Cathedral Mass Honors Beatified Foundress

HARTFORD—Hundreds of Catholics from across the state and beyond gathered at Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford on April 7 for a special Mass commemorating the recent beatification of Blessed Clelia Merloni, foundress of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair celebrated the Mass with concelebrants from the Archdiocese of Hartford, the Diocese of Bridgeport, the Diocese of Norwich, and the Diocese of Providence.

“The presence of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart sisters in this metropolitan area is a great blessing for all of us, and we’re happy to rejoice with them at this Mass and give thanks to God for the beatification of Mother Clelia,” Archbishop Blair said in his homily.

Blessed Clelia was born in Forli, Italy, in 1861 and founded the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in May 1894. The cause for Blessed Clelia’s canonization was opened in 1988, and she was beatified on Nov. 3, 2018, at Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy—88 years after her death.

The Mass at Cathedral of St. Joseph marked the fifth and final commemorative celebration held in the United States, where 115 Apostles minister across five states: Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and Missouri. In Connecticut, where the U.S. Provincialate is located, Apostles serve in all three dioceses.

Worldwide, the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are present in 15 countries.

(To learn more about the Apostles, visit

The Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are consecrated women of the Church. Impelled by the Spirit active in each of us and faithful to the charism of Blessed Clelia Merloni we seek to make the compassionate Heart of Christ better known, loved and served. We do this by personal and communal witness to the Gospel, commitment to growth in holiness, and ministry to the people of God.