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Edmundite Father Michael Carter ordained

It was a joyful day of smiles, handshakes, hugs and congratulations as newly ordained Edmundite Father Michael Carter entered this new phase of his life in a spirit of hope, expectation and trust in God.
 
Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne ordained him to the priesthood Sept. 16 at the Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel on the campus of St. Michael’s College in Colchester.
 
In remarks at the morning Mass, the bishop reflected on joy, noting that Pope Francis encourages all to be people of joy. “Joy is not a mater of fleeting moments of happiness…but knowing we are in God’s hands even when we are struggling,” he said, noting that the joy of Christians empowers them to do great things. “The joy of the priesthood is knowing we are configured to Christ” while serving others.
 
As a priest, Father Carter’s personal focus will be continuing to build connections with a wide array of people, believers and non-believers, Catholics and non-Catholics. “One of the great mysteries of God is God's ability to work into people's hearts even if they are rigidly opposed to spirituality and religion. I hope I can be a conduit of that journey,” he said. “In keeping with the charism of the Society of St. Edmund, my emphasis is always on those who find themselves marginalized from the Church and from God. It is in the margins that the creative power of God is most fundamentally displayed.”
 
The Society of St. Edmund – celebrating its 175th anniversary – founded St. Michael’s College.
 
In his homily at the ordination Mass, Bishop Coyne explained that though God made His entire people a royal priesthood in Christ, Jesus chose certain disciples to carry out publically, in His name and on behalf of humankind, a priestly office in the Church.
 
“Impart to everyone the Word of God which you have received with joy,” he told Father Carter. “Meditating on the law of the Lord, see that you believe what you read, that you teach what you believe and that you practice what you teach.”
 
He asked that the holiness of the new priest’s life be a “delightful fragrance” to the faithful so that by word and example he may build up the Church.
 
During the Mass, Father Carter publically resolved to care for the Lord’s flock, to worthily and wisely preach the Gospel and teach the Catholic faith and to celebrate the sacraments faithfully and reverently for the glory of God and the sanctification of the Christian people. He also resolved to implore God’s mercy upon the people entrusted to his care and to be united more closely every day to Christ and to consecrate himself to God for the salvation of all.
 
During the Litany of Supplication Father Carter lay prostrate in front of the altar, then, after the Laying on of Hands, Prayer of Ordination and Prayer of Consecration at the ordination, Edmundite Father David Cray, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Charlotte and St. Jude Church in Hinesburg, assisted Father Carter in his investiture with the stole and chasuble.
 
Father Carter knelt before the bishop who anointed his hands with holy Chrism. He later placed a paten and chalice in the newly ordained priest’s hands. “Know what you are doing and imitate the mystery you celebrate: Model your life on the mystery of the Lord’s cross,” he said.
 
Born in Burlington, the son of Richard M. Carter and Kathleen M. Carter attended Christ the King School through eighth grade then Burlington High School. A member of the St. Michael's College Class of 2012, he earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies with a minor in political science. He received a master of divinity degree from Boston College in 2016 and worked in the clinical pastoral education program at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.
 
He chose the Edmundite priesthood because during his college years he was inspired by the sense of camaraderie and brotherhood the members of the Society of St. Edmund embodied and by the way certain members modeled for him a spirit of justice and activism that he had not encountered before. “Not to in any way downplay the tireless and faithful efforts of priests working in the parishes of the Diocese of Burlington, but for myself as an individual I never discerned that parish ministry was my primary vocation, therefore an order that had parish connection without being specifically a parochial order was intriguing to me,” he said.
 
Father Carter is currently an assistant to Edmundite Father Charles Ranges in the Essex Catholic community, teaches at St. Michael's College and assists in Edmundite Campus Ministry.
 
“Our [Edmundite] foundational ethos is a spirit of education and evangelization, particularly to those who may not otherwise hear of the love of God,” Father Carter said in an interview before his ordination. “Working in education at St. Michael's College, sometimes among a population that has never encountered the love of God, provides ample opportunity for that blessing. Needless to say, my home state of Vermont is mission territory writ large.”
 
Asked about his gifts that he brings to the priesthood, Father Carter said, “I think one is an ability (or at least a desire) to be able to connect with people on a level that makes them comfortable. That means having no preconceived notions, no judgments of any kind and no agenda when speaking with people other than to let them know that they are heard, that they are respected and that they are loved, by both myself and by God. Everything else in ministerial life stems from that.”
 
A sense of humor is also important. “I pride myself on a sense of humor. I take my work and mission seriously, but my own quirks and weaknesses allow me to laugh at myself,” he said. “A ministry without laughter is a ministry doomed to failure.”
 
To men considering the priesthood, Father Carter suggests they see the fun, humor and joy in this life as much as the difficulties and sacrifice: “There are elements of both present, but they should balance each other out.”
 
Also, he calls them to recognize that God loves each person as an individual. “Don't try to be someone or something that you are not. God makes particular demands on God's priests, but one of those demands is not to cease being a distinct and unique individual. It takes all kinds, and there is room in the priesthood for all kinds,” he said.
 
The last ordination for the Society of St. Edmund was in 2014 when Father Lino Oropeza was ordained at St. Michael's College.
 
Father Carter asked that anyone that is concerned about the state of the Church to think seriously about the men in their lives that they think may have a vocation or might make a good priest and mention it to them. “Be it for the Diocese, the Society of St. Edmund or elsewhere, actual talking and contact with people and setting an example is what makes vocations appear real,” he said. “Prayers are wonderful and beautiful, but prayer without action is robbing yourself of the most effective way that God works in the world.”
 
 
 
  • Published in Diocesan

Obituary: Edmundite Father Paul Pinard

Edmundite Father Paul Pinard, 85, died on June 12.
 
The son of Lucien and Bibianne (Blais) Pinard, he was born on Feb. 25, 1932, in Montpelier. He was a professed member of the Society of St. Edmund for 65 years and an Edmundite priest for more than 58 years.
 
Besides his brothers in religion, Father Pinard is survived by three brothers and a sister: Francis Pinard of Barre; Richard Pinard and his wife, Paula, of Winooski; Raymond Pinard and his wife, Vivian, of Galveston, Texas; and Marguerite Marie Worthing of Omaha, Neb.
 
Father Pinard was predeceased by his parents; his sister Jeanne d'Arc Verrett and her husband, Albert, of Plainville, Conn.; his sister, Madeleine Benoit, and her husband, Leonard, of Barre; his sister-in-law, Doreen Pinard; and brother-in-law, Daniel Worthing.
 
Father Pinard completed his undergraduate degree at St. Michael's College in Colchester in 1955 and, after completing his theological studies with the Society of St. Edmund, he was ordained a priest on May 22, 1959, by Burlington Bishop Robert F. Joyce. He continued his education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from 1959-1960 and at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y., from 1972-1973, graduating with a master’s degree in religious education.
 
Father Pinard served as assistant pastor at St. Elizabeth Mission in Selma, Ala., from 1960-1961, where he was also assistant director of the Don Bosco Boys Club. He served two parishes in Quebec: St. Anastase in Greenfield Park from 1961-1964 and Holy Cross in Rosemere from 1969-1972 and again from 1989-1991.
 
He worked as director of St. Anne's Shrine in Isle LaMotte, from 1964-1968 and as administrator of St. Amadeus Parish in Alburgh from 1967-1969. Father Pinard served on the Board of Trustees of St. Michael's College from 1984-1988 and was the procurator of the Edmundite Generalate in Burlington from 1991-1995. From 1995-2004, he acted as procurator and treasurer of St. Edmund's Retreat in Mystic, Conn.
 
He retired in 2004 to the Edmundite residence in Englewood, Fla., moving in 2013 to the Edmundite residence in Selma. He returned to Vermont in 2016, residing with the Edmundite community at St. Michael's College.
 
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel on the campus of St. Michael's College on Tuesday, June 20, at 10 a.m. Calling hours are from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the chapel. Interment will take place at Merrill Cemetery, across the street from the college, immediately following the Mass. A reception will follow in the Edmundite dining room in Alliot Hall on the campus of St. Michael's College.  
 

Obituary: Sister Marie Anna Antoinette Lesage, RHSJ

Sister Marie Anna Antoinette Lesage, 84, a Religious Hospitaller of St. Joseph,  died at the motherhouse of the congregation in Montreal on June 2.
 
She was born on June 13, 1932, to Arthur and Anna (Brunelle) Lesage in Winooski. She was educated at St. Louis Convent and Mount St. Mary Academy. After graduation she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
 
She entered the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph on Aug. 11, 1952 and made her final profession on Aug. 22, 1959.
 
Sister Lesage served at the former Fanny Allen Hospital in Colchester and at hospitals throughout the United States and Canada as an operating room scrub nurse. After her retirement she returned to the motherhouse, making frequent trips to visit family and religious sisters at Our Lady of Providence Convent in Winooski.
 
Sister Lesage was predeceased by her parents and 11 siblings: Bernard (Anita), Rita (Celse) Martelle, Robert, Dollard, Lawrence, Louis, Lauretta (Roger) DuHamel, Lillian (Ferdinand) Cournoyer, Brother John, Norman and Rose Marie.
 
In addition to her religious sisters, she is survived by her brother, Andre Leo (Rocheline) Lesage of Florida; and sister, Cecile (Dr. Gerard) West of Pennsylvania; sisters-in-law Emily Lesage and Shirley Lesage, as well as many nieces and nephews.
 
A Mass of Christian Burial was June 9 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Winooski with burial in the cemetery of the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph in Colchester.
 
 

Memorial Day: remembrance and gratitude

For Edmundite Father Raymond Doherty, Memorial Day is a day for all Americans to remember and pray for those in the military who sacrificed their lives in service to this nation. “We don’t want to forget!” he emphasized.
 
This year, Memorial Day is celebrated on Monday, May 29. It is a federal holiday in the United States to remember the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces.
 
Sometimes people who meet Father Doherty notice the Marine emblem on his cap and thank him for his service. “I doubt that most veterans expect that, but it is a thoughtful gesture,” commented the veteran of the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. During 1951-1953 he received basic training in the Marine Corps at Parris Island, S.C., was subsequently assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C., and served briefly with a guard company at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.
 
Because he was trained in journalism when a student at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, he was assigned as a Marine Corps journalist. At the end of two years of active duty, he acquired the title of “combat correspondent,” though he “did not experience the horrors of combat and the deadly winter weather in Korea,” he said.
 
Now, Father Doherty assists in campus ministry at St. Michael’s where he is a trustee, a member of the board of the college’s fire and rescue squads and a member of the editorial board of the alumni magazine.
 
Father Doherty ministers to veterans currently on campus and has advocated for them on the Board of Trustees. “When I was an undergraduate student at the college (1947-1951), we had many World War II vets as fellow students, and they were wonderful models for us youngsters,” he said. “I would like to see that same or similar influence of maturity for our present young students and hope that more military veterans will choose St. Michael’s College for their continued academic education. We can all learn from them and their ‘real world’ experience.”
 
As part of its commitment to serving veterans, St. Michael’s hired Ken O’Connell last summer as the new coordinator of Military Community Services to help veterans acquire the tools for fulfilling futures by connecting them with an education. “I’m here to support anyone with a connection to the military with on- and off-campus resources,” he said.
 
O’Connell served in the Army, 2nd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment based in Grossauheim, Germany; one of his duties was to patrol the East/West German wall. He served from 1985 to 1988.
 
After leaving the Army, he returned to school and has been a first-grade teacher and school enrichment coordinator and a photographer.

The military community at the college includes about 30 students; the diverse group benefits the campus community, offering tutoring, for example.
 
One of the programs brought The Green Mountain Chapter of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Project to campus. “This program allows veterans and traditional students to come together, share their stories and enjoy a common activity while teaching and learning new skills together,” O’Connell said. “These skills could have to do with fishing and in a large part have to do with kindness and community.”
 
Also, “we have strong ties to our community veterans service organizations that offer services specific to the needs of our current generations of veterans and their families,” he added.
 
For O’Connell, Memorial Day is a day in which “we can take time to slow down and think about where we are, how we got here and who do we have to thank that may not be with us anymore in this physical world.”
 
There is still a war going on, but he does not think the average citizen understands what that means for many people. “I know everyone has lost someone who has meant something dear to them, and we should all think of them, and on Memorial Day we need to give a special prayer, thought or burst of energy to the ones who have died and are dying for doing what they think was right for us safely here at home,” he said. “Just let your sons, daughters and young people in your charge know that this is a day of remembrance and gratitude as well as a day of celebration for these fallen heroes.”

 

Catholic college graduations

Vermont’s two Catholic colleges conducted commencement ceremonies this month.
 
Seventy students received degrees at the College of St. Joseph’s 58th commencement ceremony May 13.
 
St. Michael’s College in Colchester marked its 110th commencement on May 14 in the Ross Sports Center; it included 456 undergraduates and 30 graduate degree recipients.
 
“It’s never about you,” said Gen. Joseph Dunford ’77, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told the St. Michael’s College Class of 2017 that moral courage and a commitment to serving others are essential qualities for “leaders of consequence.”
 
The nation’s highest-ranking military figure, Dunford told graduates that being a leader means doing the right thing even when it’s unpopular, and that “the greatest call is to serve.”
 
“What I’ve learned in 40 years is that extraordinary leaders are actually ordinary men and women who make a commitment to excellence” and dig down deep, he said, adding that the world will need the new graduates’ leadership given that “from a security perspective alone, the challenges we face are as complex as any we’ve faced since World War II,” while the pace of change is unprecedented. As St. Michael’s graduates, he told the class, “you are uniquely equipped” to meet those challenges.
 
Dunford called upon the graduates to “go forth to be leaders of consequence.”
 
At the College of St. Joseph, former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas spoke of some of Vermont’s greatest challenges and how graduates can help to confront them, including the state’s declining population and its effects.
 
“So, here’s my pitch: We need each of you to be a part of our state’s future. We need you to live and work here, to make Vermont your home,” Douglas said. “To use your education to find meaningful work and perhaps create additional jobs. We need you to raise your families here and to contribute to your community and state.”
 
Douglas, the commencement speaker, also discussed his views on the decline of civil discourse and how graduates can best use their voices in discussions with others whose opinions with which they may not agree.
 
“I urge each of you to listen to different voices, to respect others when they speak and to weigh objectively the arguments they put forth. You may not be persuaded. You may become more confident in your own views,” Douglas said. “But, in a democracy, we can’t delegitimize the thoughts of others. We must allow them to be expressed. As many have said through the years, the remedy for speech you don’t like is more speech.”
 
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'MOVE' at St. Michael's College

Students at St. Michael’s College in Colchester are moving in all directions to help others.
 
Through the MOVE (Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts) program, they engage in service and justice work in four main areas: working with children and youth, hands-on programs, working to build community and service trips.
 
Working with children includes four formal mentor programs where college students are paired with local youth. Hands-on programs deal with local non-profits to work for animal justice, environmental justice and hunger and homelessness awareness.
 
The programs in working to build community involve spending time with adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, senior citizens, migrant farm workers and others to focus on a service of presence.
 
The service trips are mostly one-week opportunities for students to experience service at sites throughout the country and world. These trips offer students opportunities to engage in service, justice and reflection outside of Vermont. The justice issues identified on the trips parallel the justice work present in local partners.
 
“MOVE exists to expand the concept of community service to embrace social justice and emphasize our connectedness to the world as defined by Catholic social teaching,” explained Lara Scott, associate director of Edmundite Campus Ministry for community services who directs MOVE. “Through our experiences of service, reflection and dialogue, we are compelled to respond through compassionate action, education and advocacy.”
 
Currently there are 62 student leaders to plan and implement MOVE’s 18 weekly local programs and 13 service trips. Nearly 600 students participate in service annually.
 
By graduation, nearly 70 percent of St. Michael’s students participate in MOVE in some way.
 
“We have an amazing opportunity to intersect service, justice and spirituality in MOVE, and our students benefit tremendously from the opportunity to explore all three areas and make meaning of them for their lives,” Scott said. “We have a strong focus on both reflection and leadership development so our students gain skills in collaboration, facilitation, relationship building, meaning making, and the like, from participating once, returning regularly to our programs and/or taking on a formal student leadership role within MOVE.”
 
Students build relationships with peers, get connected in the larger community, are part of meeting needs in the community and therefore are part of social change. “Students find community and sense of belonging, they are able to put faith into action, and they explore their own faith in new and different ways through MOVE,” Scott continued. “MOVE benefits students because we remind students that we are all connected, that we all matter and that each one of us can individually make change.”
 
This all is done in light of the Catholic faith and with Catholic social teaching at the foundation, and MOVE is guided and driven by the Edmundite tradition of hospitality and presence of service.
 
Daniel Ramos, a senior accounting major, is highly engaged in service as a core team leader for the Habitat for Humanity chapter at St. Michael’s. He participates in the extended service programs, Best Buddies, Penguin Plunge and helps plan Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
 
He said working with MOVE has been one of the best experiences he has had: “Working as a leader for Habitat for Humanity, I've learned how to handle responsibilities of leading and organizing trips. I've learned what my role is when supporting causes I believe in. The genuine care and love that I see from the other core team leaders and from the people who work in the MOVE office has had a large influence on the person I've become today.”
 
Volunteering is part of who he is. “The more I've worked with MOVE the more the reason why I volunteer has evolved. After each year has passed I've gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for what MOVE accomplishes,” said Ramos, of Trumbull, Conn. “I volunteer to be a part of the positive change that MOVE brings. By organizing, leading and participating in trips through MOVE, I've been able to bring a positive change to peoples' lives.”
 
The community benefits by having “thoughtful, caring, justice-minded individuals present in their organizations and with those who use their services,” Scott said. “We are regularly present in the local, national and global community working to make change, be present with and serve where needed.” 
 
In 1990, the late Edmundite Father Michael Cronogue founded the Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts.
 
It is based on the mission of St. Michael’s College to contribute to the development of human culture and enhancement of the human person in light of the Catholic faith.
 
Service to the poor is part of the heritage and practice of the Society of St. Edmund, the founders of the college.
 
MOVE has been integral to the college career of Erin Buckley, a senior majoring in environmental science with a peace and justice minor from Haddam, Conn. “It has been an opportunity to grow as an individual and as a leader and also reach our to our local community,” she said.
 
Compassion and patience are key in her faith and in her service work.
 
Through the MOVE program she has felt a growing desire to serve others and recognize the dignity of each human being. “My experiences in service have taught me to provide space for people and ecosystems that are often silenced to speak and to be heard. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such loving and challenging individuals,” she said.
 
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Bishop to ordain 2 deacons

Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne will ordain one man to the permanent diaconate and one to the transitional diaconate at a special Mass Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s College in Colchester.
 
Phil Lawson, director of evangelization and catechesis for the Diocese of Burlington, will be ordained a permanent deacon, and Edmundite Brother Michael Carter will be ordained to the transitional diaconate. The latter works as an Edmundite Campus Minister and teaches in the Religious Studies Department at St. Michael’s College.
 
Brother Carter said he is excited that men are being ordained to the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Burlington. “Revitalization of this ancient ministry can only be a positive thing for the Church,” he said.
 
The last ordination of permanent deacons here was several years ago.
 
Lawson trained in the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wis., and the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis.; he has been in formation -- both formal and informal -- for about six years.
 
He approaches his ordination with “a mixture of trepidation, wonder, excitement, amazement and peace.”
 
He will be assisting at his home parish, St. Luke in Fairfax and continue to help at the Joseph House ministry in Burlington.
 
Lawson said it will be a privilege to be ordained with Brother Carter and to share in such a joyous day for both the Edmundites and the Diocese of Burlington.
 
Brother Carter’s future assignments will be according to the will of the Edmundite community; after the ordination he will continue his work at the college, at least until the end of this semester. He is scheduled to be ordained a priest on Sept. 16 at St. Michael's College.
 
The faithful of the Diocese of Burlington are invited to the ordination Mass.
 
 
  • Published in Diocesan

St. Michael’s College a 2017 ‘Best College Value’

St. Michael’s College in Colchester has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of the Top 300 Best College Values of 2017. Schools making the list “embody exceptional academic quality and affordability,” according to Kiplinger’s.
 
St. Michael’s also was a Kiplinger’s Best College Value of 2016.
 
Introduced in 1998, the rankings highlight public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost, and this year combine those three categories into a single, comprehensive list. In addition, Kiplinger has ranked the top 100 best values in each category, and St. Michael’s earned a spot on the magazine’s list of “100 best values in private universities.”
 
Kiplinger assesses value by measurable standards of academic quality and affordability. Quality measures include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid and average debt at graduation.
 
“I’m thrilled to see St. Michael’s included on the Kiplinger’s Best Value list again this year,” said Michael Stefanowicz, St. Michael’s director of admission. “What a wonderful accolade that celebrates our campus-wide commitment to a high quality liberal arts education, as well as the innovation and care that are characteristic of our focus on affordability and retention.”
 
Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, said that with the rankings, which weigh affordability alongside academic quality, “our goal is to help students and their parents understand what’s really worth the price … [and] all 300 schools on the list are of extraordinary value, being chosen out of a universe of 1,200.”
 
At Kiplinger.com, visitors have access to the "Find the Best College for You” tool and other tools that let readers sort by admission rate, average debt at graduation and other criteria for all schools, plus in-state and out-of-state cost for public universities.
 
The complete rankings are now available online at kiplinger.com/links/colleges and will appear in print in the February 2017 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands Jan. 3.
 
St. Michael’s College, founded on principles of social justice and compassion, is a selective, fully residential Catholic college. Its closely connected community delivers internationally-respected liberal arts and graduate education. To prepare for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives, young adults there grow intellectually, socially and morally, learning to be responsible for themselves, each other and their world.
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