The annual Diocesan Family Mass at St. Anne’s Shrine in Isle LaMotte will take place at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 8.

“The Family Day is a wonderful opportunity for families to come together to pray and recreate as a diocesan family,” said Edmundite Father Brian Cummings, spiritual director of the shrine. “We Edmundites and shrine staff look forward to welcoming our sisters and brothers from throughout the state to enjoy the peaceful grounds and relax in the Lord’s beautiful creation.”

The shrine is located on the shore of Lake Champlain, the site of the first Mass celebrated in what is now Vermont in 1666 by French Jesuit Missionaries.

“St. Anne’s Shrine is the birthplace of Catholicism in our Diocese, and bringing our families and young people to the shrine will give them a better sense of our history and the opportunity to celebrate our shared faith as a Diocese,” Father Cummings said.

After Mass, to be celebrated by Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne, visitors may picnic on the shrine grounds or on the shore of Lake Champlain.

Bring your own picnic lunch or purchase a barbecue lunch at the shrine.

Cost for the barbecue is $10.95 for adults, $6.95 for children 12 and under; and for families of four or more (two adults and two or more children) $35.

The menu will consist of hamburgers and hot dogs with all the fixings, potato salad, chips, cookies, watermelon, soft drinks, lemonade, iced tea and ice cream.

“Pope Francis refers to the Church as ‘a family of families.’ Come join the larger family for a day of prayer, refreshment, fellowship and fun,” said Deacon Phil Lawson, executive director of evangelization, catechesis, divine worship, marriage and family and respect life for the Diocese of Burlington.

One of the goals of the current Year of the Family in the statewide diocese is to share, in Pope Francis’ words, “the Gospel of the Good News of the Family.”

Said Deacon Lawson: “The opportunity for family members, young and old, to come together for Mass, food, running around the beautiful grounds, sitting in the shade or swimming in beautiful Lake Champlain provides many opportunities to visualize that ‘Gospel of the Good News of the Family.’”

The family event will take place rain or shine.

For more information, contact Deacon Lawson at 802-448-3513 or

Originally published in the Summer 2018 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.