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.
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey
Catholic Transcript Reader Survey

SOUTHINGTON – Father Thomas J. Baylis, 84, of Southington, died on Dec. 15, 2016, at Bristol Hospital.

He was born in the Bronx, N.Y., on April 25, 1932, a son of the late Charles J. and Marie R. (Bissonette) Baylis. He was raised in West Haven, where he attended St. Lawrence School before entering the seminary. He was odained to the priesthood as a La Sallette Missionary on April 25, 1959, by the Bishop Eric F. MacKenzie.

Father Baylis was incardinated into the presbyterate of the Archdiocese of Hartford on Feb. 6, 1989. He served as parochial vicar at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Waterbury and October 1991, he was appointed coadministrator of St. Ann Parish in the Devon section of Milford. He was appointed pastor of St. Ann in December 1993 and ministered there until 2002.

In February 2002, Father Baylis was appointed to Our Lady of Fatima in the Yalesville section of Wallingford, where he served until he obtained senior priest status in April of 2007.

He is survived by his sister, Sue (Mrs. Eugene) Sayers of Middletown; his brother, Robert Baylis of Northford; and his nieces and nephews, Catherine Sayers Shwaery, Stephen Sayers, Christopher Sayers, Joseph Sayers, Suzanne Sayers, Peter Baylis, Nancy Baylis, Daniel Baylis and Michael Baylis Jr.

He was predeceased by a sister and a brother, Judith and Michael Baylis.

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on Dec. 20 at St. Bridget Church in Cheshire.

Interment will be private in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Meriden. Gifts in his memory may be sent to the Archdiocese of Hartford, 134 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06105.

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.