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 21, 1934 when Father James J. Kane offered Madison's first Mass in Madison's Memorial Town Hall.
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haiti meals 1Notre Dame of West Haven students work with Rotarians and volunteers from Halsey Associates in New Haven at packing more than 46,000 mails, primarily for residents of Haiti. (Photo submitted)WEST HAVEN – Three student groups at Notre Dame of West Haven combined with the Rotary Clubs of West Haven, New Haven and Orange for one of the largest meal-packing efforts that Halsey Associates of New Haven has organized in its support of community service group Harvest Pack since starting the initiative in 2012.

The undertaking will provide hunger relief for Haiti and several local agencies. Haiti is still suffering from the after-effects of Hurricane Matthew, which struck the island on Oct. 4, 2016. The storm’s tidal surge, heavy rainfall and high winds destroyed approximately 200,000 homes, leaving over 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian relief. The damage was estimated at $1.89 billion. Crop damage was also extensive, leaving many without a source of food.

The student-led organizations of Interact, Minority Student Union and Christian Service Student Club, along with the Rotary groups and Halsey Associates, totaled more than 150 volunteers who organized and packed over 46,000 meals in three hours on Dec. 6 in the Maureen and George Collins ’58 Auditorium at Notre Dame.

“We are incredibly proud that we surpassed our goal of 40,000 meals for such a worthy cause,” said Notre Dame President Robert F. Curis.

He said that the school also screened a video and raised more than $2,000 for Holy Cross missionaries in Haiti.

With the financial support of Halsey Associate, the Rotary clubs and a Rotary District 7980 grant, a total of $5,850 was raised to support the project.

The majority of meals will be delivered to Haiti. They will be shipped to St. Therese School in Carrefour, Haiti, a mission and school run by the Little Brothers of St. Therese, a community of Haitian Catholic Brothers.

Some of the meals will go to the Christian Community Action Agency and other organization in Greater New Haven.

The event was organized with assistance from the Harvest Pack organization. Information is available at

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.