A Message from Helen Burland, Executive Director

What is Community?

What is community? These days the word is used in many ways but at Saint Catherine Center its meaning is at the heart of what we do. As a group of people who care about each other, share a common purpose, and work together to create a learning environment infused with compassion and sense of belonging, we truly are a community.

This past year, it was the power of community that supported us and propelled us forward, seen each day in the joy we saw in the students and young adults we serve. This joy is evident in the faces of those we serve.

We showed great resilience as we reopened in summer 2020 after months of separation. However, the year was not without its challenges. We managed health concerns; we mourned the loss of one our own; we virtually supported those who were unable to return in person. We missed the energy and talents of our volunteers. Limited to onsite programming, we missed our activities and experiences in the community.

We discovered untapped artistic creativity; we explored new ways to use technology; we celebrated simple joys in weekly prayer service, Zingo games, and enthusiastic recesses. Reading with adult participants became a daily activity and exercise on the treadmill, bike, or power walking added social and recreational opportunities for everyone.

As we look ahead with our Building For the Future Campaign, we remain grateful to you — our community of supporters, our families, our donors, and our staff. Collectively, you lifted us up and carried us through the year. As we move forward, we hold you in our hearts and look ahead with faith that we are stronger today because of the power of the Saint Catherine Center community.

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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.