One of the areas the recent Diocesan Synod focused upon was “vibrant” parishes. As she traveled throughout the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont Catholic Content Editor/Staff Writer Cori Fugere Urban asked people what makes a parish “vibrant.” Here are their responses.

Father James Zuccaro, pastor of Nativity/St. Louis Parish in Swanton and Highgate Center”

“Anything we do as a parish must be directed to Christ and our relationship with Him and be centered on the Eucharist. And so whether it is evangelization, stewardship, liturgy, all of this must be directed to Him. And so as we are talking about vibrant parishes, it is so important to have that relationship with Christ and that center on prayer.”

Eva Quebec, Nativity/St. Louis Parish, Swanton

“The importance of having a vibrant parish is [exhibited in] spiritual guidance from your priest and your groups throughout your church that give you support and spiritual direction, which is needed.”

Kerry Lindemuth, St. Jude Parish, Hinesburg

“I think that a parish is vibrant when the parishioners each bring their own gifts that they have whether it’s musical ability or teaching — whatever their individual gifts are — when they bring them to the parish and they use them to participate in the parish.”

Nikolas Segura, seventh grade, School of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales, Bennington

“I think what makes a parish vibrant is that it reaches out to the community and gives opportunities to all people. For example, our community has altar serving, faith formation classes, special suppers and Mass. I just think it’s really great that we get to share our faith with the community.”

Greg Coutu, Queen of Peace Church, Danville

“I believe that a parish, to remain vibrant and active, needs to be involved with the community and to have leaders that work with each other.”

Vicki Mednick, St. John the Evangelist Church, St. Johnsbury

“To me a vibrant parish is one where people love each other and it shows. I think it starts with the Eucharist when people love being in the presence of our Lord.”

—Originally published in the Summer 2019 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.