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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Sister Mary Dennis (Madeleine Estelle) Griffin, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, died on Jan. 8, 2018, at St. Mary Home in West Hartford .

Born in Waterbury on November 17, 1922, she was the daughter of the late Dennis James Griffin and Nora McKenna Griffin. She entered her order on October 15, 1940, and professed her vows on August 24, 1946. She was 96 years of age and had been in religious life for 72 years.

Sister Mary Dennis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Diocesan Sisters College in West Hartford, a master's degree in school administration from Fairfield University and studied at the Pontifical Institute of Regina Mundi in Rome. She spent many years as an elementary school teacher in the Archdioceses of Hartford and Diocese of Bridgeport. She was principal at St. Peter School in New Haven and St. Patrick School in Bridgeport.

Upon her retirement to the provincial house in West Hartford, Sister Mary Dennis volunteered with the sisters in need of health care. She moved to St. Mary Home in 2012.

In addition to her religious community, Sister Mary Dennis is survived by her sister Agnes Caffrey of Waterbury, two nephews, two nieces and many grandnieces and grandnephews. She was predeceased by her sisters Helen Rossi, Rita Kelly, Mary McLean and Catherine Philbert, and her brothers Dennis, Francis and John Griffin.

Calling hours are Wednesday, January 10, 2018, from 9:30-10:45 a.m. at the Sisters of St. Joseph Sedgwick Cedars Residence, 27 Park Road, West Hartford, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 Sedgwick Cedars chapel. The burial will take place at the Sisters of St. Joseph Cemetery in West Hartford immediately following the Mass.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph, c/o Office of Mission Advancement, 650 Willard Avenue, Newington, CT 06111.

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.