The Most Reverend
Henry J. Mansell, D.D.
Fourth Archbishop of Hartford
- Ordained December 19, 1962, in Rome
- Appointed Auxiliary Bishop
of New York November 1992
- Ordained Bishop by Pope John Paul
II in Rome January 6, 1993
- Installed as the twelfth Bishop
of Buffalo June 12, 1995
- Appointed Archbishop of Hartford
October 20, 2003
- Installed as the fourth Archbishop of Hartford
December 18, 2003
Bishop Henry J. Mansell is a native of New York City and was born
on October 10, 1937.
He attended SS. Peter and Paul School in the Bronx and the Cathedral
Preparatory Seminary in New York City. He earned a bachelor's degree
from St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers in 1959. He attended the North
American College and the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, where
he earned a licentiate in sacred theology in 1963. He did postgraduate
work at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
He was ordained a priest on December 19, 1962, in Rome. He served
as a parish priest in various parishes in New York City and Westchester
He was appointed director of the Office of Parish Councils in
In addition to serving on the first Archdiocesan Board of Catholic
Education and on the Council of Conciliation for the Archdiocese,
he was appointed Vice Chancellor in 1985, Director of Priest Personnel,
and three years later was appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese.
Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Mansell auxiliary bishop of
New York in November 1992.
Pope John Paul II ordained Bishop Mansell a bishop in Rome on
January 6, 1993.
Bishop Mansell was installed as the twelfth Bishop of Buffalo
on June 12, 1995.
As Bishop of Buffalo:
In September 1995, he began the practice of celebrating daily
Mass at the Cathedral. He also arranged to have this Mass videotaped
each day and aired on cable channels.
Bishop Mansell visited every parish in the Diocese, most
of them multiple times.
In 1996, he instituted the vicariate structure for the Diocese
to enable more effective administration and better service for
people. Later he established a process of planning for the future
of parishes in the Diocese, using the vicariate structure as the
instrument for the planning.
Throughout his tenure as Bishop of Buffalo, Bishop Mansell
enjoyed a strong relationship with the Council of Priests, the
Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Diocesan Pastoral
Council. He also worked closely with the Episcopal Vicars and
the Bishop's Council of the Laity.
He was a member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership Board
of Directors, whose vision is to promote economic and community
vitality in Western New York.
It was in February 1996 that Bishop Mansell announced the Catholic
Health System, bringing together Catholic hospitals, nursing homes
and other healthcare agencies operating within the diocese.
Bishop Mansell received honorary doctorates from Niagara University
in May 1996, and from St. Bonaventure University in August 1996.
Bishop Mansell launched the diocesan web site (http://www.buffalodiocese.org)
on November 15, 1996.
In June 1997, he received the Kenmore Mercy Foundation's Sister
Mechtilde Memorial Award for service.
He received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Canisius
College in May 1997.
Bishop Mansell instituted the practice of regular meetings with
the Presidents of the seven Catholic colleges and universities
in the Diocese as well as the Principals of sixteen Catholic high
In October 1997, Bishop Mansell introduced the Foundation of
the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. This foundation began with
a $2 million gift to the Fund for Education. In January 2001, the
first Celebrate Catholic Education dinner was held. The annual
event is a major fund-raising dinner for Catholic schools in the
He advanced financial support for Catholic schools each year
and instituted a program for the certification of teachers within
Catholic schools and in Religious Education Programs for Catholic
students in other schools. He also began the process for a strategic
plan involving all the schools in the Diocese.
In April of 1997 he began a series of events to mark the 150th
anniversary of the diocese. The celebration culminated in a Mass
that Bishop Mansell celebrated at the Marine Midland Arena on October
Also in 1997 he went to Poland for the Eucharistic Congress in
Wroclaw, visiting various places in Poland to highlight the strong
culture and traditions of the Polish people in the Diocese of Buffalo.
Bishop Mansell also celebrated the contributions of the Italian,
Irish and German people of the Diocese by drawing attention to
various feasts and historic developments.
From January 23-26, 1998, Bishop Mansell traveled to Cuba to
be part of Pope John Paul II's visit to that island. While there
Bishop Mansell met with Fidel Castro.
Bishop Mansell made his first "ad limina" visit as
Bishop of Buffalo when he went to the Vatican February 20, 1998.
In May 1998 an increased giving campaign was begun titled Stewardship
in Faith. Its purpose was to obtain higher Sunday collections in
parishes throughout the diocese. Results showed a 25% increase
across the Diocese. Phase II of Stewardship in Faith was launched
in November 2001, and met with similar, successful results.
Since coming to the diocese, Bishop Mansell has overseen eight
consecutive Catholic Charities appeals, every one exceeding an
ever higher goal.
Bishop Mansell has doubled the capacity of the O'Hara residence
for Retired Priests in Tonawanda and built the Bishop Head Residence
for Retired Priests in Lackawanna.
At St. Joseph's Cathedral, Bishop Mansell developed the Blessed
Sacrament Chapel and restored the Lady Chapel. In 1999, he
supervised the renovation of the Cathedral including the installation
of a new altar. In June 2001, the Cathedral's historic Hook and
Hastings organ was rededicated following its complete restoration,
marking the start of a four year sesquicentennial celebration of
He placed great emphasis on making St. Joseph's Cathedral
the heart of diocesan life and also an integral part of the renewal
of life in downtown Buffalo. One example of this was the Spirit
of Summer on Cathedral Green, a smorgasbord of events featuring
music, song, dance and acting.
He also opened the St. Joseph's House next door to the St. Joseph's
Cathedral which provides a place for spiritual formation and educational
programs as well as various discussion groups. Under Bishop Mansell's
guidance and leadership, there was the establishment
of the Come Home Program for people who are separated from the
Bishop Mansell expanded ministry to people of Hispanic descent.
He recruited priests and seminarians from Columbia, South America.
With particular concentration he strengthened ministry to the migrant
workers in the Northeastern part of the Diocese.
He oversaw the construction of St. Martin De Porres Church in
1999, a primarily African American but integrated Church, the first
Catholic church built in the City of Buffalo in 30 years.
He designated Coronation of the Blessed Virgin
Mary Parish in Buffalo as a special parish for the Vietnamese people.
On December 24, 2000, Bishop Mansell celebrated the first Mass
held in the first Korean church in the Diocese. St. Andrew Kim
Church is located in the refurbished convent behind Cardinal O'Hara
High School in the town of Tonawanda.
He encouraged a whole schedule of events and programs on the
parish level and the diocesan level to observe the Millennium year.
He published the book, We Are Catholic. Let It Show. Open Wide
the Doors to Christ, to promote reflection for the Millennium year.
Also the pamphlet, "Yes, I Am a Catholic, A Profile of a Catholic
During Bishop Mansell's tenure in Buffalo, he created two
new departments within the Catholic Center: the Development Office
and the Office for Human Resources.
He also began the Diocesan Service Corps, a diocesan equivalent
to the U.S. Peace Corps, in 2001.
In July 2001, Bishop Mansell and about 500 pilgrims for the Diocese
of Buffalo participated in World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto, Canada.
In September 2002, Bishop Mansell presided over the opening of
St. Dominic Savio Middle School in Niagara Falls, the first middle
school opened in the diocese.
Bishop Mansell named a nine-member diocesan Review Board in October
2002. Comprised mostly of lay people, the board advises the bishop
on clergy sexual abuse.
In January 2003, Bishop Henry J. Mansell traveled to Rome to
present Pope John Paul II with the "Positio," a 750-page
summary of the life, virtues and reputation of Father Nelson Baker,
a diocesan priest whose cause for sainthood is being promoted by
the Diocese of Buffalo. The Positio moved forward the cause of
Father Baker's beatification and canonization.
In 2003, the bishop appointed Kathryn Marsh, CSW, as diocesan
assistance coordinator. She is available to provide immediate pastoral
assistance to sexual abuse victims. The bishop also implemented
a new Safe Environment policy, which includes the sexual abuse
awareness training of tens of thousands of people in the diocese
who deal with children and young people. The bishop also oversaw
the revision of the diocesan sexual abuse policy.
In September 2003, New York State Governor George Pataki named
Bishop Mansell to the State Commission on Education Reform – a
bipartisan group of education, business and community leaders that
works to reform New York State's education system.
Bishop Mansell served as vice-chairperson of the Public Policy
Committee of the New York State Catholic Conference.
On the national level he has served as Treasurer of the United
States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their Administrative
Board, and their Executive Committee. He also has served on the
USCCB Committee on Priorities and Plans, the Ad Hoc Committee on
Health Care Issues and the Church, the Board of Governors for the
North American College in Rome, and as Chair of the Finance Committee
of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He has served
on the Ad Hoc Committee on Economic Concerns of the Holy See, the
Committee on Personnel, and as a member of the Education Committee
and as treasurer of CLINIC (Catholic Legal Immigrant Network Inc.)
for three-year terms.
As Archbishop of Hartford:
On October 20, 2003 Bishop Mansell was appointed by Pope John
Paul II as Archbishop of Hartford. He was installed as the fourth
Archbishop of Hartford on December 18, 2003.
On June 29, 2004, Archbishop Mansell received the pallium from His Holiness Pope John Paul II in Rome.
He has visited every parish in the Archdiocese, most of them on multiple occasions.
On October 21, 2004, Archbishop Mansell was named Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Commission to End Chronic Homelessness. The Commission developed a ten-year plan to end chronic homelessness in the Capitol Region.
Archbishop Mansell is a member of the MetroHartford Alliance.
On September 6, 2005, the first Nativity School was established at St. Martin de Porres Academy, New Haven.
On January 1, 2006, the Priest Wellness Program was initiated through Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford; Saint Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury; and the Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven.
Since coming to the Archdiocese, Archbishop Mansell has overseen six consecutive Archbishop's Annual Appeals, every one exceeding an ever higher goal. Archbishop Mansell initiated a tuition assistance component to the Appeal for Catholic elementary school students. Also, he initiated an emergency assistance component to provide funding for medical and dental care, food, clothing, rental assistance, utilities, and auto repairs, to those parishioners who face economic hard times.
Through the Archbishop's Annual Appeal, with the Order of Malta of Hartford County, and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Archbishop Mansell has helped to initiate the Malta House of Care mobile clinic. This free medical service to the uninsured is available regardless of race, religion or nationality. The mobile clinic rotates among the parking areas of Catholic parishes in inner city Hartford.
Archbishop Mansell is actively promoting the beatification and canonization cause of Father Michael J. McGivney, former diocesan priest of Hartford and founder of the Knights of Columbus.
Archbishop Mansell has created a Human Resources Office, a Development Office, and a Facilities and Construction Management Office for the Archdiocese of Hartford.
Archbishop Mansell has overseen the development of the Archbishop Daniel A. Cronin Residence for Retired Priests at St. Thomas Seminary, which opened in March 2007.
On June 17, 2008, the new Institute for the Hispanic Family was dedicated in Hartford.
On August 12, 2008, a new Catholic Charities Agency was dedicated. The Agency is located in the old St. Donato’s Parish Campus in New Haven.
On June 23, 2009, a Catholic Charities Agency office opened in the converted Sacred Heart Rectory in Waterbury.
On August 7, 2009, Cathedral Green, an affordable and supportive housing development, opened its doors in the converted St. Joseph Cathedral School in Hartford.
Another Malta House of Care mobile clinic opened in the fall of 2010 and rotates among the parking areas of Catholic parishes in inner city Waterbury.
Among his many honors, Archbishop Mansell has earned honorary doctorate degrees from Niagara University, St. Bonaventure University, Canisius College, Albertus Magnus College, Goodwin College and the University of Hartford.
Office: 134 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06105-3784