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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NEW BRITAIN – Sister Mary Declan (Eileen Catherine) Foley, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, died on Oct. 8, 2014, at the Msgr. Bojnowski Manor. She was 99 years old and had been in religious life for 78 years.

She was born in Hartford on Jan. 29, 1915, a daughter of the late Patrick David Foley and Ellen Powers Foley. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 29, 1936, and professed her perpetual vows on Aug. 24, 1942. Sister Declan graduated from Diocesan Sisters College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and history. She also received an Associate Business Degree from Amhurst College, a master’s degree in French from Assumption College and furthered her studies in French at the Institut Catholique in Paris and Université de Tours in France.

Sister Declan taught at several schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford and in the Diocese of Norwich. She taught in Ridge, Md., then taught French at Diocesan Sisters College. Sister Declan also taught French for nine years at St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol.

She then became a missionary in Sweden, where she lived for 16 years. She learned Swedish and became a parish assistant and teacher at parishes in Gävle and Sundsvall, Sweden. She then co-founded St. Joseph’s Ecumenical Center in Vikings Hill, Sweden.

After returning to West Hartford, Sister Declan volunteered for the next six years at The Gathering Place in Hartford, where people met for lunch and prayer. On her retirement, a Sister Declan Intern Scholarship program was created to give gifts of $500 to a student intern who wished to attend college. In her retirement, Sister Declan helped in her community’s provincial office.

Sister Mary Declan was predeceased by her brothers John and Declan and her sister, Rita Carroll. She is survived by her religious community, including her goddaughter, Sister of St. Joseph Jeanne Hope; and nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Oct. 11 at the Convent of Mary Immaculate in West Hartford. Interment was in the Sisters of St. Joseph Cemetery.

Memorial donations in her name may be sent 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.