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 22, 1960 when ground was broken for St. Philip Church, East Windsor.
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HAMDEN – Sister Maria Gabriel (Margaret Elizabeth) McClain, an Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of Sacred Heart Manor, died on Jan. 18, 2012, at the manor.

She was born on May 1, 1915, in Wilkinsburg, Pa., a daughter of the late William and Catherine McCarthy McClain. She entered the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Aug. 18, 1932, in New Haven, and professed her first vows Aug. 23, 1934, and her perpetual vows Aug. 24, 1943.

She graduated from St. Anthony High School in St. Louis, Mo., and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history from St. Louis University in St. Louis and a Master of Library Science degree from St. John University, in New York.

Sister Gabriel was in religious life for 77 years, during most of which she was a teacher and librarian. She taught in elementary schools in Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania, and ministered in social work at St. Donato Parish in New Haven. She was at Sacred Heart Academy for 39 years, first as a teacher and then, for 31 years, as the head librarian of the Mary and James DiMeo Library of Sacred Heart Academy.

After her retirement from the academy, she assisted at Mount Sacred Heart Provincial House and at Sacred Heart Manor. She retired to the latter in 1998.

Sister Gabriel was predeceased by her brothers, Henry, William and James, and her sister, Helen Johnston. She is survived by a sister, Mary Noon of Maryland; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; and her religious family.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Jan. 21, 2012, in the chapel at Sacred Heart Manor. Burial was in All Saints Cemetery in North Haven.

Memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Manor, 261 Benham St., Hamden, CT 06514-2801.

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.