Christmas services drew the faithful to church Monday morning in Vermont’s largest city.
Bishop Christopher Coyne of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington presided over mass at the St. Joseph Co-Cathedral.Coyne said the message of hope and encouragement that comes at Christmas from celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ is one many people need right now.
“I think people really need to hear the good news, because as a state, we’re facing a lot of problems—especially the opioid epidemic,” Coyne told necn. “Also, the fact that many people are struggling to make ends meet or finding it difficult to have good employment, to know that the church is here and continuing to reach out to them to help them—but also to know that God is with them even when it seems the lowest in their lives—is something we all need to hear.”
The weather might have caused some people to change their church-going plans, theorized Father Lance Harlow, the rector of St. Joseph.
Harlow said there were more than 600 people at mass Sunday afternoon for a Christmas Eve service at the cathedral. He suggested that if it weren’t for the fresh snow forecasted to arrive overnight and into Monday morning for the Burlington area, some of those parishioners would have likely been at Christmas morning services instead of, or in addition to, the Christmas Eve worship.