Parishioners of St. Peter Church in Vergennes and their pastor are reaching out to the nearly 300 migrant workers in Addison County, and one way they are doing so is hosting a celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Mass in Spanish will be celebrated at 6 p.m. on the feast, Thursday, Dec. 12. Edmundite Father Marcel Rainville of St. Michael’s College in Colchester will be the celebrant, and music in Spanish will be provided.

The Mass will be followed by “a meal of some of the migrant workers’ favorite foods — pizza and chicken wings,” said Patti Cartier, the parish administrative assistant.  Entertainment will follow.

The celebration is part of the efforts of the parish’s Disciple Maker team, the group charged with implementing actions called for by the recent Diocesan Synod.

“Our eyes were opened at our first meetings with a few of the migrant workers and members of the non-profit organization Addison Allies who help support the migrant workers in Addison county,” said Cartier, a member of the Disciple Maker team.

It was at this meeting that parishioners learned that one of the migrants’ greatest longings is to be able to celebrate the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe, which is central to their culture. “It was this discussion that helped us to realize that this need was not being met within our Catholic community and thus it was one of the first things that we worked on in order to be able to give them the gift of this important celebration of the Feast of our Lady Guadalupe,” Cartier said. “Our community is looking forward to celebrating this Mass with them.”

Also as part of outreach to area migrant workers, Father Yvon Royer, pastor of St. Peter Church and also of St. Ambrose Church in Bristol, has begun to visit local farms where migrant workers are present to support them in their spiritual and daily life journey. In these visits, he makes the Sacrament of Reconciliation available and informs them of Mass times and the availability of meals, rides and clothes.

“This new focus for our Parishes is bringing blessings to our parishes in two ways,” Cartier said. “We are excited to have a few of our migrant workers begin to join us at our parish Masses, and it has also brought awareness and excitement to our parishioners who have shown great desire to be involved and to be a part of this ministry. We are excited for what God has in store for our communities.”

Father Royer said he likes to see the sparkle in people’s eyes when they hear that the parish communities are reaching out to a segment of the community who have been “underserved for so many years,” and he continues to be impressed with the desire of the parishioners to serve all of the people of Addison County.

For more information go to