Vermont Catholic Professionals January Meeting

Vermont Catholic Professionals January Meeting

“Perfection of the life or of the work?” will be the topic of the next keynote speaker at the Vermont Catholic Professionals networking meeting.

The speaker, Laurie Brands Gagne, is the retired director of the Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice at St. Michael’s College in Colchester.

Her presentation will be on Jan. 19.

The title comes from a poem by William Butler Yeats entitled “The Choice.”

“I’ll be talking about the importance of that choice and what it means to integrate one’s work-life with one’s whole life as a Christian,” said Gagne, of South Burlington, who worships with the St. Michael’s College community.

Gagne received her doctorate in systematic theology from the University of Notre Dame and taught religious studies for many years at Trinity College of Vermont. While at Trinity, she wrote The Uses of Darkness: Women’s Underworld Journeys Ancient and Modern, which was published by University of Notre Dame Press (2000) as well as a number of articles on philosopher/mystic Simone Weil and the spiritual journey.

When Trinity closed in 2001, she began a new phase of her career teaching “Peace and Justice” at St. Michael’s College.

Outside the classroom, Gagne was an activist, beginning a nationwide campaign on behalf of Congolese women in 2010 and helping to found the Vermont Ibutwa Initiative, a non-profit that assisted women who are survivors of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Now retired, she has edited a book on Simone Weil (“Love in the Void”), serves on Burlington’s Mater Christi School Board of Trustees and gives workshops for the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative.

Continuing her activism, she served as a member of Meta Peace Team, an unarmed force for civilian protection, for a month in Palestine in 2018 and conducted a fact-finding trip to Ibutwa’s projects in South Kivu, DRC in 2019.

Among her awards, Gagne received from Trinity College in Burlington the Sister Katherine O’Donnell Outstanding Faculty Award (1988) and from St. Michael’s, the Vermont Campus Compact Award for Excellence in Community-Based Teaching (2012).

“I would advise Catholic professionals to take the time to share their faith with each other and how it might apply to their work. Without support, it is easy to let merely professional goals override the goals we all should be striving for, namely, wisdom and love,” Gagne said.

The purpose of Vermont Catholic Professionals — founded in 2018 — 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. Events take place quarterly with a professional development speaker that is relevant to the business and professional communities in Vermont.

For more information about Vermont Catholic Professionals and the location of the Jan. 19 event, go to

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 • 8 a.m.

Laurie Brands Gagne, retired director of the Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice at St. Michael’s College in Colchester.

Register at:

—Originally published in the Jan. 1-7, 2022, edition of The Inland See.



Happy New Year!
No matter how any of us feel about Covid (mask/no mask, vaccine/anti-vax), we should all be armed with facts and truth. We all need to hear both sides of the story and then stay informed.
The event described below has nationally known speakers coming here to Vermont.  
Truth seems very hard to find in this very politicized topic. I encourage you all to attend or to send someone you know to attend. We all need to hear different points of view and then decide for ourselves.
We owe it to ourselves and those we lead/influence to know all we can about this issue.
And finally, not judge others who have come to a different conclusion than us. There is already enough division in the Body of Christ.

JANUARY 14th & 15th
Vermont Covid Summit


Friday, Jan. 14th
CONVERSATIONS WITH FRONTLINE DOCTORS – Atty. Tom Renz & Pastor Christopher Thoma
Truth – Courage – Unassailable Evidence – Action Steps
Buffet Luncheon from 11:00 – 1:00
Learn more and purchase tickets
Saturday, Jan. 15th 
GLOBAL COVID SUMMIT – Join Physicians, Scientists, & Frontline Professionals to Discuss, Covid-19 Insights
Faith, Health, & Hope Global Covid Summit – VT
All-day Covid Summit 8:30 – 5:00
Learn more and purchase tickets
Christmas with the Chosen – The Messengers

Christmas with the Chosen – The Messengers

Saturday, Dec 11, 2021 @ 7pm
The Baptist Fellowship of Randolph

The Chosen has a new episode! To launch the Christmas season this December, The Chosen has created a special episode about the birth of Christ through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. You’ll also see an extraordinary lineup of musicians perform both new and classic Christmas songs from the set of The Chosen, including: Phil Wickham, For King & Country, Brandon Lake, Maverick City Music, Cain, Matt Maher, Bryan & Katie Torwalt, Jordan Feliz, We The Kingdom, The Bonner Family, Leanna Crawford, Dawson Hollow, and One Voice Choir.

This is the perfect opportunity to bring friends and family, including those who haven’t seen The Chosen, for a unique Christmas experience.

This is a FREE event, donations are welcomed!

Church must address the spiritual needs of the elderly

Church must address the spiritual needs of the elderly

Father Charles Davignon knows something about the spiritual needs of the elderly.

As a pastor, he ministered to parishioners of all ages, and now — a nonagenarian himself — he lives at Michaud Manor in Derby Line where he celebrates Sunday Mass and is available to residents who seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation or simply want to talk.

“Companionship is [the] number one” need older folks have, he said, whether they live at home or in an elder care facility like Michaud Manor, one of four such facilities run by Vermont Catholic Charities Inc.

Whether they need companionship on their spiritual journey or just the companionship of a friend, the Church can and must provide that, Father Davignon emphasized, saying Catholics must not overlook elders and must treat them with warmth and dignity.

Well known for his concern for people in need, Father Davignon stressed the need to treat seniors — and all people — with deep respect for their dignity as human beings. “We must maintain our respect for one another at whatever age or ability,” he said.

And care for the elderly is not only the job of bishops and priests, it must be the concern for all members of the Church. “The Church is the mystical Body of Christ; it’s not just ordained members.”

So what can the Church — the people of God — do to tend to its older members? Pay attention to them, because, as Father Davignon knows, what matters to them is how they are made to feel. Do they feel ignored? Do they feel welcomed? Do they feel abandoned? Do they feel uncomfortable going to Mass because they use a walker? Are there spiritual enrichment programs they can attend with the help of ride?

Connie Daigle, a resident of Michaud Manor who is a parishioner of St. Andre Bessette Parish in Troy, said elders need to feel connected to their church, “not lost in the shuffle.” Prayer groups and Bible studies can be important parts of their life, and if they can’t get there, it’s important for someone in the church to offer a ride to keep them involved.

Parish clergy and parishioners are essential visitors to help elderly members stay connected and have the opportunity for the sacraments and spiritual guidance. Parishes have extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to bring the Eucharist to those who are hospitalized or homebound; many parishes make books available to help everyone on their spiritual journey. Vermont Catholic Charities’ eldercare homes have priests who celebrate Mass regularly.

“The need is definitely there” to minister to the elderly, Daigle said. “We have a responsibility to respond to them,” Father Davignon added. “Our obligation to ‘honor our mothers and fathers’ does not disappear because they are in a different [life] situation.”

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

2022 Prayer Service for Christian Unity

2022 Prayer Service for Christian Unity


The Vermont Ecumenical Council will sponsor a service commemorating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Sunday Jan. 23, 2022 at 4:00 pm. The service will be online or “hybrid” – more information TBA. We want YOU to participate from what ever corner of VT you are from!  
This year’s theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship Him” – Matthew 2:2. The theme this year was selected and developed by the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute in consultation with the Middle East Council of Churches, and originated from the churches in Lebanon.  
For over a hundred years the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute has sponsored the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the octave between the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter (January 18) and the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25). Each year Graymoor invites the church in a different part of the world to offer a theme for the celebration, along with Scriptural and liturgical resources that raise up the concerns of Christians in that part of the world in the context of the Gospel’s vision that all followers of Jesus Christ be one.

All Vermont Christian churches, organizations and ministries are invited to participate in the VECNCC’s service on January 23. For more information, please contact The Rev. Dr. Frederick Moser,
Celebrating and Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccination: A Letter from Clergy of the Diocese

Celebrating and Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccination: A Letter from Clergy of the Diocese

We, the deacons, priests and bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont sign this letter and send it out to all our members in attestation and celebration that we are all fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. We  urge you and your loved ones to get vaccinated if you have not already done so. We are particularly proud of the high vaccination rates in Vermont   and especially encouraged by high vaccination rates for our youth.

The coronavirus pandemic has been long, deadly and tiring for all of us. But we will get through this together. By caring for each other, getting vaccinated, continuing to wear masks indoors, maintaining social distance and following the guidance of our public health authorities, we demonstrate the simple Gospel value of loving God by loving our neighbors as ourselves. That means paying special attention to younger children and those with compromised immune systems who are not able to be vaccinated at this point.

We ask your prayers for our ministry together here in our brave little state and assure you of our continued prayers for the health and well-being of all in these unprecedented times. May God bless us all as we seek to serve Vermont in the name of Jesus, our Lord of love.


The Rt. Rev. Dr. Shannon MacVean-Brown, Bishop

The Rev. Jennie M. Anderson

The Rev. Lisette D Baxter

The Rev. Janet Brown

The Rev. Canon Walter Brownridge

The Rev. Thora L. Chadwick

The Rev. Diana Collins

The Rev. Catherine Cooke

The Rev. Canon Lee A. Crawford

The Rev. William A. Davidson

The Rev. Martha Dyner

The Rev. E. Angela Emerson

The Rev. Rachel Field

The Rev. Steven Fuller Sr.

The Rev. Sarah C. Ginolfi

The Rev. L Paul Gratz

The Rev. Kim Hardy

The Rev. Kathy Hartman

The Rev. Canon David G. Hamilton, D.Min.

The Rev. Beth Hilgartner

The Rev. Earl Kooperkamp

The Rev. Bob Lee

The Rev. Dr. Robert K. Leopold

The Rev. Mary D. Lindquist

The Rev. Beth Ann Maier, deacon

The Rev. Margaret Mathauer, deacon

The Rev. Dr. Frederick Moser

The Very Rev. Diane Nancekivell

The Rev. Scott B. Neal

The Rev. Zarina Suárez O’Hagin, deacon

The Rev. Canon Susan Ohlidal

The Rev. Paul V. Olsson

The Rev. Sherry Osborn

The Rev. Lucy Pellegrini

The Rev. John Perry

The Rev. Nicholas Porter

The Rev. Donna Reidt

The Rev. Stephen Reynes, deacon

The Rev. Diane Root

The Rev. Amy Spagna

The Rev. Rob Spainhour

The Rev. Kevin Holland Sparrow

The Rev. Bob Stuhlmann

The Rev. Mary Heller Taggart

The Rev. Carole Wageman

The Rev. Bob Wilson

The Rev. Dr. Oliver Larry Yarbrough

Sing We Now Noel

Sing We Now Noel

Sing We Now Noel — a celebration of Christmas and seasonal music – will be presented at three different locations with Dr. William Tortolano as organist. The 92-year-old Saint Michael’s College Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts and Music continues to avoid retirement.

The acoustic and tonal resources of the different Vermont spaces will bring a wide variety of organ music and vocal soloists. The audience will have an opportunity to sing favorite carols from many countries, including a Native Huron carol. Organ solos are by J.S. Bach, Pachelbel, Brahms, Yon and Rowley.

Different vocal solos, at each church will include O Holy Night, The Schubert Ave Maria; He Shall Feed His Flock from The Messiah; and the Italian carols, Gesù Bambino and Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle. Soloists are Jake Barickman and John Schreindorfer at St. Mary’s Church on Dec. 5 in St. Albans; Jerry Proulx at St. Michael’s College chapel in Colchester on Dec. 12; and Elizabeth Ortiz at Blessed Sacrament Church in Stowe on Dec. 19. All concerts are at 2 p.m.

Tortolano has enjoyed a long career, 61 years of it in Vermont. Recognized as an expert in Gregorian chant, he was honored with the Papal medal, Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice, by Pope Benedict.

The concerts are free and open to the public. An optional free will offering will be available.

Episcopal Diocesan Convention – Online

Episcopal Diocesan Convention – Online

In light of the continuing rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Vermont, the diocesan convention events originally slated to take place on Saturday, November 6 at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul will now take place online.

  • The business portion of diocesan convention will be held as planned, online via Zoom on Thursday, November 4 beginning at 6 p.m.
  • The bishop’s address, worship, and other programming will take place online via Zoom and YouTube Saturday, November 6. Watch future issues of the Mountain for more information about the agenda, starting time, and how to join.

If you are a delegate and unable to attend convention, it is your responsibility to notify the diocesan office of the change.

Register Online

Online registration is now open. The deadline for registration is Friday, October 15.

If you are a delegate and unable to attend convention, it is your responsibility to notify the diocesan office of the change.


Learn more about diocesan convention.