On Sept. 8, approximately 90 synod delegates and priests representing every region in the state met for the final pre-synodal meeting to prepare for the upcoming Synod meetings. During the morning session, we took time out of the busy synod agenda to address the immediate crisis our Church is facing with new scandals on the national level and the revisiting of past sins within our local community. I was grateful for the input and encouragement from the delegates to continue to communicate with

you and the larger community about how we have made significant changes in our policies to ensure this does not happen again in Vermont and how we have been successful since these policies were adopted in 2002.

I will be sharing more information in next week’s “Inland See” about the progress we have made and how we will continue to ensure that all members of our family are safe and supported.

In the afternoon, delegates discussed three priority areas that will be the focus of the synod: [1] Evangelization, [2] Building Vibrant Parishes and [3] Improving Communication.

This is been a year-long project and involved collection of input from thousands of parishioners from every parish in Vermont. The priorities were carefully chosen based on the responses from the Catholic community. At the Synod sessions, we will enter into conversation and consultation which will guide a planning process to then enact the policies, laws and directives to carry out that plan in the Vermont Church.

Synod sessions will take place at two locations over the next month (below). All sessions are open to the Catholic community to attend, but delegates will

participate on behalf of the parish(es) they represent.

Oct. 13: Immaculate Conception Church, Burlington;

9 a.m. Mass (optional); 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Synod Session

Oct. 27: St. Anthony Parish, White River Junction; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Synod Session

Nov. 10: Immaculate Conception Church, Burlington;

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Synod Session

May I just take the time now to thank everyone who has participated in the planning process for the Synod, especially the clergy and parish delegates. I am grateful for

the faith, prayers and participation of so many. It has given me hope for a better future. May all that we do and say be for the greater glory of God.

Yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Christopher J. Coyne

Bishop of Burlington

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