Dear Diocesan Families:

The Diocese of Burlington, along with other Catholic school systems in New England, celebrated Catholic Schools Week in November. Students and staff participated in daily events to strengthen the Catholic identity of our schools in Vermont.

More than 650 students and educators joined Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne in a special Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Burlington on Nov. 8. Students were dressed in uniform, carried their school banners, and students participated in the Mass to represent their school. The St. Francis Xavier School Choir, from Winooski, graced us with the voices of their children that resonated soulfully throughout the cathedral. This was truly a beautiful Mass!

Students from Vermont sent letters to Bishop Coyne following the Mass, and the quotes below touched our hearts:

“I hope to visit your lovely cathedral again in my lifetime. I will never forget this amazing experience!”

“I humbly thank you for inviting us to celebrate the Eucharist in such a beautiful place. I have never felt happier.”

“I loved seeing all of the other Catholic schools in Vermont at the most beautiful Mass ever.”

“I thought the cathedral was so beautiful. I loved Bishop Coyne’s story about planting seeds in the fields. I am so thankful to have been able to travel all the way to Burlington.”

“I had never been to Burlington before and it was great to be in a big city in a small state. It was a wonderful Mass and a cool adventure.”

“Thank you to Superintendent Grenville for paying for our bus ride. The cathedral was beautiful.”

“The Mass was so beautiful I could feel Jesus the whole time.”

This year, the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) is celebrating Catholic Schools Week Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. The Diocese of Burlington celebrates being Catholic and continually strives to enhance our Catholic faith-filled education, academic excellence and a strong sense of community all year long.

So, in honor of the NCEA week and the theme of “Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed,” we have created a statewide poster that represents students from each of our schools. This poster will be disseminated to all our parishes and Catholic schools. I encourage you to read what our students have to say and embrace their loving sentiments.

If you want to learn more about Catholic schools for the children and teenagers in your life, please contact me at lgreville@vermontcatholic.org or visit vermontcatholic.org/catholicschools.

Respect and love,

—Lisa Lamondie-Grenville, superintendent of schools

—Originally published in the Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2019, issue of The Inland See

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