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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WEST HARTFORD – Sister Helen (Mary Kieran) Hart, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, died on Aug. 13, 2014, at Lourdes Health Care Center.

She was 86 years of age and had been in religious life for 69 years.

She was born on Feb. 7, 1928, in Newton, Mass., a daughter of the late John J. and Josephine (Connolly) Hart. She graduated from St. Augustine School in 1941 and from Mount St. Joseph Academy in 1945.

Accepted into the Sisters of St. Joseph on Oct. 2, 1945, Sister Mary Ellen celebrated her perpetual profession of vows on Aug. 24, 1951.

Sister Helen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Diocesan Sisters’ College in West Hartford and a master’s degree in history from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Sister Helen was principal of St. Mary School in Windsor Locks and, after it closed, she taught in the Windsor Locks public school system for three years. She then was principal of St. Bridget School in Manchester.

In 1991, the Sisters of St. Joseph asked Sister Helen to open Project Hope Inc. in the Charter Oak area of Hartford, where for 10 years the program enabled many people to earn their General Education Diploma. Sister Helen also taught in elementary schools in the dioceses of Bridgeport and Springfield, Mass.

Sister Helen was predeceased by her brother John, her nephew Jack and her sister Clare. She is survived by her religious community, nieces, a nephew, a grandniece and two cousins.

A funeral Mass was celebrated on Aug. 18 in St. Joseph Chapel at the Convent of Mary Immaculate in West Hartford. Burial the next day was in the Sisters of St. Joseph Cemetery 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.