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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EAST ORLAND, Maine – Sister of Mercy Marie Therese (Mary William) Ahern, of East Orland, died on Jan. 25, 2013, following surgery at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.

She was born in South Boston, a daughter of the late William and Elizabeth (McCarthy) Ahern. She grew up in Unionville, graduated from Mount St. Joseph Academy and attended St. Joseph College, both in West Hartford. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Diocesan Teachers College in Madison and a Master of Arts degree in history from St. Joseph College (now the University of St. Joseph).

She entered the Sisters of Mercy on Sept. 8, 1956, and made her perpetual vows on June 28, 1962. She taught at St. Margaret School in Waterbury, St. Patrick School in Thompsonville, Holy Trinity School in Wallingford, St. Mary School in New Britain, as well as at South Catholic High School in Hartford in 1964 and again from 1969-73.

She then worked on environmental issues and went into parish ministry in Provincetown, Mass., until 1976, when she resumed teaching at Mount St. Joseph.

She was involved for the next 35 years with H.O.M.E. (Homeworkers Organized for More Employment) in Maine, a nonprofit that provides direct charity and aims to develop people’s skills, build community and change oppressive systems. Sister Marie directed H.O.M.E.’s Learning Center, coordinated the construction of numerous homes for the poor through the Covenant Community Land Trust and recently oversaw five shelters.

She is survived by her sister Elizabeth Olivieri of Old Saybrook, her brother William Ahern of Farmington, nieces and nephews and her religious community. She was predeceased by her brother Timothy Ahern and a nephew.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Jan. 31, 2013, at Connor Chapel at the University of St. Joseph.

A memorial service was held Feb. 3 at Orland Methodist Church near H.O.M.E. Burial was in Maine.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 55 E. Cedar St., Newington, CT 06111-1103 or to H.O.M.E. Inc., PO Box 10, Orland, ME 04472.

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.