Vermont Catholic magazine and the Diocese of Burlington’s communications team continued their long-time winning streak as together they earned nine awards at the 2021 Virtual Catholic Media Conference June 10.

The awards included a prestigious second place in the “Best Diocesan Magazine” category. Vermont Catholic magazine has been recognized as one of the best diocesan magazines in the country and Canada for the last four years.

Alayna Masker, communication manager for the Diocese of Burlington, earned an honorable mention in the Social Media Professional of the Year category, and columnist Kay Winchester earned two accolades.

“When the churches all closed due to the pandemic, communication was especially important to keep the Catholic community connected,” said Ellen Kane, executive director of development and communications for the Diocese. “Our team rose to the challenge by quickly shifting to livestream and digital platforms to deliver more than 200 faith activities, including daily and Sunday Mass, daily rosary and Adoration, bible study, book club, daily liturgy reflections by [Burlington] Bishop Christopher Coyne and so much more. The challenges this pandemic brought did not impact the quality and ingenuity of my team, and I couldn’t be prouder of the well-earned recognition we received.”

The full list of awards follows:

Best Magazine — Diocesan Magazines: Second Place, Vermont Catholic

Best Package – Covid Pandemic Outreach Communications Plan: Honorable mention, Diocese of Burlington, Vermont Catholic Online Ministries

Best Use of Typography: Honorable Mention, Vermont Catholic (Mary-Margaret Carroll), Archive Detectives

Best Guest Column/Commentary: Honorable Mention, Vermont Catholic, Walking in a good way: Abenaki Catholicism in Ndakinna by Damian Costello

Best Regular Column — General Commentary: Third Place, Vermont Catholic, Reflections by Kay Winchester

Best Title and Lead-In: Honorable Mention, Vermont Catholic, “It was a shocking sight, really” by Kay Winchester

Social Media Professional of the Year: Honorable Mention, Diocese of Burlington, Alayna Masker

Best Initiative or Campaign – Package: First Place, Christ Our Hope, Diocese of Burlington

Best Use of Photos in Social Media: First Place, Diocese of Burlington, Year with the Saints

The purpose of the Catholic Press Awards is to acknowledge the outstanding work of its publisher and communication members as they strive to further the mission of the Church. On a daily basis they inform, inspire and educate readers keeping them connected to their faith and telling the story of the Church. It is those contributions that are recognized through these awards.

With the diversity of Catholic communications today, the awards program offers the opportunity for individuals with various skill sets to submit their best work for critical review. Participants choose categories organized by different media that feature writing, design, production and editing skills, and submit in sub-categories separated by intent such as news and feature stories.

The virtual conference June 8-10 included educational sessions and regional roundtables discussion focused on editorial, communications, business, advertising and digital media.