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 Louis Marie Abenanti of the Sisters of Mercy, known to her friends as Sister Luigi, died on Feb. 23, 2015, at St. Mary Home after a long illness.

She was born on March 10, 1926, one of five children of the late Luigi and Filomena (Fiorella) Benanto.

She attended high school in Derby and worked in that town for nine years before entering the Sisters of Mercy on Sept. 8, 1951. Sister Louis worked in inner-city parishes in Bridgeport and New York and in New Haven, where she began a community service program with a grant from the city. Then she was a missionary in Honduras, Puerto Rico and Peru, teaching religion and English, visiting the sick and homebound and opening a soup kitchen.

After retiring from active ministry, Sister Louis continued to volunteer at Mercyknoll and the School for Young Children in West Hartford.

Sister Louis’s sisters, Mary, Gloria and Eleanor, predeceased her. She is survived by her brother Joseph Benanto of Amsterdam, N.Y., and her religious community.

A funeral Mass was celebrated on Feb. 25 in the chapel at St. Mary Home. Burial was in St. Mary Cemetery.

Donations in Sister Louis’s memory may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 55 E. Cedar St., Newington, CT 06111.

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.