As Covid-19 changed the way society functioned, it also changed the way Catholics in Vermont prayed together.

In-person prayer was halted and moved online along with the rosary. The Daily Rosary Ministry began as a Facebook livestream from the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization. It then switched to daily rosary videos with Valerie Parzyck, administrative assistant for the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. Each day she prays with a different person from the community including parishioners, seminarians and Bishop Christopher Coyne.

Her invitation to pray with others was answered by Jules Wetchi, a Lay Formation graduate whose project was to build up the Catholic French-speaking community at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Burlington. Twice a week videos of him praying the rosary in French are posted. “It’s great. I know for Jules’s community that (French) is their main language and to be able to live their faith in their primary language is important,” said Parzyck.

Others took notice of the French rosary and asked if a Spanish and Latin one could be offered as well. “It’s another way to access their faith. Exposure to diversity is always good,” she said.

In addition, Parzyck is working on posting rosary videos in American Sign Language. The pandemic has been difficult for those who are hard of hearing since masks take away their ability to read lips. Parzyck said not a lot is offered for the deaf community especially when it comes to catechesis. “People who are born deaf and go to Mass and catechism might not know what is going on,” she said. In order to bridge that gap, she reached out to the Deaf Ministry in St. Louis and the Archdiocese of Boston for resources. They shared their YouCat in ASL videos which explain the Catholic faith.

The Office of Catechesis and Evangelization hopes to expand its language ministry and continue providing videos that accommodate everyone. “It brings us all closer together as a Diocese,” said Parzyck.

Where to find the Daily Rosary Apostolate: facebook.com/DioBurlington

Daily rosary is live-streamed Monday-Friday at 10:30 a.m. Each daily rosary is also recorded and posted to Facebook.

Christ Our Hope Campaign Update

A portion of the funds raised through the Christ Our Hope: Building a Vibrant Church campaign supports these types of ministries through the faith formation fund established in the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation. This will ensure stable income for vital faith formation ministries, especially in times of crisis.

To learn more about the campaign or make a gift online visit: christourhopevt.org.

As of October 14: (10%) $1,033,887 Goal: $10,000,000

—Originally published in the October 24-30, 2020, issue of The Inland See

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