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Obituary: Deacon John Place

Deacon John F. Place, 77, died Oct. 23 after a year-long battle with cancer, his family by his side.
 
He was born in Burlington to the late Ralph and Mary (Soucy) Place.
 
He served in the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1960. He married Joyce Larivee in 1960, and they celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary this year. He served as a deacon for more than 30 years.
 
Upon retirement from UPS he went to work with his son. In retirement he and his wife spent winters on St. George Island in Florida. An avid outdoorsman he enjoyed hunting and fishing.
 
He leaves behind his wife and his three children: Pamela Bolster (Jeff), Amy Place-Roux (Rejean) and Jon Matthew Place (Heather); his three grandchildren, Jacob and Sarah Roux and Noah Place; his nephew, Rob Larivee; his brother in-law, Robert Larivee; his brother and sister-in-law, Bernard and Marge Larivee.
 
There will be no visiting hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 11 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church in Winooski. Burial will be at a later date in the Vermont Veterans Cemetery in Randolph. 
  • Published in Diocesan

Rice Memorial High School Homecoming

Eight new members were inducted in the Rice-Cathedral Athletic Hall of Fame in October. Hall of Famers from previous classes welcomed the newest members at the induction ceremony during Homecoming for Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington. There were seven different events over three days.
 
These included a Pep Rally at which Rice Memorial students gathered in anticipation of Homecoming weekend and a faculty/staff dodge ball game.
 
During a “Knight to Remember,” more than 250 alumni and parents gathered under a tent on the Rice campus to kick off Homecoming weekend and celebrate Rice's 100th birthday.
 
For the Cow Maneuver, alumni from all corners of the country purchased plots in the Return of the Great Cow Maneuver. Daisy the cow plopped in an unpurchased plot thereby awarding Rice the winnings.
 
A record number of runners and walkers participated in the fourth annual RJ Rice Run to conclude the Homecoming weekend festivities. Brian Mongeon '03 won the race.
 
Rice Memorial High School had its start with Cathedral High School in Burlington, which opened 100 years ago.
 
 

EWTN coverage of the centennial anniversary of Fatima

(EWTN) – As part of EWTN’s coverage of the centennial anniversary of Fatima, the Network will broadcast two special events on Friday, Oct. 13.
 
At 10 a.m. EWTN will broadcast the 15th annual Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. This annual event spiritually unites the children of the world before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The children will make reparation to console Jesus and pray for their families, their countries and the world.
 
Father Chris Alar, director of the Association of Marian Helpers of the Immaculate Conception, will preside at the Holy Hour. For more information, go to childrenoftheeucharist.org.
 
That evening, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl will lead a historic candlelight rosary procession and a prayer of entrustment for individuals and families to Our Lady of Fatima’s Immaculate Heart. EWTN will broadcast the event live from the basilica at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13.
 
“Gather your families, wherever you are on the evening of Oct. 13, if possible, tune in to EWTN, light a candle, pray the rosary and the prayer of entrustment, spiritually uniting with Cardinal Wuerl,” said Connie Schneider, director of the two events. “We hope Catholics worldwide will join in from their dioceses, parishes, homes, nursing homes…everywhere!”
 
A Family Entrustment Pamphlet is available at childrenoftheeucharist.org/product/beautiful-8-page-booklet-includes-consecration-family-youth-children  to help families follow along with the prayers during this special event.
 
 
 
  • Published in World

'Mill Girls' historical performance

A 14-member student cast at St. Michael’s College started work on Labor Day, which felt appropriate, for a new original play with music about the lives of 19th-century girls who worked the mills of New England towns like Lowell, Mass., and Winooski.
 
That rehearsal launched preparations still under way for performances on Nov. 2, 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. in the McCarthy Arts Center Theater. All performances are free and open to the public.
 
Created and directed by St. Michael’s theater professor, Peter Harrigan, the show “Mill Girls” features an ambitious musical score by the well-established Burlington-area talent Tom Cleary, who long has been involved with St. Michael’s Playhouse productions and other local projects. Cleary will lead a small band for performances, including his wife, vocalist and teacher Amber DeLaurentis, St. Michael’s Fine Arts Professor Bill Ellis on guitar and Stan Baker on cello.
 
“Mill Girls” as a concept for this year’s history-charged and socially conscious “Mainstage” production at the college arose as Harrigan, now in his 27th year of teaching, looked for new ways both to challenge himself as a director and teacher and to model different artistic approaches for students, he said.
 
The resulting production has been a semester-long teaching tool across multiple disciplines on the Colchester campus. For example, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, in the McCarthy Recital Hall will be an “Academic Panel” discussing the issues presented by the play; Harrigan tapped a History Department colleague’s earlier research and knowledge as he wrote the play; and the student cast will present an abridged version of the play for Winooski school children based on lesson plans from colleagues in the college’s Education Department.
 
Harrigan said that in creating “Mill Girls,” he took the approach of creating a “collage” from primary sources, as he had observed and admired in earlier productions that he directed, including  “The Laramie Project,” “Mad Forest” and “Execution of Justice.” In each case, the authors used non-theatrical materials – newspaper articles, court transcripts, interviews, journal entries, to name a few – to examine historical incidents and create a script for a play, he said.
 
“When I directed these plays, I found that undergraduate actors were able to make a deeper connection to the emotional lives of the characters and the troubling incidents depicted in the plays, because it all ‘actually happened.’ With a theatrical collage project in mind, I searched for a story from the past that would speak to student performers, and audience members, in the present,” Harrigan said.
 
The fabric of history
 
He didn’t have to look very far since the Champlain Mill and the other industrial structures from the 19th century are still part of the local architectural landscape. But the stories of the original uses of the buildings and the people who labored within them are perhaps less known, he said. “As I began research on the American Woolen Company, I talked to my colleague in the History Department, Professor Susan Ouellette, about resources,” Harrigan said, “and she unveiled a sort of hidden history – the stories of young women who worked in the mills of Winooski – and many other towns, most notably Lowell, Massachusetts: how they contributed to the world but also challenged it – advocating for themselves and others.”
 
He explained how in the early 19th century, as industrialization slowly took hold in America, manufacturers found there were not enough workers to fill their mills and factories. Francis Cabot Lowell of Massachusetts wanted to erase the horror stories associated with mills in England and establish wholesome settings where farmers would allow their daughters to work. He pictured new brick factories built along rivers – to harness the power of the water, surrounded by rooming houses, supervised by the strictest of matrons and widows alongside churches, libraries and lecture halls designed to fill the young women’s leisure hours with appropriate educational and spiritual pursuits. Lowell died prematurely, but a town named for him was built in 1826, giving thousands of young women a new option for advancement in life. “Mill Girls,” through a play with music, tells their stories, in their own words.
 
Lowell was a sort of utopia in its early years, Harrigan said, but as mill-barons’ thirst for profits began to outweigh their concern for the young women’s welfare, a shift occurred. Although they were used to working long hours – sometimes 13 or more per day – the mill girls operating one machine were asked to take on two or three, and later as many as five. This made the work conditions much more challenging and even dangerous. Industrialists later decreased wages and increased the rents in the required, company-owned housing. Using the knowledge they had acquired through classes and lectures and the community bond created in their boarding houses, the young women began to push back, forming some of the earliest labor organizations in the United States. As the movement for the abolition of slavery grew, the mill girls discovered their connection to this great American sin: These underpaid young women in the North were processing the cotton picked by enslaved Africans in the South. The female operatives of Lowell and other New England cities joined with John Greenleaf Whittier and other abolitionists to advocate for justice and freedom for all.
 
 
Through the Oct. 19 “Academic Panel,” Harrigan hopes to maximize the learning potential of this unique production. Professor Susan Ouellette will share some of her extensive research on 19th-century working women in Winooski, Lowell and elsewhere; Miriam Block, director of the Heritage Winooski Mill Museum (and also a student in the college’s Graduate Education program), will talk about the museum and its mission; Harrigan will describe his process of assembling and adapting the play from primary source material; and Professor John Devlin will lead a tour of the partially completed "Mill Girls" set that he designed and talk about how his research is reflected in his scenic design.
 
This event is also sponsored by the St. Michael’s College Humanities Center.
 
Another related event  “Mill Girls at the Mill,” will be Thursday, Nov. 9, when student performers will present an abridged version of the play at the historic Champlain Mill for students from the Winooski Middle and St. Francis Xavier schools. St. Michael’s education majors, led by Professors Valerie Bang-Jensen and Jonathan Silverman, will present lesson plans and activities to explain and enrich the experience.
 
  • Published in Diocesan
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