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Obituary: Antonio Pomerleau

Antonio B. Pomerleau, 100, a real estate developer and philanthropist, died Feb. 8 at his Burlington home.
 
Known for his financial support of myriad projects including Pomerleau Alumni Center at St. Michael's College in Colchester, the Burlington Police Department headquarters and the Burlington Boys and Girls Club, Pomerleau has said, “I’ve been fortunate, and I give back to people who need it.”
 
In 2016 he delivered a check for $60,000 to St. Paul School in Barton as part of the school’s celebration of its 120th anniversary.
 
Pomerleau’s brother and sister attended St. Paul School; the family moved to Newport in 1927 where he attended the former Sacred Heart School.
 
The parishioner of Christ the King Parish in Burlington is survived by his wife of 71 years, Rita Murphy Pomerleau; by his children Ernie, Patricia, Elizabeth, Susan, Dennis, Alice, Rosemary and Grace; by his grandchildren Alexis, Terry, Caroline, Jessica, Lauren, Ali, Charlotte, Drew, Ellen, Madeline, Olivia, Frank and Catherine; and by two great grandchildren, Spencer and Sullivan.
 
He was predeceased by his sister, Ida, his brother Phil, and his daughters Anne Marie and Ellen.
 
A funeral for Pomerleau will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Feb. 13 at St. Michael's College in the Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel in Colchester.
 
  • Published in Diocesan

EWTN pro-life programming

Can’t attend the March for Life 2018?  You can still experience it from afar by watching events broadcast on EWTN.  For those who don’t get this channel on cable, you can access a live stream online, at the end of this article.
 
Below is a list of some of the programs EWTN will be offering in the coming days related to the March for Life:
 
MARCH FOR LIFE – OPENING MASS of the national prayer vigil
Live Coverage of the Opening Prayer Vigil for the Annual March for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
Thursday, 01/18 @ 5:30 PM ET
 
CLOSING MASS OF THE NATIONAL PRAYER VIGIL FOR LIFE
Live Coverage of the Closing Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
Friday, 01/19 @ 7:30 AM ET
 
MARCH FOR LIFE
Live and complete coverage of the most important pro-life event of the year: the annual March For Life in Washington DC.
Friday, 01/19 @ 9:00 AM ET
 
ONE LIFE LA
Coverage of this event from downtown Los Angeles, which is a celebration of life in all stages, from conception to natural death.
Saturday, 01/20 @ 6:00 PM ET
 
PRO-LIFE MASS FROM LOS ANGELES
Coverage of the Requiem Mass for the unborn at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
Saturday, 01/20 @ 8:00 PM ET
 
WALK FOR LIFE WEST COAST
Saturday, 01/27 @ 2:30 PM ET
Live coverage of San Francisco's largest pro-life event, including speeches, and special interviews with dynamic pro-life leaders and walk participants.
 
EWTN PRO-LIFE WEEKLY
Every week, Catherine Szeltner and a team of pro-life experts shine the light of truth on abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the culture of death.
Airs every Thursday @ 10:00 PM ET, Sundays @ 10:00 AM ET and Mondays @ 3:00 AM ET. 
 
 
 
 
  • Published in Nation

New year, new liturgical seasons

By Josh Perry

As we began Advent, the Church throughout the world ushered in a new liturgical year. We began again the annual observances with which we are very familiar. Advent, a time of hopeful waiting, gives way to the joyous celebrations of Christmas. Soon enough we find ourselves in the Lenten Season, with its disciplines of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. In the midst of spring, we celebrate the Resurrection of
Jesus at Easter, extending our feasting 50 days until Pentecost where we especially celebrate the Holy Spirit in our Church and in our lives. The long span of Ordinary Time follows; it is this time that points us to the life of Jesus Christ in all its aspects — not just His birth, not just His Passion, not just His Resurrection — but all of His life. And the cycle of the year comes — once again — to winter, and we find ourselves entering another Advent. Another Christmas. Another Lent. Another Easter. The cycle continues.
 
The occasion of the new year encourages us to look back on the year just passed and ahead on the year to come. We recall the past year — the joys and sorrows that we faced, the rights and wrongs that we may have done. Many of us then resolve to do something different in the coming year. A little more exercise. A better diet. Being nicer to siblings or children or parents. Maybe we resolve to go to church more, learn more about the faith or go back to confession. One of the most important reflections we can make is on how God was present in our lives in the past year and how might we respond to God’s presence in the year to come.
 
This process of looking back and looking forward is, I believe, essential to our personal growth and our growth as a Church. Without this reflection, the cycle of the liturgical year remains simply that — a cycle. If you “draw” the liturgical year on a piece of paper, you get a circle. But this process of looking back and looking forward — of reflecting on the past and making resolutions for our future — transforms that
circle. The circle becomes a spiral.
 
You see, a spiral is cyclical, but it doesn’t end up in the same spot. We celebrate Advents and Christmases, Lents and Easters year after year, but we are not the same people. Our past has shaped us, and our future might give us reason to hope (at least for a few weeks before we break our resolutions). I am not the same person I was five years ago, 10 years ago. My experiences have shaped me. Herein lies the beauty of observing the liturgical year. Passages from Scripture are repeated every three years both at Christmas and at Easter. The themes and disciplines of Advent and Lent do not change. But you and I have changed. And perhaps we will experience those same stories and experience those same disciplines in a different way, simply because we are different.
 
The upcoming diocesan synod is an extraordinary time for our Catholic Church in Vermont to reflect on its past and look forward to its future. In order for the synod to be fruitful, however, we need to take seriously the call to reflect on past, present and future. We can’t leave all this work simply for other people to do, just as we can’t delegate our own personal reflections over our lives in the new year (and
God forbid we have someone else make New Years resolutions for us!). As a Church, we reflect together with the help of the Holy Spirit. That reflection may lead to difficult conclusions and challenging resolutions ahead — just as our personal reflections might lead to challenging resolutions in our lives. Without these reflections as a Church, however, we can only hope to remain stuck in the same circle.
 
In this new liturgical year — and beyond — my prayer is that all of us are resolved to be involved in the life of our Church. It’s the time to reflect. As Church, where have we been? Where should we be going? And how shall we get there?
 
--Josh Perry is director of worship for the Diocese of Burlington.
--Originally published in the Winter 2017 issue of 
Vermont Catholic magazine.
 

Welcoming New Americans

Our commitment to host a refugee family in our home and to acclimate them to American life was to last one week.
 
In 2004, my husband, toddler son and I waited at Burlington Airport as a Somali-Bantu woman named Zahara Arbow came though the arrivals door with a baby knotted to her back. Behind her trailed four youngsters, ages 3, 5, 7 and 9, shuffling in oversized Keds supplied by the resettlement agency.

At the 23rd hour, Zahara’s husband stayed behind in the Kenyan refugee camp where she bore each of her children. So she came as a single mother to Vermont, a name that meant nothing to her other than a place of safety where her children could be educated.
 
This stoic woman became excited during one of our first drives around town. A translator communicated her question posed to me as she pointed out the window: “Is that the school where my children will go?”
 
In those first days, I helped round up coats and boots, and prepped the family for the impending cold. The only explanation of the winter season they received prior to resettlement was to hold a small block of ice during an orientation session in the camp.
 
I recall the eldest daughter, Madina, phoning me after the first snowfall, asking if it was safe to go outside; they feared they might die of exposure. We ferried the family to doctor appointments and grocery stores until Zahara got a driver’s license and purchased her own van. My husband arranged mentors for each of the children.
 
Through the years, we attended parentteacher conferences, graduations and college tours and even provided refuge for two of the girls when they got kicked out of the house by their new stepfather.
 
Why I ever imagined that our hosting commitment would last a week, I don’t know. Thankfully, our connection has continued strong for 13 years to the present day. Our encounter with this refugee family (they are American citizens now) has been nothing short of life changing for our family.
 
We acknowledge the “First World problems” we used to fuss over, such as dropped cell service or a stained favorite T-shirt. Our expectations about what constitutes a meaningful life have shifted — from acquiring things (we downsized our home recently) to engaging with people; from fulfilling wants to serving needs.
 
We fail miserably at times. Still, our relationship with this New American family keeps us anchored in what’s most important as followers of Jesus. At no other time in human history have so many people been forcibly displaced throughout the world — some 65.6 million people, with an increasing 20 people per minute.
 
One of Pope Francis’ signature themes in recent years has been to encourage people of faith to create “cultures of encounter” with refugees and migrants, to fight indifference in ourselves and to share the journey with people outside of our normal lives.
 
The pope predicts an inner transformation of sorts; I can say with utmost humility, I know of what he speaks.

By Marybeth Christie Redmond

 
Originally published in the Winter 2017 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.
 
 
  • Published in Parish
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