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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WATERBURY – Loretta LeBlanc of 45 Savings St. died on Feb. 4 after a long illness. She was 78.

She was the first and only commissioned lay minister for health care at St. Mary Magdalen Parish. For that parish, she also was an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and annual blood drive organizer, a lector, religious education teacher, parish council member, promoter of women’s retreats, school carnival worker, chaperone for confirmation class retreats and church collection assistant.

In 2005, the parish honored her for 45 years of service to the church, school and community. Father Stuart Pinette, pastor at the time, credited Miss LeBlanc with "150 years of living out the Gospel" in recognition of her concurrent volunteerism.

She also received, in 2002, the Nelson Bridges Award from the American Red Cross, honoring her as the outstanding volunteer in the Waterbury area for her many voluntary efforts for that organization.

After her mother, the late Adele LeBlanc, moved to Abbott Terrace in 1979, Miss LeBlanc distributed holy Communion to residents there from many parishes. She continued to do that for 20 years.

A professional duckpin bowler, Miss LeBlanc won a number of titles, including the 1970 National Duckpin Bowling Congress Singles Championships, and twice qualified for the all-stars.

She retired after 43 years from the Sealy Mattress Co.

She is survived by two brothers, Robert of Watertown and Ronald of Waterbury; a sister, Anita Siarkowski of Plantsville; 15 nieces and nephews; 27 grandnieces and grandnephews; and one great-grandnephew.

Besides her mother, she was predeceased by her father, Ernest LeBlanc; and brother, Ernest.


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.