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 20, 1971 when parishioners settled on a site for the new St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Oxford.
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HARWINTON – Deacon John L. Dembishack Jr. of Harwinton passed away suddenly on Oct. 25, 2013, at age 83.

He was born in Collinsville, a son of the late John and Viola (Marhefski) Dembishack. He graduated from Canton High School and in 1952, married Patricia Downing, who died on Feb. 15, 2002. Mr. Dembishack was a Korean War veteran who served with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1952-60.

He worked in shipping and receiving for Sears & Roebuck Co. for over 40 years before retiring in 1980; he then worked for 10 years at The Torrington Co.

He was ordained as a deacon with the Archdiocese of Hartford on June 8, 1991, and was the first and one of the longest-serving deacons at St. Peter Church in Torrington.

He is survived by his four children, John L. Dembishack III of Bristol; James J. Dembishack of Hope, R.I.; Karen M. Canino of Torrington; and Lynn M. Smith-Bailey of Marlow, N.H.; his sisters Irene Hull of West Sand Lake, N.Y.; Shirley Krawczyk of New Britain; and Frances Urso of New Britain; and his brother Richard Dembishack of Prospect. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister, Mary Szydlowski, and a brother, Walter Dembishack.

Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Peter A. Rosazza celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on Oct. 31 at St. Peter Church. Burial with military honors followed in St. Peter Cemetery. Donations in Deacon Dembishack’s honor may be sent to St Peter Church, c/o The Pastoral Center, 160 Main St., Torrington, CT 06790.

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.