In this year of discipleship, Bishop Christopher Coyne has asked all of us to respond to this “universal call to love, one that is a commission to all of the baptized faithful.” We are all called to use our God-given gifts to help build a stronger Catholic Church in Vermont by getting involved in our parishes, sharing our resources and spreading the Good News.

During the Diocesan Synod process, building vibrant parishes, evangelization and improving communication were priorities identified by Catholics from throughout the state. The clergy cannot do this alone; we need lay leaders working in partnership with clergy to make the changes that will lead to a more vibrant and inviting Catholic community.

This work already has begun in a diocesan-wide program called the “Discipleship Maker Program,” directed by the Catholic Leadership Institute, a national organization that helps Dioceses and parishes institute policies and programs to foster Christian discipleship within parishes.

In addition, lay leadership formation programs and engagement opportunities are being offered throughout the Diocese. We are in the second cycle of lay ministry and diaconate formation classes; our new youth discipleship program hopes to keep young people active in our parishes beyond confirmation; the Diocesan Worship Commission actively is seeking ways to improve liturgy and worship in each parish; and so much more.

The Bishop’s Annual Appeal supports these new initiatives while maintaining vital ministries and services that impact every parish, such as vocations, religious education training, Pre-Cana, emergency aid and so many parish support services. Last year we reached 96 percent of our goal thanks to the generosity of many of you.

We ask that you be generous again this year and make a gift during the In-Pew phase either May 4-5 or 11-12. Making a gift early reduces our mailings and overall costs. You also may make a gift online on our new easier-to-use giving platform: vermontcatholic.org/giveonline.

To learn more about what your gift supports and to watch the 2019 Bishop’s Appeal video visit bishopsappealvt.org.

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