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Christ the King School Cabaret and Auction

The 25th annual Christ the King School Cabaret and Auction will take place April 6 and 7 at 6 p.m. at the school in Burlington. 
In 1993 Aida Cadrecha began Dinner Theater as an opportunity to celebrate students’ talents and raise money for the school. Each year it got bigger and bigger, and Dinner Theater officially became Cabaret when the popularity of the event and demand for tickets no longer allowed for any space for a sit down meal. 
Twenty-five years later, Cadrecha is still the “Queen of Cabaret,” despite having officially retired as Christ the King librarian last year.
“Cabaret is one of those wonderful community events that has an almost magical quality to it,” said Principal Angela Pohlen. “It’s a tradition that every family who has gone through the school in the last 25 years can share, and it bonds us. Everyone has a favorite memory of Cabaret, and it has withstood the test of time because of its value to the community.”
This year more than 1,000 parents, family members and friends are expected to attend the two-night event with entertainment provided by pre-school through eighth-grade students. The theme will be “Motown” and each class has a chance to present a choreographed dance and show off their talent. Individual students also have a chance to step into the limelight and share their talents. 
Cabaret is an opportunity for students to share something they work on outside of school, such as gymnastics, violin, piano or singing.   
Last year’s cabaret and auction raised more than $30,000 to support the students, programs and mission of the Catholic school.
The auction of fun, useful and creative items advances the mission of the school as proceeds from the donated prizes will directly benefit the children at Christ the King School. Past proceeds have funded such things as improvements to the technology lab and makerspace and new books for the library.
All donations will be exhibited on the nights of the auction, and all donors will be listed in the program for both nights. 
Any donations can be sent to: Christ the King School, 136 Locust Street, Burlington, VT 05401. For donations to be picked up, contact Jon Hughes, advancement director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 802-862-6696.
Tickets for the cabaret and auction will go on sale through the school’s front office in March.
Call the office at 862-6696 for more information or visit www.cksvt.org
  • Published in Schools

New president named for St. Michael's College

Dr. Lorraine Sterritt, a national leader in higher education with experience at some of America’s finest institutions, has been named the 17th president of St. Michael's College.

Sterritt will be the first woman to hold the position in the college’s history. She currently serves as president of Salem Academy and College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The Presidential Search Committee announced its selection Jan. 26 to the St. Michael’s community. Dr. Sterritt will assume her duties as president in July 2018.

On Tuesday Jan. 30, there will be a community introduction and press conference with her.

“The committee is thrilled to have Dr. Sterritt, a scholar and experienced administrator, coming to lead the college at such a crucial time in our history,” said Mary-Kate McKenna ’80, Presidential Search Committee chair and chair of the St. Michael's College Board of Trustees.

Sterritt holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in French from Queen’s University Belfast and a master’s degree and a doctorate in French from Princeton University. Prior to assuming the position at Salem, she served as dean for administration at Harvard College and as a member of the faculty of arts and sciences. Prior to Harvard, she held positions as associate dean and associate vice provost and was a member of the faculty at Stanford University. Previously she had held positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and Princeton University.

“Dr. Sterritt possesses a deep love of the liberal arts and a clear vision for the future of higher education,” McKenna said. “She was the unanimous choice of the Board of Trustees, and we all look forward to working with Dr. Sterritt in the years ahead. We are at a pivotal time in higher education and Dr. Sterritt is the visionary president we need to lead St. Michael’s College boldly into the future.”

Edmundite Father Stephen Hornat, ’72, superior general of the Society of Saint Edmund and search committee member, said it is no surprise to him that out of the 65 applicants to apply, Sterritt would rise to the top of the list. “We are fortunate to attract someone of her caliber. Her graciousness and warmth mesh well with our Edmundite tradition of hospitality,” he said. “She will make a great president and will have the prayers and support of the Edmundite and larger St. Michael’s community.”

Current St. Michael's College President John J. Neuhauser said, “St. Michael's is a special place and Dr. Lorraine Sterritt is a wonderful choice to lead the college at this time.” Neuhauser said Sterritt brings “an intelligence and depth of understanding of the importance of a liberating education to our nation, and she couples this with a genuine concern for all members of the college community, students, alumni, staff and faculty. Years from now we will only grow in appreciation for the fine work of the search committee.”

Sterritt expressed her enthusiasm to join the community of St. Michael's College. “I am very excited and deeply honored to assume the presidency of St. Michael’s College,” she said. “The people with whom I met in the interview process impressed me with their dedication to learning and service to humanity grounded in Edmundite ideals. Their devotion to the welfare of humanity and to care for the environment is exemplary.”

Sterritt added that she and her husband, Bert Lain, “are thrilled to be joining the St. Michael's community.”
  • Published in Diocesan

Getting organized for love

By Sister Constance Veit
I began the new year with 8,000 college students at the Student Leadership Summit of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. It was an inspiring event that enabled us Little Sisters to engage with hundreds of enthusiastic young people on fire for their Catholic faith.
As exciting as the whole event was, the most moving moment for me was completely
unexpected. During Eucharistic adoration, Jesus Christ present in the monstrance started moving through the crowd, carried by a team of bishops and priests. An entourage of altar servers led the procession with candles and incense.
What caught my eye was one of the white robed altar servers walking backwards, swinging a thurible from which billowed sweetly scented smoke, his attention firmly fixed on Christ in the Eucharist. The only thing that kept him from stumbling into the crowd of young people was a second altar server who kept his hand firmly planted on the first man’s shoulder to direct his every move.
It was a highly choreographed and striking scene — this entourage of clergy and altar servers walking together in perfect unity, leading one another, supporting one another’s efforts to carry Christ. I was profoundly struck by this “holy teamwork,” which must have required significant practice and single-minded focus.
This Eucharistic procession was a fitting metaphor for the ideals of solidarity and union of hearts and minds in continuing our Lord’s mission on Earth. Imagine the wonderful things we could do for Jesus if each Catholic apostolate, religious community or lay movement were this well ordered and united around a common purpose.
In his encyclical on love, Pope Benedict XVI said, “As a community, the Church must practice love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community.”
As we head into Lent, we first celebrate the World Day of the Sick on Feb. 11. Just as the procession I witnessed at the Student Leadership Summit kept Our Eucharistic Lord at the center as it moved through the crowd of young people — a veritable field hospital of souls — Catholic health care is called to place the human person at the center of all its activities, projects and goals.
In his message for this year’s World Day of the Sick Pope Francis wrote, “Wise organization and charity demand that the sick person be respected in his or her dignity and constantly kept at the center of the therapeutic process.”
Our Holy Father continued, “Jesus bestowed upon the Church His healing power. … The Church’s mission is a response to Jesus’ gift, for she knows that she must bring to the sick the Lord’s own gaze, full of tenderness and compassion. Health care ministry will always be a necessary and fundamental task to be carried out with renewed enthusiasm by all, from parish communities to the largest healthcare institutions.”
Pope Francis recognized the invaluable contribution of families: “The care given within families is an extraordinary witness of love for the human person; it needs to be fittingly acknowledged and supported by suitable policies.”
He also speaks of healthcare as a shared ministry: “Doctors and nurses, priests, consecrated men and women, volunteers, families and all those who care for the sick, take part in this ecclesial mission. It is a shared responsibility that enriches the value of the daily service given by each.”
As we observe the World Day of the Sick and then begin our Lenten practices of prayer, penance and almsgiving, let’s resolve to keep Jesus Christ and the human person at the center of our spiritual efforts and works of mercy.
And let’s endeavor to give the world a striking witness of the unity of Christ’s disciples. May the world be able to say of us, “The believers are of one heart and mind … sharing everything they have” (Acts 4:32).
May our united efforts to serve the poor, the sick and the most vulnerable
among us lead others to believe in the power of God’s love at work in the world.
— Sister Constance Veit is director of communications for the Little Sisters of the Poor.

To everything there is a season

There is a story of a pastor who decided to hire a gardener for the poorly kept parish grounds. Year round the gardener worked diligently, mulching, preparing the soil, weeding, planting, pruning and nurturing the plants with great attention, until one day the pastor strolled into the flowering garden with a neighboring priest, anxious to show off the magnificent new creation.
Gesturing to the many different plants and flowers, the pastor said, “I praise God for all of His handiwork!” 
With clippers in hand, the gardener stepped out from behind a bush and chastised the pastor saying, “Don’t you go giving all the credit to God. Just remember what this place looked like before I got here and God had it all to himself!” 
Attention is a sacred gift. “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself,” wrote Henry Miller.
When we give this kind of attention to others, it becomes a gift of love, one that nourishes and nurtures and helps bring a person into full bloom. When we have this kind of love, our world holds all the beauty of a tended garden. When we don’t, life can become a cold, dreary night.
There was a time when I felt like my world had become an eternal winter, and I couldn’t see beyond the moment in time when my father died unexpectedly, leaving me alone to care for my mother, who was a hospice patient.
But time goes on. Today, it doesn’t seem possible that my father has been gone almost 22 years. Still, each year, as Valentine’s Day approaches, I am reminded of the last Valentine’s Day we spent together, him unconscious in a hospital bed, me in tears hoping that he could at least sense how much I loved him. He died the next day.
When I returned home that night and curled up in my dad’s much-loved recliner, I recalled the words of Paul Gallico, the author of “The Snow Goose,” one of my favorite books as a child: “When two people loved each other, they worked together always, two against the world, a little company. Joy was shared, trouble split. You had an ally, somewhere, who was helping.”
This was my relationship with my dad. Gallico’s words spoke to me, not only of what is ours when we are loved, when there is someone in our life who gives us the sacred gift of attention but what we don’t have when that someone is gone, no matter what the reason. It is the aloneness of grief, the dark night of loss, the realization that you are now a company of one.
A year later, I lost my mom.
When we suffer losses such as these, we often look for reasons why. But, in all honesty, no reason could console us or take away the terrible hurt and emptiness we feel. We may cling to our faith in these inconsolable times, but even faith doesn’t erase the pain.
I have found that the only way through it all is to consider grief a season of life, a season of loss that ebbs and flows and forever changes who we are. We never learn about it in school, but life will teach us and Scripture can guide us:
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance. …”
The writer of Ecclesiastes understood there is divine wisdom in all of God’s creation, and that we must embrace that wisdom in our own lives as well. The garden in winter is not dead, just dormant, having prepared for this season during the autumn. When the time and conditions are right, new life will spring forth from roots and seeds hidden from our sight.
-- Mary Morrell
--This article was originally published in the Winter 2017 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.
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