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.
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey

WEST HARTFORD – Sister Ellen Marie Coburn, a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, died on Feb. 5, 2014, at St. Mary Home.

She was born in Hartford on April 10, 1927, the eighth of nine children of the late Frank and Mary (Connors) Coburn. She grew up in East Hartford and Manchester and graduated from Lauralton Hall in Milford.

She entered the Sisters of Mercy at age 19 and professed religious vows on Jan. 3, 1949. For 29 years, Sister Ellen taught young children, primarily second graders, in Catholic schools throughout the Archdiocese of Hartford. After obtaining a nursing assistant certificate, she ministered to the sick and elderly at St. Mary Home, Mercyknoll and The McAuley and as a private duty companion to many, including her mother.

She was predeceased by seven siblings: Harriet, Francis, Robert, Joseph, Anthony, Joan and Sister Catherine Ann, also a Sister of Mercy. She is survived by her brother John, many nieces and nephews and the sisters in her community.

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.