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 23, 1976 when Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien passed away.
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WEST HARTFORD – Sister Bernice Marie LaPointe (Sister Mary Richard), 91, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, died on Sept. 8, 2011, at the order’s provincial house.

Born on Nov. 13, 1919, in Hartford, she was a daughter of the late Veio Joseph LaPointe and Stella Dauphinais LaPointe. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 29, 1936, and professed her perpetual vows on Dec. 30, 1942.

Sister Bernice received a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., and a master’s degree in music from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She taught in schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford as well as in the Diocese of Bridgeport and in Lee, Mass.

After years teaching at Sacred Heart Academy in Stamford, Sister Bernice became the assistant librarian at St. Paul High School in Bristol, followed by some years of teaching at Cedar Court School in West Hartford. Her final 10 years of ministry were as the archivist for the Missionaries of La Salette in West Hartford.

Sister Bernice was predeceased by her sisters, Sister Genevieve LaPointe of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and Mae LaPointe Burhans; and her brother, William LaPointe. She is survived by her religious community; a sister, Lea LaPointe Maloy; a brother, Robert LaPointe; nieces; nephews; grandnieces; and grandnephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Sept. 12 at the Convent of Mary Immaculate. Interment followed in the Sisters of St. Joseph Cemetery. Donations may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph, 27 Park Road, West Hartford, CT 06119.

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.