The communications efforts of the Diocese of Burlington have, literally, kept up with the times since the Diocese was founded 170 years ago. From the handwritten letters of the first bishop, Bishop Louis deGoësbriand, to the blogs of the 10th and current bishop, Bishop Christopher Coyne, the faithful have been kept informed, educated and inspired.

But it is the printed word that has been most enduring.

The Diocese of Burlington initiated print communication in 1946 with the Vermont edition of Our Sunday Visitor. Under the direction of Bishop Edward Ryan, the weekly Vermont Catholic Tribune was established in 1956. It became a biweekly some 25 years later. In 2009 the print portion of the Diocese’s communications was converted from the biweekly newspaper to a monthly magazine, Vermont Catholic, under the direction of Bishop Salvatore Matano. A more robust magazine has been published quarterly since 2016.

The quarterly magazine offers a rich presentation of in-depth articles, columns, and features expanding on its digital presence and the previous magazine format that Vermonters had grown to appreciate.

Both the Vermont Catholic Tribune and Vermont Catholic magazine have been frequent recipients of Catholic press awards.

Through the years, the staff that produces these award-winning publications has been committed to building up the Kingdom of God here on Earth. A major focus has been shining a light on the good works done by Vermont Catholics from egg farmers in Alburgh who donate a portion of their produce to people in need to the Brattleboro parishioner who has spent decades assisting the food insecure through the parish soup kitchen.

Sometimes a story will motivate others to embark on the same project, like a corporal works of mercy fundraiser at St. Charles Parish in Bellows Falls did. Or readers offer to help an existing project, like a project at St. Augustine Church in Montpelier to sew dresses for girls in need abroad.

“I meet so many inspiring people as I travel throughout Vermont covering stories for the magazine,” said Managing Editor Cori Fugere Urban, a former staff reporter and editor of the Vermont Catholic Tribune. “I have been impressed with the faith and good works of so many people through the years — children, lay persons, religious and clergy.”

She also appreciates the people in the communications ministry — award-winning columnist Kay Winchester, for example. “When I introduced myself to people, I used to begin by saying ‘I am from the Vermont Catholic Tribune,’” Urban said. “But one time before I got to the second part, my name, the woman I was introducing myself to clasped her hands, and she got very excited. ‘Oh! Are you Kay Winchester?’ she exclaimed. When I told her no and said my name, she was visibly disappointed. Now I introduce myself with my name first.”

That is an example of the high regard in which people hold Winchester.

Indeed, many of the staff members of the communications office have, through the years, developed strong rapports with readers and co-workers, creating an atmosphere where excellence thrives; staff members have received countless awards for their work.

For example, Vermont Catholic Editor Ellen Kane was recognized for her work as a communications director, Mary-Margaret Carrol for her work as a designer, and Alayna Masker as a social media professional.

“Our team is second to none,” Urban said. “We have adapted to changes through the years and continued to provide our readers with issues of substance that enlighten and inspire.

Information is also now disseminated on the diocesan website, social media and The Inland See bulletin insert.

And in a fortuitous development, when Catholic News Service — to which the newspaper and magazine subscribed for national and world news — discontinued its national news service, Our Sunday Visitor stepped up to provide that service.

“In a way we have come full circle,” Urban said. “But we have come a long way in serving Vermont Catholics since those early days of print communications.”

—Originally published in the Summer 2023 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.