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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HARTFORD – James Gentile, an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and tour guide at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, talks with some of the students attending the cathedral parish’s summer religious education session on Aug. 9.

He described the altar and its embedded relics and relates some history of the massive concrete and steel structure. He told the group that it has stood as the mother church of the Archdiocese of Hartford since its dedication in 1962, when it replaced the mid-19th century brownstone that burned to the ground in 1956.

Mr. Gentile recalled his visiting the new cathedral as a youngster and said he was most impressed with the lighted stars in the towering ceiling, which made him feel close to heaven.

The students said they enjoyed seeing some of the special-occasion vessels and vestments used at the cathedral and learning many facts about the Mass and the facility. Several said they will pay attention now to such things as, for example, the number of candles arranged on the back altar, where six candles typically are. They were told to look for seven candles there whenever Archbishop Leonard P. Blair celebrates Mass.

The students, in grades three through nine, are meeting for two hours each day from Aug. 8 through 12. (Photo by Moo-Ket, grade eight, Grace Academy)

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.