POSTER CONTEST WINNERS--Three students from St. Francis Xavier School in Winooski were named as winners in the Vermont Foreign Language Association Poster Contest. The 2017 poster contest theme was Global Citizens “Listen to Understand." In the elementary school division, fourth grader Addy Eldred took first place, and fifth grader Roma Vallabhaneni took second place. In the middle school division, eighth grader Melanie Dostie took first place. The winners, pictured with French teacher Hélène Guariglia and Spanish teacher Jackie Becker, had their posters displayed at the Vermont Foreign Language Association's state convention and received a cash prize, a certificate and a packet of note cards made from their winning designs.
By John McMahon
Faith formation director, Holy Family-St. Lawrence Parish, Essex Junction
ESSEX JUNCTION--Ever since I saw the relics of Blessed Pier Giorgio in Poland last summer, I have been referring to our group as the “Informal Association of Suspicious Characters.” We haven’t really advertised the name as much as we should, but that is what I think of it as.
Our group meets on alternating Thursday nights at St. Pius X Church. Now that our regular sessions are concluded for the year, we plan to meet three or four times during the summer for some special events like a canoe trip and hike.
The previous youth group here had pretty much dissolved the previous year after a large group graduated from high school. To restart, several changes were made in the fall. For example, we had meals together every other time during the sessions. I also made a commitment to put a lot more planning time into the planning of the sessions. Because we were starting from the ground floor and most of the kids didn’t know each other well, we spent a lot of time getting to know one another. Then we had serious discussions fairly regularly. We had 28 kids come to our opening night. But, the numbers shrank over the months & school kicked in. By the end, we had established a core group of 10-12 with another five or six that come when they can.
Our mission is to create a space for our high school youth that allows them to have fun, build solid trusting relationships with other kids they might not get to know in school and discuss matters of depth that shape who they are and are becoming (faith, family relationships, current events, etc.).
The team is composed of Andrew Coulter, Edmundite Father Lino Oropeza, Elissa Lee, Sean Siemen and me.
A typical session includes prayer, games, a YouTube segment, discussion and meal.
Bible campESSEX JUNCTION—The annual Vacation Bible School will take place July 17-21 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Hoehl Room at Holy Family-St. Lawrence Parish Center, 36 Lincoln St. For more information, call Faith Formation Director John McMahon at 878-5331. Everyone is welcome, Catholic or non-Catholic.
Reflection seriesISLE LAMOTTE—On July 26 the Reflection Series at St. Anne’s Shrine will feature Edmundite Father Stephen Hornat. Mass will be celebrated at 11:15 a.m. followed by the presentation and lunch.
Rice graduationSOUTH BURLINGTON—Last month 102 students graduated from Rice Memorial High School. They will attend 65 different colleges and universities throughout the country. Isabel Geffken was named Miss Rice 2017; Mr. Rice 2017 is Jack Lyons.
Kathleen Garret of Stowe and a graduate of The Bishop John A. Marshall School in Morrisville was valedictorian. She spoke to her classmates about the many moments she'll remember, especially after spending a semester abroad and appreciating her Rice experience even more. Allison Babbitt of Jericho, salutatorian, spoke to her classmates about time.
Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne delivered the commencement address and conferred the diplomas. Sister of Mercy Laura DellaSanta, principal, also addressed the Class of 2017.
Eighty-nine percent of the graduates will attend a four-year college.
Reflection seriesISLE LAMOTTE—On July 19 the Reflection Series at St. Anne’s Shrine will feature Edmundite Deacon Michael Carter. Mass at will be celebrated at 11:15 a.m. followed by the presentation and lunch.
Bike rackBy Cori Fugere Urban
Vermont Catholic content editor/staff reporter
SOUTH BURLINGTON— Ian Barr, an accountant for the Diocese of Burlington, noticed that only a few employees at the Joy Drive diocesan headquarters were riding their bike to work, and he thought more might if the bike rack outside the building were sturdier.
“We are trying to have more employees bike to work, and the previous bike rack we had was not encouraging,” he said. “It was so small someone could have walked off with the entire rack with bikes on it. There are only a few employees who bike to work now, but we are hoping to have that number increase by eliminating excuses not to ride.”
Barr asked his father, James L. Barr, director for transportation for the University of Vermont in Burlington, if the diocese could get one of the university’s old racks, and he obliged.
New to the diocesan headquarters, the 10-foot double-entry bike rack can hold more than a dozen bikes, which can be parked and locked from either direction. “It helps to alternate parking of bikes on either side of the rack to allow for more space between bikes and less potential damage of bikes falling into each other,” James Barr explained.
He is involved with bringing bikeshare to Burlington and the region to provide another option for people to use that avoids the traffic and congestion of driving alone in a car or truck. “I am one of the original members of a team composed of members from several area organizations who feel bike sharing is a great opportunity to improve the health and fitness of people within our region as well as for a bikeshare bike to be one of the multiple legs in a commute for people to take in getting to work or to any destination along our bikeshare routes,” he said.
The team is composed of James Barr; Abby Bleything, sustainable transportation coordinator at the university; Nic Anderson, sustainable transportation coordinator at Champlain College in Burlington; Bryan Davis, a senior transportation planner for the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission; Sandy Thibault, executive director; and Katie Martin, program and marketing manager for the Chittenden Area Transportation Management Association.
James Barr hopes to switch the donated racks with new ones as they become available.
“We would also be interested in having a conversation should the diocese consider having one of the bikeshare rack hubs located near any particular place or activity which helps move people around,” he said.
Of the 300 bikes the group intends to deploy during a three-phase process, 25 percent are intended to be electric assist bikes. “These bikes will not be completely electric but will have a boosting capability to help less athletic riders use our system as well as getting people back up the big hills towards our campus,” he explained.
In the diocese’s Year of Creation, aimed at fostering increased care of the Earth, Ian Barr said, “I am glad we can work together to help the planet for our future generations.”
New walkwaySOUTH BURLINGTON—A new pathway connecting diocesan property at 55 Joy Drive to Rice Memorial High School property is making it easier for people to pass between the two.
After extensive permitting with the City of South Burlington, removal of dirt and the installation of borders, sand and pavers, the walkway was completed in the spring.
The walkway was installed to allow better, safer movement between the two properties.
The Diocese of Burlington spent about $13,000 for the walkway; families associated with the Lund center on Joy Drive also use it, but there is not a permanent right of way.
The installation of the brick walkway will allow the path to be snowplowed and salted in the winter.
Knights’ PilgrimageISLE LAMOTTE—On July 16 the Vermont Knights of Columbus Pilgrimage will take place at St. Anne’s Shrine. Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne will celebrate Mass at 12:15 p.m.
Destination Baltimore: Bringing Joy To God’s Children participants gather in front of Oriole Park.
WINOOSKI-- Fathers and sons had the opportunity to share some baseball, educational activities, daily Mass/prayer, mission work and fun during “Destination Baltimore: Bringing Joy To God’s Children.”
The Baltimore Orioles played the Boston Red Sox all three of the games the Vermont group attended.
There were 25 students and 21 chaperones from the St. Francis Xavier Golden
Angels Baseball Team on the June 1-4 trip that included daily Mass, the presentation of 60 half gallons of Vermont maple syrup to Orioles team members, batting practice, a meet and greet with Baltimore Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette, a visit to Fort McHenry National Park, a visit to Babe Ruth’s birthplace and community service at Brooklyn O’Malley Pal Center Boys & Girls Club and the Catonsville YMCA.
Gregory P. Clairmont of St. Francis Xavier Parish is coach of the St. Francis Xavier Golden Angels baseball team and founder of the Thomas P. Clairmont Baseball Foundation, sponsor of the trip.
“Destination Baltimore brought a sincere meaning to the word dedication,” he said. “With Jesus as ‘Our True Model’, the players from the St. Francis Xavier Golden Angels Baseball Team brought to fruition an evangelization of responsibility and hope, a deepening conviction that goodness, discipline and knowledge, when applied, creates most assuredly, monumental changes, in themselves, and moreover, the children whom they so genuinely served with gladness.”
One of the aspects that Father Scott Gratton, parochial vicar of St. Francis Xavier Parish who participated in the trip found special about it was the participation of fathers and sons. “There are not many opportunities anymore where fathers and sons can grow in their faith and authentic manhood, together,” he said. “It was beautiful to see fathers and sons taking care of inner-city school kids, as well as helping each other clear trees and brush at the local YMCA. Most importantly, as there Spiritual Father, it was so special for me to see fathers and sons-- kneeling side-by- side-- at Mass, together. It is good for young men to see their father praying, and this trip allowed them to see that in an exponential way.”
“Our journey to Baltimore was nothing less than amazing,” commented Rob Roy, father of Greg and Zac. The boys “saw first-hand how helping others can bring joy not only to those who may be less fortunate, but also joy to themselves.”
“What I liked best is when we went to the Boys & Girls Club and gave the kids lunch and played whiffle ball with them. It was great to help out, and I loved to see them run around, have fun, and smile,” said Zac Roy, 15. “Volunteering at the YMCA was hard work, but fun.”
“I hope all the boys on this trip recognize how special it was. I know it is something I will never forget,” said Travis St. Peter, one of the fathers on the trip.
St. Francis Xavier School Principal Eric Becker said The Destination Baltimore trip was an incredible experience for the students of the Saint Francis Xavier School baseball team. “It is difficult to imagine a journey that could combine as much faith, service to others, educational opportunities, and fun as this amazing expedition did.”
Reflection seriesISLE LAMOTTE—On July 12 the Reflection Series at St. Anne’s Shrine will feature Msgr. Richard Lavalley. Mass will be celebrated at 11:15 a.m. followed by the presentation and lunch.
Brunch and kayak raffleFRANKLIN—The St. Mary Church Brunch and Kayak Raffle will take place at 145 Square Road on Sunday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is adults $9; children 7-16; $5; children 6 and under, free. This is an all-you-can-eat brunch. The winner of kayak raffle will be picked at the brunch.
For more information call 933-2496, 285-6730, 933-2496 or 285-6730.