Among its attractions, Shelburne is home to natural beauty and historical significance. From the well-known bustling Shelburne Museum to the quiet places to fish and swim, Shelburne offers much to do on a sunny or a rainy summer day including Mass at “the little church with a big heart,” St. Catherine of Siena.

St. Catherine of Siena Church

One of the great joys of Msgr. Michael DeForge’s priesthood is welcoming visitors to St. Catherine of Siena Church in Shelburne, known as “the little church with a big heart.”

The pastor said visitors inspire him with their faith, and he hopes they will introduce themselves to him.

St. Catherine of Siena Parish was established in 1895, and Father P.A. Campeau celebrated the first Mass there that December. The parish was originally dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, a fourth-century martyr of the Church, but in 1982 it was re-dedicated to St. Catherine of Siena, a 14th-century doctor of the Church upon the request of then pastor Father Rosario Morency.

The stained glass window behind the altar depicts St. Catherine of Alexandria.

Before the church was built, Catholics attended Mass at the chapel on the Webb farm.

“The beauty of Shelburne Farms is magnificent,” Msgr. DeForge said. “It brings you back to an era that is long gone.”

Besides visiting Shelburne Farms, he likes to visit Shelburne Museum, which he said is “always exciting and interesting.”

St. Catherine of Siena Church

72 Church St., Shelburne

Telephone: 802-985-2373

Online: shelburnecatholic.org

Weekend Masses: From Memorial Day to Labor Day on Saturdays at 5:15 p.m. and on Sundays at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.; after Labor Day on Saturdays at 5:15 p.m. and on Sundays at 8:30 and 11:15 a.m.

Shelburne Museum

Shelburne Museum, located on 45 acres that are the site of 39 distinct structures, endeavors to enrich people’s lives through art, history and culture. It offers lectures, concerts, demonstrations, family days and other events in conjunction with each special exhibition.

Electra Havemeyer Webb founded Shelburne Museum in 1947, as a place to preserve her family’s collection of horse-drawn carriages. Later she added everyday objects that had been part of American life for generations like furniture, pottery, quilts and weathervanes. Eventually, she found historic buildings that would provide appropriate settings for her collections, and she relocated them to the museum grounds: houses, barns, a meeting house, a one-room schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a jail, a general store, a covered bridge and the 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga, all of which are open to the public.

“Families love to enjoy time together, riding the carousel, strolling the grounds, seeing all kinds of fascinating objects and engaging in art activities,” said Geeda Searfoorce, communications and marketing manager. “There are over 100,000 items in the collection that are endlessly fascinating, and the setting in which they’re shown—this beautiful place with 22 gardens and all these distinct and historic structures—is a place you could visit over and over again and still find something new.”

“It really is a place like no other—part museum, part park, part historic landmark,” Searfoorce said.

Shelburne Museum

6000 Shelburne Road, Shelburne

Online: shelburnemuseum.org

Telephone: 802-985-3346

Shelburne Farms

Once the property of Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb, the farm began a rebirth in 1972, when family descendants founded the nonprofit organization dedicated to conservation education.

Shelburne Farms is a 1,400-acre farm, forest and National Historic Landmark.

It includes a dairy, market garden and woodlands. The nonprofit organization stewards and shares the landscape and historic property in ways that are environmentally, economically and culturally sustainable, using it as a campus for learning.

Shelburne Farms

1611 Harbor Road, Shelburne

Online: shelburnefarms.org

Telephone: 802-985-8686

LaPlatte Nature Park (Susan Craig said we can use photos of park from shelburnevt.org)

This park has been recommended for quiet walks and nature photography, but it also offers bicycle trails and hiking trails. The park is comprised of about 145 acres of town-owned open space and trails that go through a field, through the woods and along the Laplatte River.

LaPlatte Nature Park

233 LaPlatte Circle, Shelburne

Telephone: (802) 985-9551

Online: shelburnevt.org

Shelburne Bay Park (Susan Craig said we can use photos of park from shelburnevt.org)

A bike trail, hiking trails, walking trails, lake and river fishing access and a picnic area are what you’ll find when you visit the 104-acre Shelburne Bay Park.

1230 Bay Road, Shelburne

Telephone: (802) 985-9551

Online: shelburnevt.org

Originally published in the Summer 2018 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.

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