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Bishop celebrates Mass in Northfield for homeschool families

Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne has lunch after a homeschool Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Northfields with Ethan Quizon, 5, Theresa Quizon (pictured) and other homeschool families. Photo by Cori Fugere Urban Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne has lunch after a homeschool Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Northfields with Ethan Quizon, 5, Theresa Quizon (pictured) and other homeschool families.
NORTHFIELD—Homeschooling mother Fiona Lugo drove for an hour and 45 minutes Sept. 21 so she and her sons could attend a homeschool Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church celebrated by their bishop.
 
“I want faith to be an integral part of their classroom, and an opportunity like this greatly enriches their homeschooling experience,” said the parishioner of All Saints Church in Richford.
 
Her sons, James, 14, and John, 11, had been at a Mass with the bishop once before, but for James, it was a special occasion to have lunch with him after in the church hall. “Road trip, skip school and the Mass” were the three things John liked that day.
 
Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne reflected on Jesus as a physician of souls during his homily and encouraged the students, their parents and the other members of the congregation to reflect on how they become spiritually healthy or maintain spiritual health. For some that might mean letting go of anger or something sinful; for others it might mean adding works of charity or prayer to their lives.
 
“Thanks be to God we do have this physician of souls,” he said.
 
Theresa Quizon brought her 5-year-old son, Ethan, to the homeschool Mass. “It’s not often there is a statewide homeschool Mass, and it’s an honor to have the bishop here,” said the parishioner of Ascension Church in Georgia who drove for an hour and 15 minutes to Northfield.
 
She homeschools her son in kindergarten, and she appreciates opportunities for homeschool families to get together and build community, especially a faith community. “You don’t feel so isolated when you meet other people in the same state of life and with the same vocation. This was a wonderful event to bring us all together,” she said.
 
Bishop Coyne sat with the families at a large table in the church hall, eating the lunch he packed that included an egg salad sandwich. He answered the children’s questions – like “When is your birthday?” – and spoke with parents about social justice activities in parishes.
 
Mallory O’Brien of St. John the Evangelist Church in Northfield attended with her three children; the oldest is in first grade. It’s important for her that her children be familiar with the bishop because “he follows in the way of the apostles” and is “responsible to guide the local church.”
 
For her, being part of the community and of the parish is important too.
 
“It was wonderful to get together with homeschool families from around the state,” commented Phil Lawson, director of evangelization and catechesis for the Diocese of Burlington. “Pope Francis likes to use the word ‘accompany.’ Events like today’s Mass and picnic, bring us together from around the state, strengthen our faith and help us as a community to accompany each other in our journey toward our heavenly home. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!”
 

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Homeschool Mass
Last modified onThursday, 22 September 2016 14:39
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