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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MANCHESTER – East Catholic High School’s engineering team has been selected to compete in the final round of the SourceAmerica Design Challenge being held Feb. 23-25 in Washington, D.C.

The national engineering competition creates workplace technology for people with disabilities. Students partner with an organization that employs people with disabilities or an individual with a disability to invent a process, device, system or software to overcome a workplace barrier.

This service learning opportunity develops engineering, communication, writing, math, presentation and social skills while helping the community.

East Catholic’s engineering team is one of five selected from throughout the nation to compete in the finals.

The students from East Catholic will be competing for a $15,000 grand prize.

The team has partnered with a local agency, MARC Inc. of Manchester, an agency dedicated to the support and advocacy of people with disabilities, for this project. The team worked with MARC client Robert Noll, a worker at MARC Inc., who has been blind since birth and also has a cognitive disability.

The team created a device called the RUD (Robert’s U-bolt device) to assist Mr. Noll with his daily work in putting nuts onto a U-bolt properly. Before using the RUD, Mr. Noll required constant supervision in order to complete his task of locating and screwing the proper nuts into a U-bolt. The RUD has given him the ability to work independently and efficiently.

The members of the engineering team who will travel to the finals are team captain Gabe Buenrostro, ’16; Garrett Carlson, ’15; John DiLoreto, ’16; Emma Dolen, ’16; and Alex Fernez, ’15.
They will be accompanied by their coach, Jon Sargent; high school mentor Susan Fennelly; and principal Jay Hartling. While in Washington, the team plans to meet with Congressmen John Larson and Joe Courtney and Senator Chris Murphy and plans to take a tour of the Capitol.

In photo, from left in front, are students Emma Dolen and Gabe Buenrostro, MARC Inc. client Robert Noll, and students Alex Fernez and Garrett Carlson. In back, Jay Hartling, principal; Jon Sargent, engineering coach; MARC Inc. representative Ben Davis; student John DiLoreto; MARC representative Kevin Zingler; and Sue Fennelly, East Catholic teacher and mentor.

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.