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 Maris Stella Hickey (Mary Teresa), a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, died at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford on April 24, 2015. She was 83 and was in her 66th year of religious life.

She was born in Hartford on Dec. 10, 1931, a daughter of the late James Vincent and Helen (Collins) Hickey. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 15, 1949, and professed her perpetual vows on Aug. 24, 1955.

Sister Maris Stella received a bachelor’s degree in education from the Diocesan Sisters College; a master’s degree in French language and literature from Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.; and further studies in Spanish and German at Fairfield University and in French literature at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

Sister Maris Stella taught at South Catholic High School in Hartford and Sacred Heart Academy in Stamford, and later became principal of the latter. Then she served as general councilor for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambéry in Rome. In this capacity, she was part of an international team that revised the community’s constitution to reflect the vision and spirit of the Second Vatican Council.

Sister Maris Stella was also executive director of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, provincial councilor for her congregation, spiritual life coordinator for the Archdiocese of Hartford’s school office, executive director of Jubilee House in Hartford and co-director of Creative Life Services for the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Sister Maris Stella founded Jubilee House as a neighborhood center to address the needs of the refugee and immigrant communities of the south end of Hartford.

Sister Maris Stella is survived by her religious community; her sister, Frances Covaleski; a niece; a nephew; a grandniece; and grandnephews. She was predeceased by her parents and her brother, Father James V. Hickey.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated April 29 in St. Joseph Chapel at the Convent of Mary Immmaculate. Interment followed on April 29 in the Sisters of St. Joseph Cemetery.

Donations in Sister Maris Stella’s memory may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph, 27 Park Rd., 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.