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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WILTON – Sister Ethel MacIlvain (Sister Mary Carl), a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, died on April 26, 2014, at Lourdes Health Care Center. She was 91 years of age and had been in religious life for 74 years.

 She was born in New York City on Dec. 8, 1922, a daughter of the late Karl Messenger MacIlvain and Ethel Adelaide Nolan MacIlvain. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 14, 1940, and professed her perpetual vows on Aug. 24, 1949.

Sister Ethel graduated from the Diocesan Teachers’ College in West Hartford with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and received a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. She earned a master’s degree in administration and music education, as well as a sixth-year certificate in administration/supervision, from the University of Bridgeport.

Sister Ethel began her teaching career in the Archdiocese of Hartford’s school system and then taught at St. Mary’s School in Lee, Mass., for two years. She then was a principal at St. Lawrence School in West Haven, St. James School in Stratford, St. Louis in West Haven, St. James School in Danielson and St. Joseph School in Shelton. Her last three years as a teacher were spent at St. Rose of Lima School in Newtown.

Sister Ethel was predeceased by her twin sister, Sister Eileen MacIlvain, also a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph; and her brother Vincent MacIlvain. She is survived by her religious community, a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on April 29 in St. Joseph Chapel at the Convent of Mary Immaculate in West Hartford.

Memorial 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.