About Our Parish
Our Catholic parish family is united by God’s love and our belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We live and share our faith in our daily actions as parishes, as a school and as individuals.
The Merger of Two Parishes
After months of deliberation and preparation, and in response to the directive from the Most Reverend Kenneth A. Angell, Bishop of Vermont, the parishes of Saint Francis de Sales and Sacred Heart merged on July 1, 1995.
Bishop Angell presided at the first Mass of the unified congregations. The great, historical, gothic, structure, now known as Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church, became home to the Catholic Community of Bennington.
The following appointments were made to the new church of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales:
Rev. Laurence M. Olszewski, c.s.c. – Pastor, July 1, 1995 to August 26, 2001
Rev. Robert J. Malone, c.s.c. – Associate Pastor, July 1, 1995 to June 30, 1996
Rev. William H. Kelley, c.s.c. – Associate Pastor, June 30, 1996 to June 30, 2001
Rev. Vincent J. Coppola, c.s.c. – Associate Pastor, July 3, 2001 to July 8, 2010
Rev. Robert W. Lozinski, c.s.c – Pastor, September 1, 2001 to September 17, 2004
Rev. James T. Preskenis, c.s.c. – Pastor, September 17, 2004 to July 1, 2010
Rev. William H. Kelley, c.s.c. – Pastor, July 8, 2010 to September 30, 2013
Rev. William H. Kelley, c.s.c. – Associate Pastor, October 1, 2013
Bro. John Britto Antony, c.s.c – Deacon, September 1, 2010
Rev. John Britto Antony, c.s.c – Associate Pastor, April 2011 to October 8, 2012
Rev. William Persia, c.s.c – Associate Pastor, October 2012 to January 2013
Rev. Robert Wiseman, c.s.c – Associate Pastor, January 2013 to September 30, 2013
Rev. Robert Wiseman, c.s.c – Administrator, October 1, 2013
The 2018-19 class will be held Sunday following the 9:30 Mass in the Parish Center beginning on October 21. Catechumens and candidates join with their sponsors in a weekly session to study that Sunday's lectionary readings and explore the Gospel. For more information, please contact the Parish Office at 442-3141 or email: email@example.com.
- David Clairmont, PhD, moral theologian and member of the Theology Department at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.
- Madeline Doll, former administrative assistant of our Holy Cross community at the University of Portland for almost 20 years, Portland, Ore.
- David Estes, principal of The School of Sacred Heart-St. Francis de Sales in Bennington, Vt.
- Elizabeth Hayden, educational consultant, Stonehill College graduate (M.Ed. 1976, Ph.D. 2004), member of the Stonehill College Board of Trustees, and generous Holy Cross benefactor, North Easton, Mass.
- April Henry, interim administrator and nurse practitioner, Holy Cross House Clinic, Notre Dame, Ind.
- Jerry and Marge Marley, volunteers at St. Joe Parish, South Bend, Ind.
- Pablo Ayala Rolando, president of the Alumni Association of Saint George's College, Santiago, Chile
- Joe and Anna Spiak, Board of Trustees of Stonehill College and volunteers of Holy Cross Family Ministries
- Betty Zeiger, lead housekeeper of Our Lady of Fatima House since Sept. 1985
- As a former seminarian, David Clairmont brings to his teaching a genuine love of the Church and its pastoral ministry. Since 2015, he's collaborated on an undergraduate course, "Holy Cross Spirituality and the Life of Virtue," an idea flowing from his conviction that Holy Cross spirituality has something to offer all walks of life. In the class, he speaks eloquently to the students of what he has found in the writings of Holy Cross founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, and in other Holy Cross figures. The course is only one of several demonstrations of David's great desire to make Holy Cross, its people, and its tradition more available and more evident in the life of the University of Notre Dame. David believes that there is no higher purpose for theology than to assist people in strengthening their relationship with the Triune God, and has spoken as such in many venues, including department meetings, new faculty orientation, student orientation sessions, and special meetings for staff going on pilgrimages to LeMans, France or Montreal.
- Madeline Doll celebrates her birthday on January 20, the date the Congregation of Holy Cross recognizes the life of its founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, each year. Quiet, reserved, yet highly efficient, Madeline became secretary to the pastor of Queen of Peace Parish in North Portland for 15 years, then just as that parish was being closed and integrated into Holy Redeemer Parish (itself later to be staffed by Holy Cross priests), the steward of the local Holy Cross community at the University of Portland asked the outgoing pastor of Queen of Peace Parish if he knew anyone who might be available to help out as his assistant in keeping the books. Because the parish was closing, Madeline was available, competent and willing. She came to Holy Cross at the University of Portland in 1994 and proved herself to be a person dedicated to doing her best, yet without calling attention to herself. Her position expanded to include working closely for more than 21 years with seven successive superiors until 2015. Since retiring three years ago, Madeline remains busy helping out at her brother's Saturday Market booth of fresh vegetables. Be it also known that Madeline is a great cook and a baker of some of the best tasting cookies in the world.
- Now in his 40th year of service, David Estes has assured for Sacred Heart-St. Francis de Sales School a strong, positive Catholic identity as well as enrollment growth. The school has become the fourth largest elementary school in the Diocese. David has been also been actively involved in the life of the parish, working in music ministry for forty years, teaching the parish religious education program for nine years, and serving on the Parish Council for 31 years. In addition to his responsibilities as principal, David has also taught mathematics, music and technology; has coached basketball and soccer teams; directed all of the school Christmas programs; and produced a middle school musical every spring. David has served on the Board of Trustees for the Bennington County Choral Society and recently finished a six-year term on the Independent School Commission at the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. David has worked closely with Holy Cross priests as staff and associates throughout this time. David is married to Judith Estes, a teacher at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington. They have two children, Peter and Hillary.
- Elizabeth Hayden is currently researching in the area of family health and well-being, with an emphasis on finding best practices for raising healthy children and appropriate delivery systems for that knowledge. In addition, she works at Nativity Prep. of Boston, serving economically challenged families. She married Stonehill classmate, James E. Hayden, '76, at the Holy Cross Center Chapel at Stonehill in 1976. Vice president and chief financial officer of Netegrity, Inc. in Waltham, Mass., James was killed on September 11, 2001, in the crash of the second hijacked plane, United Airlines Flight 175, that struck the World Trade Center in New York City. On October 10, 2001, in her eulogy to James, entitled The Making of a Person, she traced the couple's involvement with the College over the years and paid tribute to her late husband and the lasting influence of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and Stonehill - an influence and impact that she's reciprocated many times over. Liz is the mother of two married children. Her daughter, Elizabeth K. Hayden Klucznik, is a 2004 Stonehill alumna. Her son, John is a graduate of the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
- April Henry is a person of the utmost confidence and trust by all those with whom she works and serves at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind. She is highly professional, and her life is one dedicated to the values of Holy Cross and the service to those who are ill, seeing it sincerely as her vocation since 2011. In the last year, she has been asked repeatedly to step in and help lead Holy Cross House, doing so with great openness. The United States Province is fortunate to have her as a lay colleague and leader. She is very well loved for her caring nature, and as her life and vocation are enriched by her work at Holy Cross House, the lives of Holy Cross religious are enriched and enhanced by all she does. April studied at Indiana University South Bend, began as a Nurse Practitioner at Holy Cross House in 2011 and earned her master's degree of nursing in January 2015. April and her husband Greg live in Mishawaka, Ind. and have three adult children and three grandchildren whom they cherish.
- Jerry and Marge Marley are long-time members of Saint Joseph Parish, South Bend, Ind. Their children attended the grade school and the couple has been active in the parish throughout their entire time here. Marge ran a program for the home-bound, scheduling Eucharistic ministers and organizing meals, as well as making sure they received cards from parishioners around the holidays. Marge now goes to Milton Home (nursing home) each week to lead the faithful in a communion service. Marge also volunteers as a wedding coordinator and covers the front desk once a week at the parish. Jerry, a retired engineering professor from Notre Dame, sits on our buildings and grounds committee, and is a regular Monday money-counter (weekend collections). Jerry and Marge, both in their 80s, are still receptive and supportive when their pastor needs help or advice.
- Pablo Ayala Rolando is president of the Alumni Association of Saint George's College in Santiago, Chile, and a 1978 graduate of the College that he has served so well ever since. In addition to serving on boards of Saint George's College, he is also a longtime collaborator on the Board of Fundamor and Hogar de Beneficencia, San José. Pablo also studied Industrial Civil Engineering at the University of Chile, from which he graduated in 1987 with maximum distinction. Since his graduation from the University, he has worked advising different companies in Strategic Planning. In 2006-2007, he completed the Advanced Management Program at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. In 2009, he worked as General Manager of Seaweed Export Company S.A., and thanks to his company, he was been able to provide education and work to many families and young people. He was a member of the Board of Directors at Fundamor from 2007 to 2017, which he left in order to open the way for other generations. From 2010 to date, he has been President of the San José Real Estate Agency. Pablo is the son of Hernán Ayala and Fresia Rolando, a family that has maintained a long tradition with the Congregation and Saint George's College. Pablo is married to Gina Rainieri Bemain (Saint George's College, '78). They have five children, all of whom are Saint George alumni.
Joe and Anna Spiak, Joe Spiak, a Notre Dame High School (Fairfield, Conn.) and Stonehill College graduate ('61 and '66 respectively), and his wife, Anna Spiak, have been married for 46 years, during which time they've maintained a close and supportive relationship with the Holy Cross priests of the former Eastern Province, as well as Family Rosary and Holy Cross Family Ministries. Anna volunteered at Family Rosary, and together, Joe and Anna have been a constant support to Holy Cross Family Ministries. Joe served with diligence and distinction on the Board of Trustees of Stonehill College, and has been a constant advisor, board member, and chair of the Crusade for Family Prayer (now doing business as the Holy Cross Family Ministries Foundation), leading the board on a steady path of growth through a highly diversified investment strategy. The Spiaks have also been a major financial contributor to Stonehill College, Family Rosary, the Institute for the Family in Peru, the Father David E. Farrell, C.S.C., Sports and Cultural Pavilion also in Peru, and Holy Cross Family Ministries. They were active parishioners in the local parishes in Fairfield, Conn., and are now active in Jacksonville, Fla. They have one married daughter and two grandchildren.
- Betty Zeiger joined the staff of Our Lady of Fatima House (formerly Retreat Center) in September of 1985, and has faithfully and joyfully responded to the needs of its many retreatants and residents as the lead housekeeper. She continues to this day to respond with a cheerful and disarming smile to the needs of the religious men living at Fatima. Betty's personal life centers around her family. Her daughter, Amy Zeiger, is close by in South Bend with her daughter, Ariel, and her sons, Zack and Logan. Betty's son, Aaron Zeiger, is further away in Red Rock, Arizona, with his daughters Taylor and Tristan. Betty delights in Amy and Aaron's achievements and her five grandchildren are the source of great pride and satisfaction. Over the span of thirty-three years, Betty has brought joy and peace to so many, brothers, priests, and lay women and men as a committed collaborator with us in living out the vision and mission of our Holy Cross founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, to make God known, loved, and served.