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    ESSEX, Vt.

    Vt. parish breaks ground on new hall

    Parishioners in a Vermont town who lost the part of their church in a fire in 2011 have broken ground on a new parish center. The Holy Family-St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church in Essex was hit by lightning. That started a fire that destroyed the 100-year-old, recently renovated former barn that served as the meeting hall. Bishop Salvatore R. Matano, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, blessed and broke ground Sunday on the center. Church officials told the Burlington Free Press that the new hall is projected to cost about $1.45 million and will be funded through a combination of the insurance settlement on the old hall and a fund-raising drive.