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 19, 1915 when ground was broken for St. Stephen Church, Hamden.
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kids night out caritas web mar16Children work on a craft before watching a movie during “Kids’ Night Out” on Jan. 8 at the Caritas Christi Center. From left are Adriana, Amedeo and Amanda Giachino; and Trinity Sanford. Working with them are Sacred Heart Academy student Ashley Amarante and Sister Jeanne Marie Vonder Haar of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the center director. (Photo by Mary Chalupsky)

HAMDEN – Weary parents, take note.

Caritas Christi Center is offering “Kids’ Night Out” on two Friday evenings a month to give parents a chance to enjoy an evening out.

“Just drop the kids off [to] enjoy a safe evening that includes a snack, craft and movie,” said Sister Jeanne Marie Vonder Haar, a member of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and director of Caritas Christi Center.

“It’s an opportunity for us to offer something for both parents and families,” she said.

“Kids’ Night Out” is offered twice a month from 6-9 on Friday evenings for children ages 4-12 for a donation of only $10 per child or $25 for families of three or more children. Movies have included “Danger in the Manger,” “The King is Born,” “The Miracle Maker” and “Frozen.”

“Parents tell us they are thrilled with the program because it gives them time for each other,” said Sister Jeanne Marie.

“Couples tell us they actually went out on a date or used the time to go shopping,” she noted, “while others tell us, ‘We just sit and talk,’ or just ‘enjoy the time to be together.’

“One husband last year kept asking us, ‘Are you sure you can’t do this every week?’” she said with a laugh.

The next “Kids’ Night Out” sessions are scheduled for March 4 and 18.

For information call 203-281-2569.

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.