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CHRISTMAS PAGEANT--Students sing during the St. Francis Xavier School annual Christmas Pageant at the Rice Memorial High School gymnasium in South Burlington. All students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade at the Winooski Catholic school participated in the pageant, which is a re-telling of the story of the birth of Jesus, accompanied by traditional Christmas carols. –Submitted photo
 

Regional listening session

BURLINGTON—As part of the diocesan synod process, there will be a listening session with Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne on Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The bishop will be the moderator, and participants will be asked to share their thoughts on what the Catholic Church in Vermont is doing well, what it could be doing better and what it is not doing but should be doing. Those who cannot attend are invited to share their thoughts via an online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/VermontSynod.

Concert of diversified music

ST. ALBANS--The Village Green in St. Albans is graced with several churches that all have important pipe organs. Dr. William Tortolano, former organist and music director at one of them, Immaculate Conception Church (St. Mary’s) for six years, will present a concert of diversified music on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m., performing on the historic Casavant organ in St. Mary’s.
 
The concert coincides with Tortolano’s 88th birthday (Jan. 25).
 
The program includes Baroque compositions by Froberger, Buxtehude, Pachelbel, J.S. Bach; contemporary settings of American folk tunes; and litanies by Alain.
 
Allegra Tortolano Havens, violinist, will join her father in a setting of Christ Lag In Todesbanden by Bender and Fantasie for solo violin by Telemann.  A native of Underhill, she is violinist with the Virginia Symphony, leader of the Harbor String Quartet and faculty member at the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts.
 
Four singers, all members of the Vermont Gregorian Chant Schola, will sing the Gregorian Magnificat in alternation with the organ setting, Fugues on The Magnificat by Telemann. The soloists are Dr. Patrick Mahoney, John Schreindorfer, Jerry Proulx, Jake Barickman and Dr. Robert Hayward.
 
Tortolano, for 50 years a professor and organist at St. Michael's College with longtime emeritus status in both roles, was honored by Pope Benedict XVI with the distinguished honor, the Papal Award, Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice for his worldwide expertise on Gregorian Chant. He is a graduate of Boston University, The New England Conservatory of Music and L’Université de Montreal. He also is founder and director of the Vermont Gregorian Chant Schola, based at St. Michael’s, and was director of the College’s Glee Club and Chorale for decades.
 
The concert is free and open to the public; free-will donations will be accepted.
 

Vermont Ecumenical Council prayer service

BURLINGTON--The Vermont Ecumenical Council will have a prayer service in observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at 3 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the Catholic Center at the University of Vermont, co-hosted by Cooperative Campus Ministries – the ecumenical Protestant chaplaincy at the university.
 
The Rev. Dr. John Armstrong, a Chicago-based minister of the Reformed Church in America and scholar of the Reformation, will be the featured preacher.
 
The Catholic Center at UVM is at 390 South Prospect St.
 
A reception will follow the service.
 
Armstrong will be in Vermont Jan. 21-23 as guest of the Vermont Ecumenical Council; during his visit he will meet with regional groups of Christian leaders, participate in classes at area academic institutions and be the keynoter at a public forum about the Reformation on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. at St. Michael’s College in Colchester.
 
About the speaker
Dr. John H. Armstrong is an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. He founded and became the first president of the ACT3 Network (Advancing the Christian Tradition in the Third Millennium) in 1991 (see act3network.com). ACTS3 is currently in the process of becoming an intentional ecumenical community designed for the healing of the North American church. He is the author/editor of 14 books, including his newest, “Costly Love: The Way to True Unity for All the Followers of Jesus” (New City Press, 2017). He serves as senior adviser to the Christian History Institute and has helped to produce several documentaries on church history and renewal, including most recently This Changed Everything! in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (see thischangedeverything.com). He was a keynote speaker at the 2017 National Workshop on Christian Unity in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2017 (see nwcu.org, and on Facebook “National Workshop on Christian Unity”). He is married to Anita and has lived in suburban Chicago since 1969. He is the father of two adult married children and the grandfather of two girls and two boys.
 

Panel discussion on the Reformation

COLCHESTER—There will be a panel discussion on the Reformation on Jan. 23 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Pomerleau Alumni Center, 1 Observation Lane, near St. Michael’s College.
 
The Vermont Ecumenical Council will sponsor this ecumenical forum with John Armstrong, an expert scholar on the Reformation, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The forum will feature a presentation by Armstrong about the recent film he helped produce about the Reformation, “This Changed Everything,” with responses and commentary by a panel of area Reformation scholars. The forum is free, and all are welcome.
 
About the speaker
Dr. John H. Armstrong is an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. He founded and became the first president of the ACT3 Network (Advancing the Christian Tradition in the Third Millennium) in 1991 (see act3network.com). ACTS3 is currently in the process of becoming an intentional ecumenical community designed for the healing of the North American church. He is the author/editor of 14 books, including his newest, “Costly Love: The Way to True Unity for All the Followers of Jesus” (New City Press, 2017). He serves as senior adviser to the Christian History Institute and has helped to produce several documentaries on church history and renewal, including most recently This Changed Everything! in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (see thischangedeverything.com). He was a keynote speaker at the 2017 National Workshop on Christian Unity in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2017 (see nwcu.org, and on Facebook “National Workshop on Christian Unity”). He is married to Anita and has lived in suburban Chicago since 1969. He is the father of two adult married children and the grandfather of two girls and two boys.

Study: Who Am I to Judge?

ESSEX JUNCTION-- Study: Who Am I to Judge? is a four-week study from FORMED.org, an in-depth look at the relativistic outlook that pervades modern world and what can be done about it. This will take place at Holy Family Parish Center on Lincoln Street on Jan. 25 and Feb. 1, 8 and 15 from 7 to 8 p.m. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mater Christo student honors


Ella Byers is surrounded by family. Her parents, Sara and Kelly Byers, are pictured at right.
BURLINGTON--Ella Byers of Shelburne, a seventh grader at the Mater Christi School, won honors recently at the state level of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, the largest youth recognition program in the United States based exclusively on volunteer community service. Created in 1995 by Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the program honors middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state and national level. Ella has participated in the Lund Bike-a-thon for eight years, camped out in the middle of winter twice for Spectrum and has volunteered for the Ronald McDonald house during the holidays.
 
Also honored for their service were Gaia Lenox of Fletcher, Lauren McCabe of South Burlington, Kayleigh McCullen of Fairfax and Clara Hershey of Colchester who each received a Merit Award from the same program.

Mater Christi open house

BURLINGTON—There will be an open house at Mater Christi School on Feb. 7 from 8:30 to 11 a.m.
 
Mater Christi is a private, Catholic school sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Mercy Education System of the Americas that is located at 50 Mansfield Ave. in Burlington. The school combines rigorous, 21st-century academics with a global philosophy in the Mercy tradition. Students are encouraged to discover their gifts and talents and become the best version of themselves.
 
Register to attend the open house to learn more about the school or call 802-658-3992 to schedule a personal tour or "shadow day.”
 


CHRISTMAS CHEER--The Leprechauns 4-H Club of Johnson visit St. Joseph Residential Care Home in Burlington to sing Christmas songs to the residents. They brought Christmas ornaments they had made for each resident and for staff members. The Johnson group also played bingo with residents. This was their fourth year doing this. Members range from the age of five to 17 and come from Johnson, Eden and Lowell. Christina Holmes, accounts payables/accounts receivable manager for the Diocese of Burlington, has been the leader of this club for 13 years.
 

Knights of Columbus Country Breakfast

UNDERHILL CENTER--The St. Thomas Knights of Columbus will host their monthly Country Breakfast on Sunday, Jan. 14, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. in the parish hall at 6 Green St. The buffet-style breakfast is an all-you-can-eat and includes juice, fruit, eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, home fries and coffee and tea. The cost is by donation.
 

Padre Pio Prayer Group

ESSEX JUNCTION—Holy Family Church will be the site of the rosary, confession and Mass with the Padre Pio Prayer Group Jan. 13 at 8 a.m. followed by intercessory prayers and a presentation in the Hoehl Room in the Parish Center. For more information, call 802-878-5331.
 

Knights of Columbus Breakfast

SOUTH BURLINGTON—The St. John Vianney Knights of Columbus breakfast will take place Jan. 21 from 8 to 11:30 a.m., serving breakfast favorites at St. John Vianney Parish Center. These include scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage and breakfast potatoes. The cost for adults is $6, children $4, family $15 and children under six are admitted free. For more information, call Bernie Hemond at 802-777 8181.
 

Marriage Encounter dinner dance

BURLINGTON--Marriage Encounter will sponsor a dinner dance Feb. 10 from 6 to 10 p.m. at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral parish hall. For more information, contact Gary and Lynn Root at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
Bishop's Fund Annual Appeal