Remembering Vermont Catholic schools: Former Catholic schools in the Diocese of Burlington, St. Edmund’s Juniorate, Swanton
Third in a series
I recently read some information in The Fortieth Vermont School Report made by the Superintendent of Education to the General Assembly – October 1908 – St. Albans, VT. One area of this report from 1908 caught my attention – a tabulation of 27 Catholic schools in Vermont (at the time), their location, grades taught, number of teachers as well as students in each listed school. A few footnotes included which schools only employed lay teachers and which schools offered a commercial or academy course. Among the schools listed, St. Michael’s College was identified as a college and likely included because it was a Catholic institution for learning. Therefore, I focused attention to other 26 grade-level schools. As I continued to survey this table, I noted the larger Catholic schools in St. Albans, Burlington, Winooski, Montpelier, Newport, Bennington, and Brattleboro. I chose to highlight two Catholic schools on this list and three other Catholic schools not on the list. While these schools were widely known in their own communities, their stories quietly receded to the background of Diocesan history once the schools closed. What Catholic populations were served? How were these schools staffed? How were the schools impacted over time?
St. Edmund’s Juniorate, 1898-1950, Swanton
From 1898 to 1950, the Society of St. Edmund (formerly known as the Society of the Fathers and Brothers of St. Edmund, Oblates of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary) founded and maintained a juniorate in Swanton.
As a high school, it was founded and designed to run as a junior seminary, where boys were sent with the hope that they would discover and begin discerning a vocation. St. Edmund’s Juniorate was an extremely important educational apostolate for the Society. St. Edmund’s Juniorate was where several Edmundites first encountered the society. It built upon the success of the educational works the society had begun in France, particularly the École Apostolique at Mont St. Michel, the College de I’Immaculée Conception in Laval, and the College St.-Michel Chateau- Gontier.
When it closed in 1950, students transferred to St. Anne’s Academy in Swanton, which was operated by the Daughters of the Holy Spirit.
— Kathleen Messier is the assistant archivist for the Diocese of Burlington. For more information, email Archives@vermontcatholic.org.