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 16, 1978 when the first Mass was held at St. Monica Church, Northford.
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ndhs green robotics collage jan16Terry Luo, ’16, of North Haven; Evan Mikulski, ’18, of Wallingford; and Josh Norton, ’18, of Seymour show off their robot, ‘Green Machine,’ with which they won their first-ever championship recently at the South Windsor High School CTEEA VEX Nothing But Net Qualifier. (Photo submitted)

WEST HAVEN – In just its second year of competition, the Notre Dame High School Robotics Team claimed its first competition championship on Nov. 14, when one of the three teams Notre Dame entered captured the South Windsor High School CTEEA  (Connecticut Technology Engineering Education Association) VEX (Robotics) Nothing But Net Qualifier.

Last year, in its first year of existence, the Robotics Team entered competitions in January and March, placing second and fourth, and helping them qualify for the New England Regional in March. With this latest win, the 2015-16 Robotics Team has already qualified two entrants for that same New England Regional as well as the High School Division of the CREATE US Open Robotics Championship to be held in Iowa in April.

“The students have made all of us very proud,” said Robert F. Curis, school president. “The exciting learning, creativity and camaraderie that extends beyond our campus is exemplary. These young men and their moderator, Ms. Katie Saxon, continue their track record of success. We are all looking forward to their next round of competition.”

Principal Patrick Clifford, ’75, agreed. “I am so proud of the team’s win in this weekend’s competition, but more so, the fact the students are developing their STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] skills and applying their knowledge is outstanding.”

The Notre Dame entrant, aptly dubbed “The Green Machine” for the school color, was led by Terry Luo of North Haven, Evan Mikulski of Wallingford and Josh Norton  of Seymour. They ran through their qualifying matches with a 4-1 record and earned enough points to capture the top seed among the 38 teams who entered.

Notre Dame’s other two entries, named “Robotic Knights” and “Thunderscore,” both went 2-3 in their five qualifying matches and finished 20th and 26th, respectively.

“These kids work so hard on the robots,” said Ms. Saxon. “They collaborate with each other to come up with the best designs. They are using STEM skills that are so important in today’s career fields. They also use interpersonal skills at the meets, when in alliance with other schools, and in making alliances with other schools during the matches. I am extremely proud of their effort.”

Mr. Luo said he was thankful that his team won. “It’s gratifying, especially because so many unexpected things happened in the finals, to be part of the first group to win at robotics for Notre Dame.”

Mr. Mikulski echoed the thought, saying, “It was a win not only for our entire club but also for the school. It’s great to be able to add another trophy on the shelf in the main hallway.”

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.