A Message from Helen Burland, Executive Director

A reflection upon retirement

What I learned over the last fifteen years…

Dr. Seuss once reminded us, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” As my retirement date of June 30th approaches, I reflect of a position that has become synonymous with who I am. I couldn’t have imagined the incredible people I would meet, the challenges we would overcome together, and the lives we touched along the way.

Serving in a leadership role at Saint Catherine’s since 2008 has been my absolute privilege. Recently, I’ve been humbled by the numerous expressions of gratitude for my tenure, but, I want to take this moment to thank the young people of St. Catherine Academy and St. Catherine Adult Services program for all that they have taught me.

They taught me how to communicate without words; how to redefine success in countless new ways; how to overcome fear of failure; how to pray; how to dance with joy; and how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in volume— over 40,000 in the last 15 years! Above all, they taught me to look beyond myself, to walk alongside each individual and embrace them for who they are. Saint Catherine Center is a community of people with a variety of talents, hopes, and dreams who come together to affirm the dignity of each person we encounter.

Saint Catherine’s is blessed with a dedicated staff, strong relationships with our families, a mission-driven Board, and committed, generous donors. All of these have contributed to the growth and strength of our organization. I believe the organization is positioned to enter its next stage as a vibrant community with a bright future. Change is a positive force that brings growth, and it is now time for me to step aside and allow for new leadership and ideas. With the reins passed to Laura Grozier, the organization is on sound footings to move ahead seamlessly.

Throughout these past fifteen years, your unwavering support and prayers have lifted me up during the most daunting challenges and united us in moments of celebration. Together, we have built an amazing community that is founded on the principle that every individual is valued and worthy of respect.

As I enter a new phase of my life, I kindly ask for your prayers, carrying deep gratitude for how all of you have enriched me in so many ways.

With gratitude,

Helen Burland
Executive Director

p.s. As a final request, if you would like to assist us in completing the outfitting of the new building, scheduled to open in September, please follow this link. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.

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About Helen Burland

Helen Burland, Executive Director, joined Saint Catherine Academy and Center in 2008. She is a graduate of Fairfield University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Previously she was the Town Administrator for the Town of Madison. She served 8 years on the Madison Board of Education, including three years as Vice Chairman, and served as Chair of the Board of Finance. Helen has also served on the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions Board at Fairfield University.