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 22, 1960 when ground was broken for St. Philip Church, East Windsor.
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MADISON – Sister Mary Ann (Dominica Marie) DeFrancesco of the Sisters of Mercy died on May 11, 2015, at home in Madison.

Born in Hartford on Dec. 21, 1939, she was the daughter of the late Dominic and Theresa (Daversa) DeFrancesco. She was raised in New Britain, entered the Sisters of Mercy on Sept. 2, 1957, and professed her vows on June 26, 1960.

After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Diocesan Teachers College in Madison, Sister Dee, as she was known, taught for 16 years in several parish elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford. She then ministered in retreat and spiritual direction. She received master’s degrees in English and pastoral ministry from St. Joseph College, now the University of St. Joseph, in West Hartford.

During her last two decades in ministry, Sister Dee was a spiritual director at Mercy Center in Madison and the Emmaus Spiritual Life Center in Uncasville, as well as at centers in Louisiana and New Jersey.

Before retirement, she was a pastoral associate at the Church of the Holy Family in Hebron and ministered in pastoral care for the Center for Hospice Care in southeastern Connecticut. In retirement, Sister Dee volunteered countless hours of ministry to her sisters who resided at St. Mary Home in West Hartford.

Sister Mary Ann is survived by her brothers Frank and Michael, a nephew, a niece, several close cousins and her religious community, particularly Sisters Mary Daly and Ann McGovern, with whom she lived.

A funeral Mass was celebrated May 18 in the chapel at St. Mary Home. Burial was in St. Mary Cemetery.

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.