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College of St. Joseph women's basketball team honoured

The State of Vermont introduced a joint resolution to congratulate the College of St. Joseph women's basketball team on winning the 2016 United States Collegiate Athletic Association D-II National Championship. The honor was officially presented at the statehouse April 15.

Rep. Thomas Terenzini addressed the House and members of the community in the gallery, expressing pride in the team's hard work, perseverance and close bond with one another.

"Although perhaps not as well-known as other Vermont college athletic teams, the 2016 College of St. Joseph Lady Saints women's basketball squad recently completed a memorable season, and this talented group of basketball players surmounted nearly every obstacle it encountered and defeated all its opponents, other than an NCAA Division I team, concluding with an amazing 31-1 record," the resolution read.

The team took home the United States Collegiate Athletic Association D-II National Championship in March, becoming the first team in the state to win a national title in basketball.

The Lady Saints also earned their second straight Yankee Small College Conference championship in 2016. The women had a near-perfect 31-1 overall record, with their only loss coming from NJIT, an NCAA Division I team. The national championship game marked their 29th consecutive win.

All eight members from the team, including four seniors, were present for the reading of the resolution: Shamari Brodhead, Chontayvia Kennedy, Arreonte Anderson, Regina Steele, Jazsala Laracuente, Nia Gilchrist, Elizabeth Turco and Kelly Festa.

The resolution also recognized Head Coach Chris Wood and Assistant Coach Ebony Jones, who was also on-hand to support her team.

The Lady Saints were presented with copies of the resolution and posed for pictures with members of the Legislature.

  • Published in Schools

'Woman, behold your son – my priest'

After several years of prayer for a child, God granted me the privilege of becoming the mother of a beautiful son. What a gift from God this was for me. God continued to bestow his blessings to our family when my son was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ, which heightened my privilege to an honor. During the weekend of his ordination, more gifts were given and received when Father James presented me the maniturgium, the cloth with which he wiped his sacred hands after they were consecrated with the oil of Holy Chrism. Joy and an abundance of God's blessings and graces consume me when I am present for the holy sacrifice of the Mass, especially when my son is the celebrant. My heart is filled with pride knowing that Father James accepted God's call to the Lord's message of faith, hope and love to his people and participate in his work of salvation as his human instrument in consecrating bread and wine into his son's Body and Blood, soul and divinity. Like the Blessed Mother, God gives me the grace and the strength to support my only child in his priestly vocation. People ask if I am sad not to have grandchildren. How can there be anything but pure joy for the mother of a priest who is striving to do God's will? A priest gives of himself at all hours of the day and night because he loves the Lord Jesus and has solemnly handed over his life to God as a sacrificial offering for the sanctification of his holy people. I encourage all of us to remember now more than ever to stand behind our priests and to pray for them daily. I remind myself often to fall in love with the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ to which he has called my son.

– Denise Dodson

'Gift of priesthood is gift for entire Church'

"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain." (Jn 15:16)

During the Rite of the Ordination for Priests, after inquiry by the bishop to those responsible for the candidate's formation for priesthood, he says, "Relying on the help of Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ, we choose these, our brothers, for the Order of the Priesthood."

On June 18 at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral, two men were called and chosen by Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne: Fathers Curtis Miller and Matthew Rensch, both of whom he ordained to the priesthood that day.

The gift of the priesthood is a gift for the Church, the entire people of God. From the families that make up our parishes, schools and communities, God calls and chooses men to imitate the first disciples who heard the call of Jesus, "Come, follow me." They left everything and followed Him.

Father Rensch and Father Miller are gifts from God to our diocese. Through the exercise of their priesthood, the people of God will receive the sacraments that will strengthen them in their faith and prepare them for eternal life. As a diocese, we are especially grateful to their parents, their families and their friends who have helped and encouraged them along their journey to the altar of God.

Also ordained on June 18 to the transitional diaconate was Deacon Joseph Sanderson. While exercising this new ministry, Deacon Sanderson enters into the final stage in preparation for the priesthood. While finishing his studies in theology, his final year of seminary formation will include practicums on celebrating the sacraments and on pastoral counseling.

In honor of the Year of Mercy, Bishop Coyne instituted June 18 as the Jubilee Day for Priests and Seminarians, a day in which special graces are given to those serving the Church in Vermont as priests and those in seminary discerning God's call to the priesthood. The seminarians of the Diocese of Burlington served the Mass of Ordination; three of them will begin formation for the priesthood this fall.

God's mercy and faithfulness to the Diocese of Burlington are evident in our two new priests and in the nine men in seminary formation who continue to pursue discerning God's holy will for their lives.

Article written by Father Jon Schnobrich, director of vocations for the Diocese of Burlington.

Diocesan publication garners national awards

Three veteran Vermont Catholic magazine staffers were recognized for excellence at the annual Catholic Media Conference last month in St. Louis.

All have won multiple awards through the years from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.

Kay Winchester earned a third-place award in the "Best Review" category for her book review of "Can You Let Go of a Grudge? Learn to Forgive and Get on with Your Life," by Frank Desiderio that appeared in the March 2015 issue of Vermont Catholic.

Staff Writer Cori Fugere Urban was recognized with a third-place award for "Best Feature Article" in a diocesan magazine for her story on Bennett Stenger, a student at St. Paul School in Barton who had been diagnosed the previous February with Rhabdomyosarcoma, and his brother, Chase, who became honorary Vermont State troopers for a day courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont.

Ann Cutter-Specht, art director at the magazine when the winning entry was published in the November 2015 issue with numerous photos by Urban, earned a third-place win for design. Cutter-Specht retired earlier this year.

"Excellent coverage that incorporates great details and shares a feel-good story," the judges noted.

In the critique of Winchester's review, the judges said, "The first sentence of this compelling review of a compelling book gives us the reason for checking out the book – we all have held a grudge. The reviewer maintains that focus, reminding us of our penchant for holding grudges against ourselves, our friends and our God. The review then teases us with just enough of the book to allow us to understand not only the core of the book, but also of the core of ourselves."

The Catholic Press Association hosts the Catholic Media Conference each year, where decision makers in Catholic communications and those interested in the field come together to share information, to learn about the changing industry and to network with one another.

This year's conference was co-hosted by the Archdiocese of St. Louis. "I am extremely proud of our award winners," said Vermont Catholic Editor Pat Gore. "They are all using their God-given talents to build the Body of Christ here in Vermont."

She praised them for their years of work for the diocese, saying they have been dedicated, professional and creative in their work, never ceasing to strive to do their best. "It is a pleasure to work with them and to collaborate in producing a top-notch diocesan magazine," she said.

Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne also addressed Catholic media at the annual conference.

In today's age of cyberbullying and online vitriol, be sure to take the high road and build people up rather than tear them down, Bishop Coyne told the Catholic communicators.

"What can I say to make things better? What are the words that may impart grace to those who hear?" the bishop, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Communications, asked the group to consider.

He said he knew the journalists in the room were "acutely aware of the significant decline in the tenor of public discourse" during the last few years, a fact that is readily apparent in publications' comment boxes and social media.

In such an environment, the bishop urged communicators to lift up good examples of humanity, charity and grace and, if possible, "engage in some form of active ministry to others: feeding, housing, counseling, visiting or praying."

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