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 23, 1976 when Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien passed away.
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Campion ThomasWEST HARTFORD – Father Thomas B. Campion, 89, of West Hartford, passed away peacefully on Nov. 30, 2016, with his family by his side.

Born on Sept. 12, 1927, in Hartford, he was the son of the late Thomas M. Campion and Mary (Hanlon) Campion. His interest in sports began at an early age. Just out of high school, where he was a standout athlete, he participated in a baseball tryout camp and was offered an opportunity to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers organizations.

After his graduating from St. Joseph’s Cathedral School in Hartford and St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass. He also obtained a master’s degree in education from Fairfield University.

He was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 27, 1952, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford. Father Campion ministered at St. Paul’s Church in West Haven and devoted 27 years of service to St. Thomas Seminary as a teacher, director of athletic and coach of the baseball and basketball teams.

He then served at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Torrington and then was assigned as co-pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Wethersfield in 1983 as well as Sacred Heart Parish Wethersfield, when the two parishes were linked in 1995. When he retired from the linked parishes, the Corpus Christi School basketball court was named after him.

Father Campion played baseball in the Hartford Twilight League during his college years and continued as president of the league for many years after. He was a longtime member of the Wethersfield Country, where he was a scratch golfer.

Father Campion leaves his sister, Patricia Cobb, well as 23 nieces and nephews, more than 40 great-nieces and great-nephews and 10 grea-tgreat-nieces and great-greatnephews.

He was predeceased by his parents and sisters, Mary Sinatro, Kathleen O’Neil and Elizabeth Trenchard.

Archbishop Leonard Blair was the principal celebrant of a Mass of Christian Burial on Dec. 6 in the chapel of St. Thomas Seminary. Interment followed in Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford. Memorial donations may be made in Father Campion’s name to Corpus Christi Church or school, 84 Somerset St., Wethersfield, CT 06109. 

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.