Patrick Leduc of St. John Vianney Parish in South Burlington participates in the Vermont Catholic Professionals gatherings and is “excited about connecting with other Catholic professionals in the community for both fellowship and support as we navigate our secular responsibilities with the values and teachings of our faith.”

The chief information officer and vice president of career and education outreach and human resources at Vermont Student Assistance Corporation hopes to build into this program conversations about the sometimes-challenging choices people must navigate in their professional roles. “Growing together to be intentional disciples at all times in our lives is sometimes simple and straight forward and at times complex and confusing,” he said. “Learning from each other is a powerful opportunity this group provides.”

The purpose of Vermont Catholic Professionals is to join Catholic men and women and others with shared values from the business and professional communities to encourage intellectual discussions, to foster professional and faith-based relationships and to inspire service and charity to the community in Vermont, explained Brittany Czekaj, chairman of the Committee for Vermont Catholic Professionals.

Events take place quarterly and provide networking opportunities with refreshments and a speaker.

“While the speakers are great, I must confess that I especially enjoy the opportunity to meet other Catholic professionals and talk with them about their work and their lives. These organic conversations have been a gift to me,” Leduc said. “The opportunity to chat with Catholic professionals in this setting has been a unique opportunity that you would have a hard time finding in another forum.”

He continued, “The passion of all the members is clearly present and the new ideas and ways of presenting and understanding situations from some of the younger people I have met has helped me to consider other approaches and ways of tackling situations. Some of the older members of the group have shared with me their life experience and wisdom gained from their own lives. Together the mix of all these perspectives, aligned with a deep faith, has proved to be both intellectually and spiritually stimulating.”

The chairman of his parish’s vocations committee and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion said professional growth comes from learning from both speakers and others in the group and then cross-sharing how they serve their brothers and sisters in their professional roles.

“From a spiritual perspective, this group will allow for a communion of faith-focused professionals to pray with and grow with,” he said. “The bonds that a group like this make available to its members can have profound impact on our individual and communal growth in our personal relationships with Jesus.”

Lay people are called to be holy and to bring others to the Lord, Leduc said. “This can be humbling and frankly a bit intimidating. Being able to join together with other professionals on the same journey, with their gifts, learning and experiences warms the heart and buoys the spirit, allowing us to not tire in our work. It rejuvenates and helps us to become renewed in our love of Christ and our efforts to serve and live a life of love and faith, even with the challenges of our secular society.”

Learn more here:  Vermont Catholic Professionals.