Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne poses with the Mater Christi Bulldog Builders Team after being presented with a 3D copy of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral after a school Mass on April 4.
BURLINGTON—3D Vermont, an annual competition among Vermont schools, challenges students to create digital 3D-printed models of historic town buildings and to study the history and background of both the buildings and the towns.
On March 24, 13 teams, including a team from Mater Christi School in Burlington, the Bulldog Builders, joined the competition at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.
The Vermont Agency of Education working with several other entities organized the event.
Judges worked through the morning, reviewing presentations, models and drawings and at noon, prizes were awarded. A People’s Choice Award was given to Mater Christi School for the second year in a row.
Mater Christi’s inspiration came through religion teacher Julia Melloni, who explained that the study of sacred art and architecture falls under the Church History curriculum in eighth grade. Last year, in order to help her students understand how the unique architecture of churches “calls people to prayer,” she decided that guiding the students in learning about the churches in Vermont could best be done through the 3D Vermont competition.
When the MCS team was informed that Bishop Christopher Coyne would be celebrating Mass at the school on April 4, Melloni and the team decided that the bishop might appreciate receiving a 3D copy of the St. Joseph Co-Cathedral. Arrangements were made so that the group could present the Bishop with the figurine immediately following Mass. He said it would join other valued items on his office desk.
Program on immigrantsBURLINGTON--On Sunday, March 19, Sister of Mercy Kathleen Erickson addressed a large audience of people who gathered for the opportunity to hear from someone who had personal, in-depth experience of men, women and children who have left their countries looking for a better place to live and work.
Sister Erickson of Omaha, Neb., e initiated the immigrant detainee accompaniment program there. She also spent 18 years at the U.S./Mexican border working with immigrants in detention situations. In addition, she served as interim chaplain at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.
Her message highlighted the experiences of women and children who because they are undocumented immigrants have been incarcerated in less than comfortable living conditions and then after many months are deported. In many instances, mothers and children were separated from each other for reasons that were seldom explained to the mothers.
Sister Erickson indicated that with current efforts to find and send undocumented persons back to their homeland, the problems will be exacerbated by the fact of sheer numbers since from the beginning, the United States had been known as a place of refuge and new opportunities with few reminders given to the immigrants that travel papers should be regarded seriously.
Sister Erickson’s presentation began and ended with the mantra, “We are One.” This may have helped spark a feeling of identification among attendees as they gifted her, during the reception that followed, with a check of $1,000 to aid her in her work.
The Vermont Mercy Associates hosted the reception.
Sister of Mercy Lindora Cabral, a former president of the Northeast Community of the Sisters Mercy, coordinated the event.
According to the register signed by participants in the afternoon’s event, people had traveled from a variety of towns in northwest Vermont as well as from New York. One interested observer was Haley Pero, a staff member in Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office in Burlington, who indicated that his office would be interested in “keeping the conversation going.”
Divine Mercy Holy HourHIGHGATE CENTER—There will be a Divine Mercy Holy Hour on April 23 at St. Louis Church from 3 to 4 p.m. Confessions will be available a half hour before and after the Holy Hour. For more information call 868-7535.
Mercy for Our Common HomeESSEX JUNCTION—On April 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Holy Family-St. Lawrence Parish Center there will be an event in honor of Global Catholic Climate Movement’s Mercy2Earth Weekend (Earth Day April 22 and Mercy Sunday April 23) the parish will host round table discussions on parish initiatives for creation sustainability. Topics will include renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, clean water, living simply, impacts on communities and eco-spirituality. Evening prayer focused on Pope Francis 2016 statement "Show Mercy to our Common Home" will accompany the discussion. Non-parishioners are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, call the parish office at 878-5331.
Evening Prayer for Healing and PeaceSWANTON—There will be a prayer service for those who have experienced abuse and neglect, in commemorating National Child Abuse Prevention Month on Wednesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 65 Canada Street, Swanton. For more information, call 802-868-4262.
Spring indoor lawn and rummage saleESSEX JUNCTION—Members of Catholic Daughters Court Fanny Allen #1060 is seeking items for their indoor lawn and rummage sale taking place at Holy Family Parish Center on Friday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Drop off your items to Holy Family Parish Center (lower level) on Thursday, April 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They are accepting good, clean, usable and ready to wear spring and summer clothing and footwear for all age groups; bedroom; bathroom and kitchen items; along with miscellaneous lawn sale items. No large appliances/furniture, ski/exercise equipment, Reader’s Digest/National Geographic books, car seats or baby furniture.
For more information call Louise at 878-8407 or Brooke at 878-5879.
Scout MassBURLINGTON--Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne celebrated a special Scout Mass Feb. 26.
The scouts received awards in a ceremony after the Mass, and the bishop reminded them about the importance of reverence in scouting.
The Catholic Committee on Scouting hosted the celebration at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral.
Eight Boys Scouts earned their Ad Altari Dei award:
*Frankie Ellis-Monaghan and Isaiah Ellis-Monaghan from St. Rose of Lima Church in Grande Isle;
*Andrew Koval and Dylan Koval from Holy Angels Church in St. Albans:
*Jeremy Little from Ascension Church in Georgia;
*Richard Cosgrove, Zachary Botala and Andrew Cashmar from St. Peter Church in Vergennes.
Also, three adults earned medals:
*David Ely II from St. Joseph Co-Cathedral and Bernie Byrne from St. John the Evangelist Church in Northfield earned their Bronze Pelican;
*Norbert Vogl from Holy Cross Church in Colchester earned his St. George Award.
Book fairSOUTH BURLINGTON—The Rice Memorial High School Library and Barnes and Noble Book Fair will take place on May 19 and 20 in the bookstore and online at bn.com/bookfairs from May 19-25. This offers Rice students required reading for the school year 2017-2018 and supports the school library. For more information, contact Ann Kenney, Rice librarian, at 862-6521.
‘The Journey of Life’ retreatFAIRFAX—There will be a one-day retreat hosted by the Fairfax Knights of Columbus on Saturday, May 20, at St. Luke Church on Huntville Road.
The retreat will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Father Henry Furman, pastor, will speak about children as the crowning gift of marriage though many couples suffer from infertility. This talk looks at the "reproductive technology" industry that has emerged to provide a solution. Is it licit to manufacture human life? Does anyone have a right to a child? Do these techniques and therapies truly promote the good and flourishing of the man and woman? What about the innocent human life produced? Is conception in glass (in vitro) in keeping with human dignity? What about the destruction of embryos? or their freezing? Does the technique assist the marriage act or replace it?
Mary Beerworth, executive director of Vermont Right to Life Inc., will explain how Vermont Right to Life covers all aspects of preserving life. What are the challenges Vermont Right to Life Committee faces in Vermont? She will touch on important issues such as abortion, physician assisted suicide and promoting adoption.
Mass will be celebrated and lunch will be provided.
Other talks will focus on Natural Family Planning, "Adoption: A Beautiful Life" and “Amazing Grace.”
For more information, call the parish at 802-849-6205.
Prudential Spirit of Community Award
Nidhi Konnanur poses with her parents, Kanchana and Hari Konnanur, all of Essex Junction.
BURLINGTON--Nidhi Konnanur of Essex Junction, an eighth grader at Mater Christi School, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award granted by the program on behalf of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and signed by Barak Obama. Patrick Lofton, president of Mater Christi School, presented Nidhi with these documents at a recent school assembly.
Presented annually by the Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honors young people throughout the United States for outstanding volunteer service.
Certificates of Excellence are granted to the top 10 percent of all Prudential Spirit of Community Award applicants in each state and the District of Columbia.
President’s Volunteer Service Awards recognize Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country. Mater Christi School nominated Nidhi for national honors last fall in recognition of her volunteer service.
She helps cook at the Salvation Army each month, volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, raised $300 for children at a cancer hospital and helped teach children English in a school at Ram Krishna during the two months that her family was visiting there. She and her family regularly donate school supplies, toothbrushes and books to the needy children at Ram Krishna.
Nidhi said that what got her started with her volunteer efforts was the time she gave a breakfast bar to a hungry, homeless man. “The smile I received got me thinking of others who have so much less than I,” she said.
“Prudential is honored to celebrate the contributions of these remarkable young volunteers,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “By shining a spotlight on the difference they’ve made in their world, we hope others are inspired to volunteer too.”
Volunteer activities were judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.
St. Michael’s College commencement speakerCOLCHESTER--U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., a 1977 graduate of St. Michael’s College and the nation’s highest-ranking military officer since 2015 as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be the commencement speaker and will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters at his alma mater on Sunday, May 14, in the Ross Sports Center.
St. Michael’s President Jack Neuhauser said Dunford has maintained a proud and fond identification with St. Michael’s since the general graduated as a political science major in 1977, the year he was commissioned as a Marine before rising rapidly in key leadership, planning and battlefield postings both domestically and abroad while building a solid reputation and broad popularity.
“General Dunford has graciously returned to campus for alumni events and participated in programs on world issues over the years, and has welcomed St. Michael’s delegations to his office in the Pentagon when he was Marine commandant before his elevation to his present post,” Neuhauser said.
Also receiving honorary degrees from their alma mater during the commencement ceremony will be: Loung Ung ’93, a bestselling author, activist and co-writer of a Netflix Original Movie directed by Angelina Jolie based on Ung’s memoir, “First They Killed My Father;” Tracy Romano ‘86, an internationally prominent marine biologist who leads the research team at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut; and Brian Lacey ’72, president of Lacey Entertainment in New York and a veteran leader of the global entertainment business specializing in original programs for the U.S. and world marketplace with major successes that have included Pokémon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Divine Mercy DevotionsESSEX JUNCTION--Divine Mercy Devotions, the sung chaplet, will take place April 23 from 3 to 4 p.m. at Holy Family Church, 36 Lincoln St. Confessions will be heard beginning at 2 p.m. and after the 3 p.m. service. For more information, call Holy Family Parish Office at 878-5331.
Health and Wellness FairWILLISTON—There will be a Health and Wellness Fair April 30 from 1130 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 7415 Williston Road. For more information, call Doris Van Mullen at 615-390-9965.
Genealogy classesCOLCHESTER—The following classes will be offered at the Vermont Genealogy Library.
* Searching for English Ancestors with FINDMYPAST, April 22:
FINDMYPAST is the premier online resource for research in the British Isles and Ireland. Learn how to find the record sets that relate to your ancestors. Marcie Crocker will describe search strategies and provide advice on interpreting the results. She will do some actual online searches, so bring some names, dates and places.
* Italian Genealogy Roundtable, April 29:
By the late 1800's Italian-Americans were a major ethnic population in Vermont. This will be a discussion of the most successful strategies for following the family histories of the Italian settlers and pursuing those lines back to Italy. Participants will discuss websites, issues with language, record keeping and naming conventions. Bring your stories and challenges to take a look at what works and where to search. This talk is free and open to the public.
* Genealogy Research in New York State, May 6:
Vital records and other sources can be difficult to locate in New York State due to the lengthy period of settlement and the lack of a consistent and centralized system of recording genealogical events. That does not mean that New York State lacks records, merely that they are scattered and harder to locate. And a great collection of state census records can often compensate for other lapses. Join Dr. Anastasia Pratt, Clinton County historian, for a valuable look the Empire State's records.
Classes at the Vermont Genealogy Library are $5 (Italian Genealogy roundtable is free). Classes run from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The library is located on Hegeman Avenue, Fort Ethan Allen, Colchester. Parking and entrance are across from the state police building. Visit vtgenlib.org or call 802-310-9285 for more details.