey.

Donations in memory of Sister Joan may be made to St. Joseph Hall Infirmary, c/o Sister Betty Jean Takacs, MPF, provincial superior, Villa Walsh, 455 Western Ave., Morristown, NJ 07960-4928.

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.