HARTFORD – The Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has declared played heavily into the theme of a Back-to-School Mass celebrated Sept. 13 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. Archbishop Leonard Blair was the principal celebrant of the Mass, which was concelebrated by a number of priests and attended by religious, students, teachers, administrators, and families from 55 archdiocesan elementary and high schools. The capacity crowd stood to the sound of trumpets as school representatives marched in with brightly colored school banners that were placed around the altar.
In his opening remarks, Dale R. Hoyt, superintendent of Catholic Schools, acknowledged the upcoming Year of Mercy that will begin Dec. 8 as announced by Pope Francis, which the archbishop also talked about in his homily. To set the tone for this “extraordinary jubilee of mercy,” said Dr. Hoyt, every archdiocesan Catholic school administrator is reading Pope Francis’ “The Church of Mercy” as part of the year’s theme, “A Catholic Culture of Mercy and Learning.” Photos by Karen O. Bray
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