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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HAMDEN – Eighteen of Sacred Heart Academy’s world language students have gained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2013 National Spanish Examinations (NSE).

The students earned a total of three gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals.

The gold medal winners are Mitali Bandyopadhyay, ’16, of Farmington; Diana Estrada, ’16, of West Haven; and Jane Lockery, ’15, of Branford.

Earning silver medals were Madison Gallagher, ’14, of Bristol; Ashley Garcia, ’15, of Deep River; Meghan Glynn, ’15, of Wallingford; Erinn Halasinski, ’15, of Plantsville; Ashley Heidtmann, , 15,, and Thairy Kovacs, ’16, both of West Haven; Abbey Lawlor, 15, of Cheshire; and Kelly McGovern, ’14, of North Branford.

Bronze medals were awarded to Molly Andrus, ’15, of Guilford; Analiese Casey, ’15, of Milford; Warner Dixon, ’15, of Milford; Katherine Donohue, ’15, of Hamden; Michaela Matos, ’14, of Naugatuck; Kathryn Mortati, ’14, of Trumbull; and Mackenzie Walsh, ’15, of Guilford.

“Attaining a medal for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious,” said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, national director of the exams, “because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States, with over 156,000 students participating in 2013.”

The National Spanish Examinations are administered each year in grade six through 12, and are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Students from Sacred Heart have a long history of high achievement on these exams. The Spanish teachers are Maria Rethis and Oscar Rollan.

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.