Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this Year of “Communion: Creed, Worship & Life,” we celebrate our unity in faith as one Catholic community. Our doors are once again wide open, and we are gathering together in prayer, song and worship.

With great joy we celebrate baptisms, First Communions, confirmations and weddings. In sadness and hope, we are able to mourn the death of our loved ones at funerals and Memorial Masses. The Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of the Sick are being renewed as Covid protocols are relaxed. And we Catholics continue to do what we do so well as we feed the hungry, visit the sick and the elderly, support our families and shepherd our children in the faith. This past Easter, our churches were filled once again with many friends and parishioners whom we have missed over the past two years. It is a “renaissance,” a rebirth. God is good.

We have much to celebrate — at the Rite of Election at the beginning of Lent we had the largest number of candidates in more than seven years — men and women who entered the Church at the Easter Vigil. We have seven candidates preparing to be ordained to the permanent diaconate this fall. I have ordained two men to the priesthood in May. In the January cold of Montpelier, we had the largest “Rally for Life” in years. We are seeing a steady increase in Catholic school enrollment. But here’s the challenge.

We need your financial support to keep the momentum going. The pastoral and financial stress of the last two years has had a significant impact on the Bishop’s Annual Appeal which supports all these ministries, including emergency aid to the rising number of families in crisis. While care will be taken to stay within our means, we want to do so in a way that does not impact the important work that we are doing.

This is where we need your help. Please prayerfully consider a gift this year, so our Catholic Church can continue to thrive.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Christopher J. Coyne

Bishop of Burlington

—Originally published in the Summer 2022 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.