I am in Hartford, Connecticut today and had some extra time on my hand, so I walked over to St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church, which is located just behind the Civic Center. Back in 2004, when I was living in Connecticut, I would drive in the 40 minutes to worship here. The liturgies were splendid, lost of participation, fine music, good sermons. The church itself is very beautiful with brilliant stained glass windows, exquisitely carved Stations of the Cross, etc. My only criticism is that the church, like almost every church in Hartford, has an organ from the local organ building firm, Austin Organs. These are noisy, unsophisticated instruments that do not do justice to the many acoustically rich spaces in the city, including the nearby Cathedral of St. Joseph and the otherwise impeccable chapel at Trinity College.
They move a lot of lumber at St. Patrick-St. Anthony, with many parishioners involved in various social justice ministries that aid the many poor and homeless of Hartford. There is a soup kitchen that serves breakfast and lunch nearby. There is an Urban Center where various community groups and twelve-step programs meet. There is a shelter.
It is easy to get distressed at how often our parishes are dull and lifeless. But, if you are ever in Hartford, and want to visit a vibrant parish, swing by St. Patrick-St. Anthony.
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