Daniel Lacourrege, the new catechetical leader for the Diocese of Burlington, strives every day to be a more faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. “My love for Our Lord and His love for me is what keeps me going every second of the day,” he said.

His three main responsibilities with the Diocese will be assisting parish catechetical leaders in directing religious education and Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults programs, coordinating the Totus Tuus summer program and furthering lay catechesis through efforts like the Lay Formation Leadership Program.

For the last 10 years I he worked as a Catholic high school theology teacher, campus minister and department chairperson in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Our Lady of Holy Cross College and a master’s degree from Notre Dame Seminary, both in New Orleans.

A former seminarian, he said his strengths include a solid formation during seminary and the requisite education coupled with a variety of real-world experiences as a lay person in married life and teaching.

“I have dreamed of living in Vermont my whole life growing up in New Orleans,” he said. “Like New Orleans, Vermont has a unique culture with francophone influence. The quiet, charming simplicity of this state is a definite contrast to the boisterous culture I grew up in.”

As a former high school teacher who worked through the pandemic, Lacourrege understands the stress educators experience. He plans to meet with parish catechetical leaders to learn what their stressors are. “Once I have a clear picture of where we all stand, I will prayerfully dialogue with (Burlington) Bishop (Christopher) Coyne and his collaborators to offer solutions that focus on easing these burdens and empowering catechists to bring the Gospel to those they are called to serve.”

—Originally published in the Fall 2022 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.