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 22, 1960 when ground was broken for St. Philip Church, East Windsor.
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lh envir-Sarah-Parlato-First-Place-OverallFirst-prize winner Sarah Parlato in gown made of Disney shopping bags. (Photo submitted)MILFORD – Lauralton Hall’s Environmental Club wowed the crowd with innovative outfits that turned trash into glam at its annual Eco Fashion Show. Now in its eighth year, Trash the Runway is one of the club’s many activities aimed at promoting sustainable living and good stewardship of the earth.

Models paraded the runway in dresses, gowns, pants and skirts made out of aluminum cans, pizza boxes, newspaper and an Eco Fashion Show staple – duct tape.  New this year was a collaborative project with Village Vogue Boutique in Milford, incorporating vintage and "recycled" clothing into the show.

"This is a student-run activity," explained club moderator Donna DiMassa. "It’s about the girls feeling empowered to take over the management of a project and make it a success. We are grateful to Village Vogue for selecting several outfits that mixed vintage clothing with contemporary styles. We hope this will encourage other students and faculty, that recycled clothing is something you can wear every day, not just at a fashion show." 

The first part of the show was narrated by club officers who not only explained details of the outfits and materials used, but they also presented each model’s so-called "eco-fact," such as senior Caitlin Nevins’ reminder that if every 75-watt light bulb was replaced with energy efficient bulbs, there  would be one ton less of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Remi Smith, who won the prize for Best Sophomore Outfit, modeled a dress made of trash bags. Her eco-awareness fact was that approximately 380 billion plastic shopping bags are used in the United States every year, yet only 1-2 percent are recycled.

Another stunning dress that made everyone sit up to get a better look was worn by sophomore Lee Bisch; her creation was made of brown paper, accented by yellow flowers.

Club president Megan Fickes said, "The show is a great way for us to get out the message of the Environmental Club to raise awareness about conservation and the environment. The show makes people think twice about what they are throwing away."

She thanked the judges and the Advanced Placement calculus students who added the scores.

We are also grateful to all of the judges and to the AP Calculus students for adding up the scores so quickly."

Below is a list of winners:


Best Freshman Outfit: Coleen Ilano

Best Sophomore Outfit: Remi Smith:

Best Junior Outfit: Andrea Lopez

Best Senior Outfit: Gabrielle (Elle) Mancini

First Place Overall: Model Sarah Parlato, outfit made from Disney shopping bags

Most Interesting Material: Designer and model Meghan Warren, outfit made from Arizona juice boxes

Most Avant Garde: Designer Ana Masciana; model Emma McCarthy, outfit made from childhood oil paintings

Most Wearable: Designer/Liza Leonard; model Mary Kate Fornshell, tennis outfit made from senior uniform polo shirts

Best Runway Presence: Models Megan Hazzard and Quinn Costantini

Four-Year Presentation Award: Caroline McCauley, who also designed several of the outfits.


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.