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– Sincerely, in Christ, with Mary, Fr. Tim Naples, Pastor

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

Catholic Schools’ Week at the Parish School

January 28, 2017

Dear Friends of St. Paul’s Catholic School,

This week is our national Catholic School’s Week. The tradition of Catholic schools goes much deeper than most people know. As controversies about education continue to swirl throughout our nation, most every effort about how to make up the defects in education is a partial solution at best. At worst many actions are having the opposite effect of what “education” should mean for children, for families, for society, and the world. There is a stream of tradition which contains everything needed to make education “catholic” in the sense that it should provide everything that children need to grow into the fullness of their humanity, virtuous and complete. The word catholic means universal, and no education can be universal or comprehensive without the place of God, and without the place of family. We can rejoice that there is such a strong emphasis on family in the culture at St. Paul’s School. We can rejoice that God is present in the school (and in the school chapel tabernacle), and that prayer, and genuine belief in the Christian Tradition are parts of each student’s experience. However we still have much to pray for.

The work of reviving our area churches, and all our Catholic parishes, is very slow going. But it is necessary. Catholic Schools can and should play a part in this. With the loss of Sacred Heart School in Newport, it is all the more important to strengthen the Catholic Identity of St. Paul’s School. Yet the school can have no Catholic identity except for the Catholicism of those who administer the school, who teach the school, who attend the school, and who support the school. The ancient rule of the church says Lex Orandi, Lex Credeni: “the law of prayer is the law of belief.” Let us dedicate ourselves to prayer in the fullness of the Catholic Tradition, with Eucharistic celebrations, with personal meditations, with diligent reading of the Scriptures, with the invocation of the saints and their examples, with the sacrament of confession, and with devotion to Mary. The fullness of Catholic prayer will keep the beliefs, which shape our actions, on the path of Christ. It is the path that educates and completes humanity.

January 28th is the memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, a patron saint of Catholic Schools. I personally celebrated the memorial Mass of St. Thomas with an intention offered for all our school families. As an academic, his genius was and still is admired throughout the Christian world and more so. (He said he never read a single page that he didn’t understand!) Yet all of his intellectual energy was directed to serving God and neighbor. Jesus appeared to him once and said, “you have written well of me Thomas. What do you want as your reward?” His reply to the Lord Jesus was, “nothing but yourself Lord!”

In the end of all things, who can give us fulfillment but Jesus? And how will the education of our children be complete without the one thing that will sum up all the other elements and give them meaning that lasts forever? Let us thank the Lord for great Catholic saints. Not only Thomas Aquinas and Elizabeth Ann Seton, but all saints are patrons of Catholic education. Let us pray to the Lord, united to them. As another saint said, “let us love Jesus and Mary and become saints. We can neither hope, nor expect, anything better.”

God bless you,

Fr. Tim Naples

Welcome Fr. Oliver


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

Special Parish Announcement

Dear Parishioners,

In this special parish announcement you will find some crucial information for our parish plans, put out with invitations to participate in the mission of Christ, a mission to respond to our current times and circumstances as faithful Catholic believers. You will also find some major proposals for the parish:

• My proposed changes to weekend Mass times
• A short appeal for financial support of our family programs
• New suggestions for parish donation practices
• A new parish second collection to focus our mission in terms of our parish budget
• A request for prayers in gratitude for those who have served the parish
Continue reading Special Parish Announcement