As the Diocese of Burlington continues to celebrate the worldwide year of St. Joseph, this survey focuses on lessons fathers have taught their children. Managing Editor Cori Fugere Urban asked respondents, “What is the most important lesson your father taught you?”

Father Jon Schnobrich is pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Stowe and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Morrisville. His father is Daniel Schnobrich of St. Jeanne Jugan Parish in Enfield, Connecticut.

“My dad has taught me the lesson of belovedness. Throughout my life, his presence at my soccer games, skiing, putting our family before himself have always reinforced that spiritual lesson of our baptism — that God chooses us and calls us His beloved children.”

Dominic Cerone is a parishioner of St. Joachim Church in Readsboro; his father, Jim Cerone, is also a parishioner there.

“My father taught me patience, humility and respect.”

Brittany Czekaj is a parishioner of Christ the King-St. Anthony Parish in Burlington. Her father, Maurice Brasseur, belongs to Mater Dei Parish in Newport.

“Though my Dad and I have a great relationship through communication, the greatest lessons my father has taught me are through his actions and example. His strong faith and constant joy, even throughout hardships in life, have spoken volumes to me and to those around him. His marriage with my mother and selfless love have made such a profound impact in my life, especially now in my vocation of marriage.”

Hope Mensah is a kindergarten student at St. Francis Xavier School in Winooski. Her father is Fabrice Mensah.

“He taught me to be a good girl. … And it is important to pray every day and protect my little brother.”

Josephine Hughes, 3, and her family — including her father, Jon — are members of St. Ann Parish in Milton.

“Daddy teaches me nice words and how to be kind, and he is funny.”

Eva VanOrman, is in grade four at St. Monica-St. Michael School in Barre. Her father is Hank VanOrman.

“The most important lesson my dad taught me is to always try your best and do all you do with love. And no matter how many times you’ll fall down, always get back up and always be proud of where you’re from.”

Samantha Romei is in grade four at St. Monica-St. Michael School in Barre. Her father is Matthew Romei.

“My father has taught me a lot, so it is hard to pick just one thing. But my favorite is, ‘You are important to me and to God.’ … It is a lovely saying, and whenever I am feeling down, I repeat that saying in my head until I feel better.”

Bryan Brunner is in grade three at St. Monica-St. Michael School in Barre. His father is Bryan Brunner.

“Be nice to everything and everyone. Help people when you can.”

—Originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.