Please DO NOT park in the former Saint Joseph School parking lot behind the building from Monday through Friday during the daytime hours and all day on Saturday July 31st. The parking lot is reserved for the staff and visitors at Champlain Housing Trust. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
On your way into church take a moment to enjoy the beautiful gardens. Dot Commo and Robin Hall put hours of their time into weeding, planting and litter removal. What a nice way to use their natural talents. There are even plans for Spring bulbs! Thank you all.
Please bring your non-perishable food to the Cathedral this weekend to donate to the North-End Food Pantry. Bins for the food collection are at the church entrance. The Food Shelf also is accepting cash and check donations.
Deacon Moore takes over for Joseph’s House Executive Director Lori Daudelin, who is on leave for family reasons. Deacon Moore was ordained a permanent deacon in 2003. He currently serves at Ascension Parish in Georgia. He has worked for Vermont Catholic Charities in prison ministry and as the coordinator for the financial aid for clients. He began work as the Director of Joseph’s House on May 24. He looks forward to serving here at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph’s. Hours: Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday 10:00 to 11:30 AM 1:00 to 4:00 PM Joseph's House 113 Elmwood Avenue Burlington, VT 05401.
Once per month from May through September, we will again take a collection to support our four cemeteries: Old Mt. Calvary, New Mt. Calvary, the Annex, and St. Joseph Cemetery. Some have asked why do we need to have these collections when, at the time of purchase of a plot, there is a charge for “perpetual care”? This may help to explain why they are necessary. The percentage of the cost of a plot identified for perpetual care is 60% of the sale price. The intent is to provide ongoing care of the cemetery grounds such as mowing and trimming at all four of our cemeteries. As many more people move to cremation burials/columbarium burials, the perpetual care fund is depleting since there is no charge for perpetual care for cremations and the purchase of cemetery plots have decreased. However, the grounds at all four cemeteries must still be maintained. Each summer, in addition to our two full-time employees, we must hire two extra full-time persons to keep up with the grounds keeping. As the hourly wages increase, so do our expenses. Cemetery income needs to cover all four full-time salaries. We must also consider that many plots were purchased not just in the past year, but also in previous decades at a price consistent with the economy at the time of purchase. Here are some examples: In 1966, a single grave cost $ 50. Perpetual care: $ 30 (New Mount Calvary) In 2020, a double grave was $ 1,500. Perpetual care: $900 (New Mount Calvary) As you can see, the plot in 1966 needs the same level of care that the plot purchased in 2020, but the $ 50 of perpetual care paid in 1966 was long ago spent. If you have any questions about our cemeteries, please give Wayne Lefebvre, our Cemetery Superintendent a call at 862-0512.
The Cathedral of St. Joseph now has online giving direct from your debit or credit card! It's really easy to use. You can select weekly or special collections and Joseph's House. The timing couldn't have been better. Copy this link to make your contribution today. https://app.gabrielsoft.com/guest/vtbldiocese/55 If you wish to mail in your contribution please send them to the 113 Elmwood Ave. Burlington, VT 05401 address.
by VERMONT CATHOLIC.ORG/VTC • MARY CLIFFORD MORRELL
John Fisher’s (corrected spelling) connection to St. Joseph Church, which would eventually become the cathedral of the Diocese of Burlington, began the day he was baptized in the church five days after his birth in 1940, the tenth of 14 children to parents of French Canadian ancestry. The family’s strong faith in God and inclusion in the faith family of St. Joseph Parish strengthened them after the death of Fisher’s father, leaving his mother to raise 12 children alone. After marrying and beginning a family of seven children, the parish that Fisher loved remained the pivotal aspect of his family’s faith and schooling. During the 1990s, when the Internet was born, Fisher began writing website code while employed at IBM and created a website for his department as well as a family website for photos, events, his French-Canadian genealogy and an interest in astronomy. During these years, explained Fisher, the church and the parish were undergoing renovations and changes due to Vatican II. “I could see that during these changes items dear to the parish were going away,” he said, noting, among them, the huge painting of the Last Supper painted by Sinai Richer in 1923, and a memorial to the 633 parishioners who served in the military in World War II and the 22 who gave their lives. “I thought that something should be done to keep people aware of these pieces of our parish history. While researching in the diocesan archives, I came across the insurance company photos of both the old Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and of St. Joseph’s. The cathedral had burned in 1972 and there were many changes at St. Joseph’s. I decided to scan all the photos and put them on my website. The parishioners of both churches would surely enjoy them,” Fisher recalled. Whenever the ardent archivist comes across an historical piece of information about the Cathedral of St. Joseph he adds it to his website. Fisher explained that parishioners recognize his passion for parish history and often bring him their own treasures which he photographs or scans and presents to the pastor or adds to the parish historical archive. “Two of these were very significant,” he noted. “An old photo of the early church and a photo of the carpenters in the church about a year before it was completed. It was so historically interesting that I did about a year of research on the photo and the photographer and even had a reunion of the photographer’s descendants from out of state, here in Burlington. Both original photos are now in the parish rectory.” Most recently Fisher has added photos of two major cathedral projects: renovation and replacement of the steeple and the steps in front of the church. “I created a new webpage for each event and captured some really great photos along the way. The contractor also gave us some really great drone photos of their steeple effort,” he said. Fisher explained the value of photo archives, saying, “One can write the detailed history of a church or a parish, and the reader can form an image based on what they have read, but as they say, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ In my great 1887 photo of the inside of St Joseph’s, I could describe the interior and the 12 carpenters and what each carpenter is holding; however, the photo says it all; and this event only happened for a moment in time, but it has now been captured and available for all to view today.” https://vermontcatholic.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?m=31181&i=653855&p=14
Since the 2018 Diocesan Synod, the Catholic community in Vermont has been pursuing the synod goals of increased and improved evangelization and communication efforts to assist in building more vibrant parishes; a focus on parish website improvement has been one of the first communication initiatives. “I really like the eCatholic tool. I think all the parish (sites) using it that I’ve seen look very clean and appealing,” said Arthur “Jay” Fisher, website administrator for St. Joseph Cathedral Parish in Burlington. “The website is about good marketing.” eCatholic’s mobile-friendly websites are easy to update and manage. Their dynamic and engaging templates and content create a unified, consistent and connected digital presence for Catholic parishes throughout Vermont. “Our traffic has increased month over month since going live in early October,” Fisher said, noting that there were 564 page views by 178 unique users on Christmas Eve alone. For the Cathedral’s website, Mass times, bulletins, the calendar and news sections are the most visited pages. Photo albums, music, architecture and a post about the Vietnamese Mass have also all been visited by hundreds of viewers. A person’s average amount of time spent browsing the Cathedral parish website is more than three minutes, with an average of more than three pages visited. (A general website statistic is that any visit that lasts longer than two minutes is impressive.) “Our Contact Us, Join our Parish and Join the Parishioners’ Email List form have had good response allowing us to update our census data,” Fisher reported. “I was speechless when I saw the amount of traffic on our website,” said Father Lance Harlow, cathedral rector. “It confirmed for us the value of putting in the time and energy to make it accurate and also attractive.” Fisher said eCatholic is versatile and easy to use, but he emphasized the importance of keeping the parish site up to date: “We want to keep our parishioners informed and interested in what is next.” The quality of parish life brings people to the website to find out more about the cathedral, and the website attracts people to Masses, devotions and programs. “What we do as parishioners is on the website, and what they see on the website keeps them involved in the parish,” he continued. But the site is welcoming to visitors too. “The cathedral has become a place of pilgrimage for so many visitors,” Father Harlow said. “That means essentially, with the decreased number of families in the downtown area that our Mass participants are coming increasingly from outside the parish. So, we need to attract their attention and draw them in.” And according to the metrics collected on the site, that concept is working. “We want the site to be the first stop for our parishioners and visitors by having lots of content available as close as their smart phone,” Fisher said; more than half the visits are from people using their cell phones. Every parish in Vermont will transition to the eCatholic website platform within the next year and a half, but three fourths have already launched their new websites. To see the cathedral website, go to stjosephcathedralvt.org.
As we begin our Lenten Journey of Prayer, Fasting and Alms giving, the Lord often offers us an opportunity to examine not only ourselves, but also our life of service; how we care for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Focusing on Prayer - Joseph’s House would like to invite you to join our Friends of Joseph’s House Prayer Team. We receive a list of prayer requests which are asked of us by our visitors. Prayer requests are sent out once per month and can be emailed or mailed to members of the Prayer Team. If you would like to join us in praying for those who need someone to pray for them, simply email or phone Joseph’s House. “Our life of contemplation shall retain the following characteristics: contemplative - by gathering the whole world at the very center of our hearts where the Lord abides.” - From the Constitution of the Missionaries of Charity. We would love to have you join us! You can reach us at (802) 951-4290 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Lori Daudelin, Director
On January 29, 2020, more than 600 students, teachers, principals and staff from 12 Catholic schools from around the state celebrated Mass for Catholic Schools week at St. Joseph Cathedral in Burlington. Jeanne Gearon, superintendent of Catholic schools, welcomed the crowd and acknowledged what a treat this was to celebrate Bishop Coyne’s five year anniversary of his installation as 10th Bishop of Burlington in this way. (click title to link to Vermont Catholic story)
This period in the Church’s year begins the Monday after the Sunday feast of the Baptism of the Lord. It’s called “ordinary” from the Latin word Ordo meaning “order”, because the weeks are numbered in sequential order – 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. The priest’s vestments are green. Usually, at this same time, our church’s Christmas decorations come down and we all have returned to a regular home, work, and school schedule. Ordinary Time, however, is not at all plain and simple. On the contrary, week after week, we see all facets of Christ’s life, a change from celebrating and delving into one aspect, His birth, as we did at Christmas. What could be ordinary about exploring the full sweep of Christ’s works and teachings? The green of Ordinary Time, like the green of nature, also encourages us to grow and mature in our faith, and as the color of hope, to anticipate the gifts of God’s kingdom. In a few weeks, Ordinary Time gives way to Lent. We return to Ordinary time after Pentecost.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the donations placed within the Christmas Angel who sits at the very edge of the Manger scene here at the Cathedral of St. Joseph? I would like to share one of the blessings which came from that Christmas Angel. Several months ago, we began working with a Joseph’s House visitor who was homeless, living in a local shelter. This person desperately wanted to work and get off the street. We have built a relationship and the Lord has blessed the help we were able to give. Through hard work and determination, this person has recently found a job, left the shelter and made arrangements for more stable, temporary housing. One of the greatest challenges this visitor finds to moving forward is transportation; the new job is in Burlington and the temporary housing is in Shelburne. Often without the availability of a Bus Pass, the trip to work is on foot. Through the generous Christmas donations, held so secretly by the Christmas Angel, I was able to purchase a monthly Bus Pass for the above visitor, enabling this person to continue the journey forward! With your help and generosity, lives are being changed. ----- Lori Daudelin
Saint André’s feast day is January 6, this year the day after Epiphany. The date also is the anniversary of the saint’s death in 1937 in Saint-Laurent, Montreal at 91 years old. Saint André Bessette is distantly related to our Cathedral’s unofficial historian, John Fisher - a fifth cousin four times removed. Saint André may be your relative too. Click the link (name) above to read the full story.
The Octave of Christmas is the eight days beginning with Christmas Day and ending on New Year’s Day, January 1. Feast days and solemnities mark the period: the Nativity, December 25; St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr on December 26; St. John the Evangelist, apostle, author of the fourth Gospel, three letters, and the Book of Revelation, December 27; the Holy Innocents, December 28, the male child victims slaughtered by King Herod; the Holy Family, Sunday, December 29; St. Sylvester, December 31, and Mary, Mother of God, January 1. We recite the Gloria each day of the Octave. We then continue the Christmas season through Epiphany, January 5, and officially end with the Baptism of the Lord, January 12.
"We walk with them, versus just serving them", Lori Daudelin, Executive Director of Joseph's House in Burlington, said of the rapport of the staff and clients. "We're connected to the Church. We're part of the Church, and they know that." (click title to link to Vermont Catholic story)
With a congregation of faithful gathered, Fr. Lance Harlow, Rector of the Cathedral of St. Joseph, blessed the Cathedral's new stairs and steeple on a cold and cloudy morning Sunday, November 10 before the 10:00 AM Mass. The new stairs were finished and inspected two days earlier, and now are open for use. Weekend Masses and other parish devotions return to the upstairs main church after using the lower chapel for the last four and a half months. Fr. Harlow checked in daily with the many trades people on the job site, getting to know them personally, learning about the process and even cooking them breakfast. He said "It's my way of evangelizing". He said the workers were nice people laboring in the heat of summer and the cold drenching rain the last week before inspection. Cranes, excavators and jackhammers made the work easier than when the stairs and steeple were constructed more than 100 years ago but the time honored craftsmanship and dedication went into the latest projects to beautify our Cathedral. The new stairs have a shorter rise making them easier to climb while retaining the red stone facade from the original building. Bushes and flowering shrubs have been added on either side and the vintage lighting was also restored to keep the historical look.
by Cori Fugere Urban photo VTC • Mary Morrell VERMONTCATHOLIC.ORG/VTC
Pope Francis has expressed his desire that the Church may be “the place of God’s mercy and love, where everyone can feel themselves welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live according to the good life of the Gospel.” The Cathedral of St. Joseph in Burlington, founded in 1850 as the first French national parish in New England, has been this place of welcome for French-speaking New Americans from Africa and the Congolese Catholic community, said Jules Wetchi, an ophthalmologist who arrived in Vermont in 2013 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Wetchi is founder of a ministry which helps some 150 members of these communities integrate more fully into parish and diocesan life, to share the Gospel and maintain their culture in a new place. As a leader of the youth commission in the Archdiocese of Kinshasa who worked with Cardinal Laurent Monsengrwo Pasinya of Kinshasa and advisor to Pope Francis, Wetchi was concerned when he discovered many African new Americans, once very active in the Catholic Church of their homelands, were being lost to the Church upon their arrival in Vermont, often connecting with other denominations where the language was familiar. By forming the French-speaking Catholic communities in 2015, Wetchi began the work of helping members establish important relationships, maintain their culture and nurture their Catholic faith, while facing the significant challenge of a language barrier. Father Lance Harlow, cathedral rector, recalls, “I became involved with the African community when I arrived at St. Joseph in 2015. They had been in place here before my arrival. Part of the challenge has been the language and cultural differences and sorting out different nationalities. They are not all from the same country, and while we may think that they are unified as ‘Africans’ they are very much unified by their nation of origin, not their continent.” The communities were delighted when, in 2016, Father Harlow began celebrating Mass in French in the chapel, Wetchi said. Today, Father Harlow celebrates a French Mass once a month in the cathedral. Every other weekend, the communities meet in the chapel for prayers, sharing the Gospel and practicing songs, added Wetchi, who is also a student in the last year of lay formation. Wetchi, who is completing a master’s degree in public health at the University of Vermont, also assists members in understanding the U.S. healthcare system and laws and helps them apply for jobs. “I do my best to help members of the African community maintain our culture, which is better for maintaining the life in the family, like the holy family of Mary, Jesus and Joseph,” said Wetchi, who is a husband and father and member of the diocesan committee for the Year of the Family. Father Harlow added, “I am greatly humbled by the strength of their Catholic faith and the practice thereof, especially considering that many of the older generation that comes to Mass doesn’t understand English. They have survived many horrors in their own countries and have made great sacrifices to move to Vermont — including loss of careers, murder of family members and that disorientation that comes from leaving one’s own culture and surroundings to be immersed in a culture and climate very different from their own. They seem to adapt with extraordinary vigor.” Ministry to French-speaking New Americans strengthens faith, community Jules Wetchi, an ophthalmologist who arrived in Vermont in 2013 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is founder of a ministry that helps some 150 members of New American communities integrate more fully into parish and diocesan life, to share the Gospel and maintain their culture in a new place. — Cori Fugere Urban photo VTC • Mary Morrell VERMONTCATHOLIC.ORG/VTC
17 APR Photo Credit: Diocese of Burlington Archives - Bishop Louis deGoesbriand (center) watches a parade from the front of the bishop’s residence in 1899. This is believed to have been his last public appearance. Cause for celebration: Bishop deGoesbriand to be recommended for sainthood. The first bishop of the Diocese of Burlington, Bishop Louis deGoesbriand, made God, the sacraments, education and assistance for the most vulnerable as accessible as possible to all entrusted in his care, explains Kathleen Messier, assistant archivist for the Diocese. Indeed, many consider him to have been a saintly man, and soon, the process to declare him officially a saint is to begin. Msgr. John McDermott, vicar general for the Diocese, said Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne plans to announce the canonization cause at the conclusion of the last session of the current Diocesan Synod: “The first step, after the announcement of the process, is to develop and foster the cult/devotion of the faithful toward Bishop deGoesbriand.” The process is directed through the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Born in France, Bishop deGoesbriand devoted his priestly life to missionary service in America. When he arrived in Vermont in 1853, there were only eight churches throughout the state with five priests to minister to Catholics. “Bishop deGoesbriand, even though he was raised in a well-respected and well-to-do household, lived in austere simplicity,” Messier said. “In several biographical accounts of Burlington’s founding bishop, his Christ-like love of the poor and children has often been noted.” Though he had inherited from his parents about a quarter of a million dollars, by the time he died in 1899, he had spent his entire fortune; he had only $2.12 to his name and a few old suits, noted Father Lance Harlow, rector of St. Joseph Cathedral who wrote a biography of the bishop in 2001. Bishop deGoesbriand spent his funds on the purchase of church property, building churches, establishing and supporting an orphanage and helping the poor residents of Burlington as well as his priests who were struggling in poor parishes. “Researching his life forever changed the direction of my priesthood in that the saintly qualities of his life have become a model for me how to live: to devote myself whole-heartedly to my Diocese, to labor to promote the Catholic faith by writing and today by the internet; by teaching the history of great Catholics in the Diocese, to use my financial resources for the poor; and to have a deep trust in the Blessed Virgin Mary and in his motto that God will provide,’” Father Harlow said. There are no known miracles attributed to Bishop deGoesbriand, but his contemporaries had described him as “the saintly bishop.” In the 1930’s, there had been discussion about pursuing his cause for canonization, but in a missionary Diocese such as Vermont, “the needs of taking care of parishes precluded any serious investigation into his heroic life, so nobody ever pursued it,” Father Harlow said. Bishop Coyne was impressed with the sacrificial nature of Bishop deGoesbriand’s life and wanted to pursue the cause for canonization. Bishop deGoesbriand’s “life was lived in true service to the flock entrusted to his care,” Msgr. McDermott said. Saints with a connection to Vermont include St. Andre Bessette and St. Marianne Cope who had/have family in Vermont; Brother Joseph Dutton, a Stowe native who cared for lepers on Molokai for whom the Diocese of Honolulu has opened the cause canonization; St. John Paul II who visited Vermont while a cardinal; and St. Isaac Jogues and other North American martyrs who are believed to have done missionary work here. Steps to becoming a saint: A bishop launches an investigation of the candidate’s life. The Church will also investigate the candidate’s writings to see if they possess “purity of doctrine.” All of this information is submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. If considered worthy, the candidate is deemed a “Servant of God.” A Church official must prove — via documents and testimonies — the candidate lived heroic virtues. The congregation investigates if the candidate was motivated by a profound charity toward his or her neighbor and practiced the virtues in an exemplary manner and with heroism. Once approved, the candidate is deemed “Venerable.” Confirmation of a “miracle” is required. In verifying the miracle, the Church looks at whether God really performed a miracle and whether the miracle was in response to the intercession of the “Venerable.” If so, the person can be beatified and called “Blessed.” After beatification, another miracle is required for canonization and the formal declaration of sainthood. —Originally published in the Spring 2019 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.
On Aug. 5, 1894, a procession made its way through the streets of Burlington, the likes of which had never been seen before or after. Bishop Louis de Goësbriand himself described it as “another Pentecost.” Men and women, clergy and laity, gathered at the Mass along with St. Peter the Apostle “in spirit” through the presence of a relic; the central focus of the procession was a link and a facsimile of the chain which had bound St. Peter for nine months in the Mamertine prison in Rome. The procession itself was preceded by a solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated by Archbishop Michael Corrigan of New York. During the homily, Bishop Denis Bradley of the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, stated proudly: “In becoming the possessor of [the link], the esteemed prelate [Bishop de Goësbriand] and his Diocese have been favored as no individual or locality in this Western Hemisphere has hitherto been favored, inasmuch as no portion of the chain of St. Peter had previously found its way within the limits of this American continent.” In other words, the Diocese of Burlington is the only church in the United States to have this relic. It is all due to Bishop de Goësbriand’s “audacious” faith, as he describes it, to approach Pope Leo XIII and ask him for one of the links of the chain. There were only seven links in total making up the chain, and the Holy Father was reluctant to take it apart. Bishop de Goësbriand persisted saying that the link would allow the American people to grow in a greater love of St. Peter and his successors, including Leo XIII. It worked. At 5 p.m. on Aug. 5, the procession began at the corner of North Winooski Avenue and Cherry Street, then from North Street to North Champlain Street and then back to the cathedral on Cherry Street. Thousands of people lined the streets to watch. Four priests carried the reliquary containing the facsimile chain on their shoulders. They were followed by Bishop de Goësbriand kneeling on a prie-dieu in an open carriage holding in his hands a smaller reliquary with the actual link that had touched St. Peter’s body. Afterward, the relics were placed in the large reliquary at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. At the end of the day, Bishop de Goësbriand consecrated the Diocese to St. Peter with an Act of Consecration. It reads in part: “Blessed Peter, Prince of Apostles, look down from on high upon this Diocese which consecrates itself to thee at the hands of its first bishop; but especially upon this city and upon this congregation which possesses the most glorious memorials of thy chains in the prisons of Rome and Jerusalem.” The relic of St. Peter’s 2,000-year-old chain remains one of the most precious treasures in the Diocese of Burlington and in the United States. Since Bishop de Goësbriand’s death 120 years ago there have been 11 successors of St. Peter from the time of Pope Leo XIII to Pope Francis. Thanks to our “audacious” first bishop’s love for the Office of Peter, we have been the recipients of numerous graces through St. Peter’s intercession. VTC • Father Lance