The newly formed Vermont Catholic Professionals group hosted its first event — a networking breakfast — Oct. 10 at the Pomerleau Alumni Center at St. Michael’s College in Colchester. College President Lorraine Sterritt was the speaker.

She spoke about how her faith has impacted her as a professional and shaped her vision.

“Although my parents never had the opportunity to go to high school, let alone college, my father was a reader all his life and could recite from memory lines from Shakespeare that he had memorized when he was in grade school. He wanted all of his children to acquire as much education as they could. I gradually made up my mind early in life that I would take advantage of every educational opportunity I received,” Sterritt said. “I always considered the possibility that I might help others to acquire an education in their turn. This was when I began to see the connection between faith and profession. The importance of education is that it gives people the opportunity to discover their talents, to refine their talents, and to put their talents at the service of other people.”

Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne offered remarks and prayer.

More than 50 people attended the inaugural event.

“The purpose of Vermont Catholic Professionals is to join Catholic men and women and others with shared values from the business and professional communities to encourage intellectual discussions, to foster professional and faith-based relationships and to inspire service and charity to the community in Vermont,” explained Brittany Czekaj, chair of the Committee for Vermont Catholic Professionals.

She participated in professional networking opportunities offered through the School of Business while she was a student at St. Leo University in St. Leo, Florida, that combined business and faith, and she wanted to offer something of the kind in Vermont that encompassed both career and faith aspects.

With the support of Bishop Coyne, Czekaj, development donor systems specialist in the Diocese’s Office of Development and Stewardship, formed a committee to develop the Catholic professional group.

Vermont Catholic Professionals was established earlier this year to fill the void of a networking group to cultivate those relationships between individuals that are driven by both their faith and their career.

There are no dues to join the group, the motto of which is Opus Fides (Work of Faith).

Participants are joined by their Catholic faith and called to serve others and proclaim the Good News by their words and works. Through faith in action, they strive to be a witness of Christ to the world.

Events will take place quarterly and provide networking opportunities with refreshments and a speaker.

The next event will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Pomerleau Alumni Center. The keynote speaker will be Mark Redmond, executive director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services in Burlington.

For more information, go to vermontcatholic.org/vcp.

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