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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Dash Dot webCece Mutarelli, a second grader at St. Mary School in Simsbury, and her brother Max, in fifth grade, get to know Dot and Dash in the fifth-grade classroom at the school.St. Mary School in Simsbury is beefing up its already extensive use of technology in the core curriculum by implementing an upgraded technology and coding program for its students. 

In September, students in kindergarten through grade eight will receive a new generation of iPads to replace those that have been available to pupils over the past five years.

Students also will see their curriculum expand to include an Apple coding curriculum with a little help from their friendly robots.

“St. Mary’s has always been a leader in evolving our curriculum and providing resources to best equip our students  to be successful young adults and to engage them in lifelong learning,” said Margaret Williamson, the school’s principal.  “These enhancements both upgrade and introduce new elements that will directly benefit our students in a meaningful way.”

Ms. Williamson explained that coding is an ever-increasing skill in today’s world. Coding drives innovation, allows children to be creative and builds confidence, she said.  

“By utilizing the [Apple] Swift Playground coding curriculum, we will offer our students a range of resources that take students from no coding experience to building their first apps,” she said

.Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will use robots Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop, an education and robotics firm founded in 2012, which are made to engage students and make learning fun. 

St. Mary’s is in its 60th year of educating children from throughout Farmington Valley. Enrollment for the 2017-18 school year is open.

Information about St. Mary’s or enrollment is available from Toni Chagnon at 860. 658.9412 or 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.