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School visits
To honor the Diocese of Burlington Catholic schools, Bishop Coyne celebrated Masses at all 11 schools in the state. Overall, Catholic schools’ enrollment has been on the rise the last several years.”Catholic education is thriving in Vermont,” said Bishop Coyne.
Vermont Catholic Charities
The continuing Covid-19 pandemic along with rising costs, isolation and other factors have heightened the needs of the population we serve and have brought new families to us for help.
Emergency Aid
George is a single father of two teenage children. He had fallen behind on rent. One of his children uses support services in the community. Therefore, George was committed to remaining in their home and community. Vermont Catholic Charities assisted with some back rent and helped him apply for additional assistance to ensure all his back rent was covered. George stated, “I am grateful for your support and relieved that my family can remain in our home.”
Communications Update ‘Coffee with Bishop Coyne’
Coffee with Bishop Coyne launched in November 2021. During this weekly video series, Bishop Coyne and Alayna Masker, digital media manager for the Diocese, discuss current diocesan events as well as topics pertaining to the Catholic Church. As part of our effort to increase communication throughout the Diocese, almost every parish has converted to the new eCatholic site which provides online giving and is easy for parishioners to navigate. In addition, the Vermont Catholic News site launched a new notifications application that allows Catholics to get the latest news automatically delivered to the device of their choice.
Bishop Christopher Coyne confirmed nearly 600 students throughout the Diocese in April and May. “The help of the Holy Spirit, given in confirmation, is sorely needed as our young people face an ever-increasing range of social issues and pressures,” said Josh Perry, director of the Office of Worship.
Ordination of 2 priests
Bishop Coyne ordained two transitional deacons, Deacon Gregory Caldwell and Deacon Brandon Schneider, to the priesthood at a special Mass in May. Seven deacons will be ordained this Fall which is the largest number in many years.
Lay Formation
In May 2021, 13 students graduated from the Diocesan Lay Formation Leadership Program and another 15 students are preparing to graduate in May, 2023. In addition, six men and women completed the Diocesan Leader of Prayer Program and two men and women completed the Diocesan Pastoral Associate for Parish Life Program. Totus Tuus, bible camp for youth, was held at 12 parishes last summer and we anticipate more this year.
Men’s and women’s retreats
Successful, well-attended spiritual retreats took place recently in the Diocese of Burlington, one for men and one for women. The Annual Men’s Retreat took place this spring and 80 men attended the day of fellowship. Commented one: “This is my first Men’s Retreat as a Catholic after converting a few years ago. Now I know what I have been missing all those years!” Sixty women attended the Diocesan Women’s Retreat, “The Heart of Prayer” in the spring and the fall. “The whole retreat was simply amazing!” said one participant. “It was a joy to be with so many women devoted to God.”
World Marriage Day Celebration
Bishop Coyne celebrated the Mass for World Marriage Day at St. Joseph Cathedral on Feb. 6 with 26 couples commemorating milestone anniversaries.