Statements by Bishop Coyne

The following is the the bishop’s August 22nd letter, followed by links to statements posted on the website for the Diocese of Burlington

August 22, 2018

Memorial of the Queenship of Mary
My friends,
I want to begin by thanking you for your continued faith despite the recent scandals rocking the Church in the United States. I am particularly saddened for the victims of clergy abuse and their families. Please pray for them.
None of these new disclosures is connected to our Diocese, but they affect us collectively as Catholics. Like you, I have found myself frustrated, angry, and outraged as I have read and learned more and more about the Archbishop McCarrick scandal and the Pennsylvania report. I am embarrassed and ashamed as a Catholic and, most especially, as a priest and a bishop.
I long for the day when we will have turned the corner on the sinful behavior of our clergy and shepherds. I am comforted that Jesus Christ does not leave his Church orphans. We are regularly reminded that God will never forsake the men and women of good hearts and strong faith who remain true to him. He will be with us until the end of time.
As I hope you know, our Diocese is committed to the safety of our children. I pledge to continue to be active and vigilant in rooting out sin and evil in this institution we love so much.
Please keep our priests who have been true and honorable shepherds in your hearts and your prayers. They are often judged and vilified based on the evil done by others. They need your love and affection.
May I conclude by asking for the continuing intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church to help us all to persevere in hope and in spreading the good news of salvation in her Son Jesus Christ.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Christopher J. Coyne
Bishop of Burlington

Statement:  Initial response to the scandals and sin rocking our Church

Statement:  Statement of the Most Reverend Christopher J. Coyne, Bishop of Burlington, concerning the former St. Joseph’s Orphanage

Letter from Fr. Naples

Dear friends in Christ,

After my Easter Greetings, here are pieces of other important messages I wish to convey. A little over a year from now there will be a diocesan synod. This will be the largest gathering of parish representatives with the priests and bishop in Vermont in more than 50 years. (See the announcement by clicking here). The first goal of the synod is a complete spiritual renewal of our diocese and our parishes in Vermont. However all sorts of administrative, priestly assignment, and structural policy changes are possible. We must pray and fast, offering our whole will to the lord in the year to come.
We will not have a seminarian with us for the summer. Things are in motion for new priest assignments in the Diocese. I will certainly remain in this double assignment as pastor of six churches with Fr Charbonneau as assistant until June 2018. That said, I do not think it is likely that I will remain in Barton more than two or three additional years. Reaching six years this July, I will try to go for two more. All along I also plan on keeping pastoral responsibility for North Troy, Troy, and Lowell also. But I may plan on moving to another parish in June of 2019, if the bishop and the Diocese do not call me sooner, or the synod does not make major changes to our parish arrangements.
We are slightly fewer in numbers over the past five years, but healthy in spirit. I think it will be justified if I do one more general offertory appeal. I will ask if every active parishioner can increase their parish support by an average of $3 a week. Given the prior request – put out two years ago for an extra $2 per week – this new request adds up to $5 a week or $260/year more than your giving amounts from two years ago. I will be increasing my own financial giving, and will be splitting almost 100% of my disposable income among all the churches here in the next year.
The parish is in need of small scale construction skills. Relying in part on my own donations I wish to advertise a summer stipend of $3,000 for anyone who can do repairs, summer painting, and other projects on small parish improvements. A catechetical year stipend of $5000 will be planned for next year starting in September. Parishioners interested in training to assist the grade school family formation program, the middle school and high school programs, may inquire about this job.
An immediate job needed is an assistant for this year’s Totus Tuus program, being offered to St Paul’s School students June 18 to 23. (Parishes were forced to take such early dates, even though many public schools will not be out of session.) A stipend of $500 is available.
An update, last but not least , is that no permission has been given for the use of St John of the Cross Church for sacramental use. The bishop is well aware that this status quo of the church – neither rented as a hall nor used as a church – will eventually force the issue of selling the building out from parish ownership. The upcoming parish burdens on diminishing numbers of priests are still a huge concern. My honest recommendation at this point is that a lay organization form to own the building and turn it into a Catholic shrine. I could supply a plethora of suggestions, but the point is that someone other than me as parish pastor, and an entity other than the parish charitable trust, needs to assume complete financial and managerial responsibility for the building,
When I came to Trinity Parish almost six years ago, the words of St. Paul in Romans 8:21 were a deep mystery to me: “creation itself set free from the slavery to corruption to share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.” I am learning slowly how the reality of eternity bears this out among all the things to which our Lord calls us in this life. Giving you my prayers,

Sincerely, in Christ, with Mary,
Fr. Timothy Naples, Pastor

Welcome Fr. Oliver

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Trinity Parish welcomes Fr. Rod Oliver Saligan (Fr. Oliver) from the Philippines. He will be assigned with Fr. Tim for at least three months, and offering his priestly ministry to Trinity Parish and anywhere else needed. In January a plan is in place to share priests between Trinity Parish of Barton, Orleans, and Irasburg, and the parishes of North Troy, Troy, and Lowell.

Facts about Fr. Oliver:

  • Did 10 years in seminary
  • Ordained a priest January 11, 2005
  • A priest of the Diocese of Tagbilaran
  • Oldest of three brothers
  • He is one of three Saligan priests in the Philippines that he knows of
  • Has owned four motorcycles
  • Enjoys dirt biking
  • Has a dog named Dolly
  • Confirmation name is St. Nicholas of Tolentine
  • Favorite Food: Adobo
  • Wants to try snowmobiling

A Message from Fr. Naples

Dear parishioners. Two words go through my mind: thanksgiving and unity. The greatest gratitude goes to Christ. But among other small things, I am grateful that parishioners supported me and the parish last year. A year ago we started to ask for a little more money in each and every collection, “an extra two dollars.” The results became apparent that everyone did chip-in a little more, since we met all our income budget goals for the year. And to boot, we just did the small “Gift of Time Campaign” to restore the church clock in Barton and ended up with enough donations from parishioners, with a generous alternate bid, that this project is about to be completed, and we can immediately move on to other parish projects.
Continue reading A Message from Fr. Naples

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