Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington
55 Joy Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403     802-658-6110

Contact Staff

Judicial Vicar
Reverend Luke P. Austin, J.C.L

Tribunal Manager
Mrs. Katie Reis

Defender of the Bond 
Reverend Thomas Mattison

Defender of the Bond
Reverend John G. Feltz

Defender of the Bond
Reverend Msgr. John J. McDermott J.C.L.

Reverend Daniel J. Jordan, J.C.L.
Reverend Luke P. Austin, J.C.L
Reverend John Mahoney


The work of the Tribunal staff is governed by the Code of Canon Law. This law is intended to protect the rights of all parties involved and to safeguard the integrity of marriage. The major steps of the process include the following:

1. The completed request form must be submitted to the Tribunal by the one who seeks an annulment together with the following documents: Baptismal certificates of both parties and a copy of the civil divorce decree. This request form must include the current address of the other party.

2. After a petition is received, the Tribunal contacts the former spouse (the Respondent) who is invited to participate in the annulment process. The Respondent has the right to be informed and to participate in the process. However, failure to participate does not necessarily impede the progress of the case.

3. Upon request of the Tribunal, the Petitioner provides a list of witnesses who are willing to participate. The Tribunal needs the insights of witnesses who can offer information concerning the relationship in question. The Respondent also has the right to present witnesses.

4. Every case is evaluated by a Defender of the Bond whose responsibility it is to protect the integrity of the Marriage bond by presenting all of the significant reasons that argue in favor of a valid marriage.

5. A single Judge
(or panel of Judges) carefully studies the testimony of both spouses and that of the witnesses. In some cases the Judge consults with a psychological expert. If the Judge reaches moral certitude that invalidity has been proven, then the Judge issues a declaration of nullity. If the Judge cannot reach moral certitude, then a negative decision is issued.

6. Both parties have the right to inspect the testimony which was submitted in the case before a decision is rendered. This right is safeguarded by certain procedures which are explained during the course of the process.

7. Once all evidence is gathered, the judge will review all the facts, arrive at a decision and publish the sentence. Both parties have the right to review this decision, even if there is no appeal.

8. Finally, both parties have the right to appeal the Judge’s decision. 

Physical Address:
55 Joy Drive - South Burlington, VT 05403
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Contact Numbers:
Telephone: 802-658-6110

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