Log in
    

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

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Radio

Donna McSoley, a parishioner of St. Francis Xavier Church who won a permit with the FCC to build a radio station, hopes 105.5, WRXJ,
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Radio will be on the air by Easter.
 
The 24-hour station will feature Catholic talk radio transmitted from St. Francis Xavier property.
 
Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne and St. Francis Xavier Pastor Msgr. Richard G. Lavalley have recorded some station IDs that will play at the bottom and top of the hour. “I hope to be able to record all the priests within the listening area at a later date. I think it will be nice for people to hear their pastor’s voice on the air,” said McSoley, president of the nonprofit Our Lady of Perpetual Help Radio Inc.
 
She will not know the exact coverage area until the station is on the air and adjustments are made; she expects it will be about a 12-15-mile radius from Winooski as well as into parts of Plattsburgh, Keeseville, and Peru, N.Y. “The FCC is currently considering increasing the power … to more than double the wattage. That will increase the coverage area considerably. Once the FCC rules on this, we will be able to work from there as to how to move forward towards covering all of Vermont,” she said.
 
She asks for prayers that the Low Power FM station will bring people to the Catholic Church. “We have a great opportunity to preach beyond the pews, and Catholic radio has been proven to increase vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life,” she said. “Sharing our faith through this radio with others can bring many, many people into the satisfying joy and fullness of truth of the Catholic Church. We live in the least religious state of our country, and it's up to all of us to change that statistic and heal Vermont. Let's band together and make this happen.”
 
McSoley has been working to raise about $15,000 to begin the station through the non-profit she began, through fund raising and through donations from “people who want to bring their children back to the Church.”
 

Prayer bracelets for Vermont Air Guard

Holly Spear-Nichols began a project to enlist prayers for deployed members of the Vermont Air National guard, and the project has taken off beyond her expectations.
 
A member of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Winooski and Benedictine Oblate at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Monastery in Westfield, Spear-Nichols took seriously the request of her pastor, Msgr. Richard Lavalley, to pray for the service men and women who were deployed in December.
 
She and a friend went to Burlington International Airport in the wee hours of the morning Dec. 8 – the Feast of the Immaculate Conception -- and stood at a fence parallel to the runway and watched 15 F-16s take off into the night, deployed to the U.S. Central Command region, which covers North Africa and the Middle East to Southeast Asia. “To see that and to feel the vibration” of the engines made her “heart go out” to the Guard members and their families.
 
For days after, they were in the forefront of her mind. “They all needed to be blanketed in prayer,” she said.
 
And then came her inspiration: Have plastic bracelets made to remind people to pray for these people.
 
The green bracelets come in adult and children sizes and have these words in yellow: Please pray for the deployed 158th Fighting Wing, VTANG.”
 
Spear-Nichols thought she’d purchase 50 to 75 to distribute to “prayer warriors,” friends and family, but by mid January she had ordered 3,000. “It has taken off like fire,” she said of the project she is funding herself, but not releasing how much she has spent. “The way this took off, definitely the Holy Spirit is involved.”
 
On the first weekend of January she went to the Air National Guard headquarters in South Burlington to distribute bracelets, and she has fulfilled requests for them from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington, the American Legion post in Colchester, a local surgeon’s office and numerous Catholic parishes.

Every member of Winooski’s St. Francis Xavier School community received a bracelet at a recent school assembly.
 
“This project is a perfect fit for our school,” explained Principal Eric Becker. “The chair of our school board, Brian Senecal, is a chief master sergeant in the Air Guard and is currently deployed. Brian and his comrades and all their families are in our prayers already. We were delighted to have a visual sign of those prayers to share with everyone.”
 
The distribution of the bracelets to all the students from pre-school through grade eight and their teachers followed a weekly school Mass during which the St. Francis Xavier pastor, Msgr. Richard Lavalley, prayed for the safe return of all the deployed Guard members.
 
Spear-Nichols is the daughter of the late Brigadier General Richard B. Spear who was a commander of the Vermont Air National Guard. “What better way to honor him than to pray for the Guard he loved,” she commented.
 
She grew up in Burlington, graduated from Rice in 1972 and earned an associate’s degree in medical/secretarial studies from Champlain College in Burlington then an associate’s in medical technology from the University of Vermont in Burlington. The retired mother of two and grandmother of two worked as a medical technologist.
 
Always deeply spiritual, Spear-Nichols grew up attending St. Joseph Parish in Burlington. “I’m always about trying to serve others in prayer,” she said. “That’s the focus of a contemplative way of life.”
 
Her prayers for the Vermont Air National Guard include Liturgy of the Hours prayers, the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet and spontaneous prayer. “Anytime I see or feel my bracelet, I pray,” she said.
 
“Anytime you can mention how much God loves us and the power of prayer, it’s a way of building up the Kingdom of God and unites us as a family,” she said. “Prayer is very, very powerful.”
 
For more information, write to Holly Spear-Nichols at PO Box 9428, South Burlington, VT 05407-9428.
  • Published in Diocesan

A community that CARES

This is a faith community that CARES.
 
CARES Catholic Network, a cooperative health and wellness ministry of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Winooski and the Burlington parishes of St. Mark, St. Joseph Co-Cathedral and Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, is all about Compassion, Advocacy, Respite, Education and Service.
 
Housed at the former convent at St. Mark’s on North Avenue in Burlington, CARES Catholic Network is a Christ-centered, parish-based ministry dedicated to the holistic health and wellness of the community. Through assessment of people’s needs, planning and implementing health and wellness activities and reflecting on the Gospel mission of health and wholeness, CARES promotes the integration of body, mind and spirit both in volunteers and in those they serve.
 
Services and activities include transportation, home visits, a durable medical goods exchange (canes, shower chairs, commodes etc.), advocacy for immigrants, handyman services, right-to-life advocacy, blood pressure screenings and a caregiver support group.
 
CARES has a full-time parish nurse, Sharon Brown, who makes home and hospital visits, coordinates CARES services and is a liaison with other service providers.
 
The Francis Center at St. Mark Parish provides physical space and is the hub of the CARES Catholic Network. It consists of a chapel, two medium-sized multi-purpose rooms, two smaller conference rooms and a residential kitchen.
 
It is a place for community, serving others and spiritual growth.
 
At the center there is space for meetings, trainings and spiritual formation for volunteers; community prayer groups and faith formation activities; cultural/educational activities; education/support group meetings; and storage/collection space for durable medical and household goods.
 
“We are excited we can use this space to reach out to minister to the community, following our faith and doing works of mercy,” said Father Dallas St. Peter, administrator of St. Mark Parish. “The reason [for the center] is to extend the Church’s mission of mercy in this area.”
 
Services are available to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation.
 
Two of the approximately 60 people who volunteer in the CARES ministry as their time allows are Claudine Nkurunziza and her mother, Merida Ntirampeba, natives of Burundi now living in Winooski and attending St. Francis Xavier Church. “My life is to help somebody,” Ntirampeba said.
 
She and her daughter escaped the genocide in their homeland and thank God for the help they received to do so. “They were doing it [helping the mother and child] for the love of God, and I want to repay God,” she said.
 
“Many people would have just saved themselves,” Nkurunziza added.
 
St. Francis CARES – which began three years ago -- brought the family food and clothing when needed and provided transportation and nursing assistance. “Without them, I don’t know where we’d be. They really have helped,” Ntirampeba said.
 
St. Mark Parish joined the CARES Catholic Network in 2015, and the cathedral and co-cathedral parishes joined in September. “We have absolute support from the pastors and administrative assistants,” Brown said.
 
Volunteers will spend the winter identifying programs needed for the spring and summer. Already fabric and sewing machines have been donated for a spring sewing class for refugee women.
 
Marie Forcier of St. Mark’s plans to be an instructor. “I love helping out,” she said.
 
“Pope Francis tells us to take care of each other,” Brown said. “By caring for others, we show the heart of Jesus.”
 
  • Published in Diocesan
Subscribe to this RSS feed
Bishop's Fund Annual Appeal