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 17, 1891 when Bishop Lawrence S. McMahon dedicated St. Bernard Church, Enfield.
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SOUTHINGTON – Patrick A. Baker, 90, passed away peacefully at his home on July 4, 2015, surrounded by his family.

Born May 4, 1925, in Dublin, he was the son of the late Michael and Delia Baker.

He spent his youth and early adulthood in Dublin, where he was educated by the Jesuits of Belvedere College.

He married Margaret Patricia (Pat) Duignan in 1952 in Dublin, and they moved to the United States in 1954. They settled in Southington, where they raised seven children.

Mr. Baker first worked at selling candles to churches across New England, forming strong relationships with many clergy. He began an independent business selling candles and church supplies in 1965, opening his first company, Lenehan and Baker in Hartford. In 1983, he opened Patrick Baker and Sons on West Street.

Mr. Baker was on the board of directors of Southington Savings Bank, and was recognized for his work with the United Way, Boy Scouts of America, YMCA and Bread for Life. He and his wife received the Archdiocese of Hartford’s St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation. He also received St. Paul Catholic High School’s Circle of Honor Award.

Preceded in death by his parents and nine siblings, Mr. Baker is survived by his wife and their seven children, Posey Fradette of Bedford, N.H.; Michael Baker, Maureen Kelly, Brian Baker and Mary Pat Threlkeld, all of Southington; Patrick J. Baker of Avon; and Sean Baker of Fairfield. He also is survived by 23 grandchildren and three great- grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Thomas Church in Southington, Bread for Life in Southington or St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol.

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.