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NO. R-141. JOINT RESOLUTION honoring Father Philip Branon of South Hero on the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a Roman Catholic priest.

(J.R.H. 105)

Offered by: Representatives LaBarge of Grand Isle and Howrigan of Fairfield.

Whereas, Philip Branonís roots in northern Vermont go back over 130 years to the farm his great-grandmother, Mary OíNeill Branon, started in Fairfield, and

Whereas, he grew up on a nearby Fairfield farm, and members of his large family, which includes seven brothers and two sisters, still reside in that Franklin County community, and

Whereas, another important part of Philip Branonís familyís heritage was religious service, as his uncle was a priest and his aunt was a nun, and

Whereas, Father Philip Branon has humorously reminisced that his parish priest, perhaps believing that the teenager was a pious child, urged young Philip to enter the priesthood, and

Whereas, after graduating from St. Maryís High School in St. Albans, he entered St. Johnís Seminary in Boston, and

Whereas, he was ordained in his boyhood parish, St. Patrick Church, in Fairfield, on April 11, 1951, when he celebrated his first mass in Latin, and

Whereas, after his ordination, Father Branonís first parish was St. Paulís in Barton, where he confidently ministered to his congregation and sermonized both in English and his newly-learned French, and

Whereas, following his two years in Barton, Father Branon served on the clerical staff at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Burlington, and as an administrator at the Vermont Catholic Charities, and

Whereas, in 1957, he began a 14-year residency at the University of Vermontís Newman Center, where he tended to the spiritual needs of the universityís Catholic students, an experience he greatly treasured, and

Whereas, in 1971, Father Branon became the priest for the three Catholic parishes on the Champlain Islands, St. Rose de Lima in South Hero, St. Benedict Labre in North Hero, and St. Joseph in Grand Isle, and

Whereas, Father Branon, in conjunction with the Reverend Max Reader, the now retired pastor at the South Hero Congregational Church, engaged in many ecumenical endeavors, and

Whereas, his parishioners and fellow clergy greatly love and admire Father Branon for his honest manner and understanding, and

Whereas, Father Branon is one of only two Roman Catholic priests in Vermont who remain active after 50 years of faithful service to the church, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly honors Father Branon on the half-centennial anniversary of his ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood and for his unfailing devotion to, and tender loving care of, his parishioners, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Father Philip Branon.