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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sha-hour-of-code 1830Sacred Heart Academy seniors Emily Mancini of Cheshire, Angela Ciaramella of Hamden and Victoria Asmus of Guilford collaborate on a computer programming puzzle during an “Hour of Code” event held Dec. 13. HAMDEN – Sitting on the school’s gymnasium floor with their laptops, 506 Sacred Heart Academy students immersed themselves in a special "Hour of Code" event Dec. 13, learning how to write computer code.

They were part of a nationwide initiative held during Computer Education Week to motivate students to learn computer science.

Sponsored by a nonprofit group, Code.org, the event was designed to encourage students to think about studying computer science, and to get computer science classes established in every school in the country. An estimated 15 million students participated in the event.

Students were introduced to the project with a short video, "What Most Schools Don’t Teach," which featured appearances by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Miami Heat star Chris Bosh, actor Ashton Kutcher and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Next, the students took a stab at learning basic programming concepts with a puzzle game called Light-bot. The coding exercises offered student-players a practical understanding of such basic control-flow concepts as instruction sequencing, procedures and loops.

The academy already is among high schools that teach computer science to students in its honors program and technology club. Students learn data structure, data analysis and how to write code through the study of algorithm design, problem solving and problem finding.

"I saw this as a great opportunity for students to realize that this is something they can do, and will be able to do at some point in their high school career," said David Alexandro, SHA’s dean of academic affairs and computer science teacher.

According to Code.org, one million jobs go unfilled because schools fail to teach students how to code.

Organizers hope to inspire students to take the time to understand what computer science is and see how it influences commerce, politics, medicine, education, design, science and society.

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.