Second annual Vermont Catholic Men’s Conference

March 23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

St. Anthony Church, White River Junction

This year’s conference follows a successful inaugural Vermont Catholic Men’s Conference last year. It promises to be a day of reflection, renewal and fellowship, giving participants a much- needed “time out” to gain or regain the presence of the Lord in their daily lives. The format will include four talks by three inspirational speakers, Holy Mass with Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne, opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration, confession and personal reflection and fellowship with the other participants.

Why attend a men’s conference? This year will be my eighth consecutive year attending a Catholic men’s conference. I find renewal and inspiration in attending them. I work a lot; sometimes two jobs. It always seems like it is time to work. I am out there swinging away every day, and frankly, sometimes lose track of the ball. The fact the conference is a one-day event makes it accessible for me. I don’t have the time or the money for a lengthier retreat. I can do a day and $40 ($20 if you are 21 or younger). Just for a day, I can detach from my responsibilities and commitments and spend time with the Lord. It turns out, God has been there all along, but I get so caught up in things, I don’t see God.

At the end of the day, I am back home where I belong, living the life God has given me to live, renewed and strengthened in the Lord. The past several years, my adult-aged son has attended the conferences with me. This is such an amazing day. Besides sharing our Catholic faith together, we talk, yes as father and son, but also as men, as equals.

The keynote speaker, Eric Sutulovich, comes to us from the Catholic Athletes for Christ Speakers Bureau. Eric is a former NFL special teams coach with the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans. He is a cradle Catholic whose Catholic faith was challenged when he went to college in the South. These challenges led him to learn more about the faith he loved and inspired him to practice it with more knowledge and fervor. Eric lives in Georgia with his wife and four children. The conference also features Msgr. John McDermott, vicar general for the Diocese of Burlington; and Paul Kendall, a family man with four adult sons who has been married for 30 years. He is also in formation for the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Burlington. I encourage you to attend this year’s conference. I really believe at the end of the day, we can be different, with a new resolve to be the men God created us to be, and make this year’s theme, Call to Discipleship, our theme going forward.

—John Morin, co-chair, men’s conference steering committee

Message from the bishop

Dear Parishioners, You may be aware that we are conducting a comprehensive survey of the entire Diocese. The purpose of the survey is to help gauge support for the following projects that constitute our diocesan master plan resulting from the synod:

✦ Build vibrant parishes

✦ Create an evangelization fund

✦ Increase the Catholic schools fund

✦ Serve the poor I thank everyone who has already participated in the study.

Your thoughts are extremely valuable to us during this planning process. I encourage everyone who has not responded to do so. Your input will help us make an informed decision regarding our long-range plans for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington. We hope to have all surveys completed by March 10, 2019. If you received a survey via mail, please complete it and return it in the envelope provided, or take the survey online. To complete the survey online, go to survey, click on Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington and enter the password, Burlington. I look forward to continuing to work with you and for you to build up the Kingdom of God here in Vermont.

—Bishop Christopher Coyne

—Originally published in the Feb. 23-March 1, 2019, issue of The Inland See.