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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obit-fr-kolumber june14HARTFORD – Father Denis A. Kolumber, 74, a member of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas, died on May 16, 2014, at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

He was born in East Douglas, Mass., on Aug. 15, 1939, the son of the late John and Mary (Gressek) Kolumber. He attended schools in East Douglas and the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester before studying at La Salette Seminary in Altamont, N.Y. He entered the La Salette Novitiate in Bloomfield on July 1, 1960, and made first profession of vows on July 2, 1961.

Father Denis completed his priestly studies at La Salette Seminary in Ipswich, Mass., and was ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 1967, at the former La Salette Shrine Church in Ipswich. He taught for three years at the La Salette Junior Seminary in Cheshire before leaving for the La Salette mission in Argentina, where he served for 17 years in parishes in Cordoba, Santa Fe, Yofre Norte and Las Termas.

Father Denis was named co-director of the formation house in Cordoba before being elected to two terms as regional superior.

In 1988, he returned to the United States and was named pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Hartford. Later that year, he was a pastoral associate in Smyrna, Ga. He later assisted at parishes in Canton and Cartersville, Ga., and in Lufkin, Texas.

As his health declined in 2008, Father Denis moved to La Salette Hartford House. In recent years, he had resided at St. Mary Home in West Hartford.

In addition to his La Salette confreres, Father Denis is survived by a sister, Mary Lamontagne of East Douglas; a niece and two nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was concelebrated on May 21 in the La Salette Hartford House chapel. Burial in Mount St. Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield followed.

Contributions in his memory may be made to: Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette Retirement Fund, 915 Maple Ave., Hartford, CT 06114-2330.

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.