The Voice of Renewal Working Group will be presenting a workshop on Friday afternoon called "Find your Voice, Trust your Voice, Share your Voice". Bill Murphy from that working group is convinced that the title cap-tures the spirit of this group. Bill observes that finding, trusting and sharing are the three central "moments" in all relationships. Relationship is the key to VOR. This working group has been creating resources to help Catholics recognize the depth of their Baptismal relationship with the Gospel and with the Church.
Bill describes what animates his membership in VOR this way: "We have to help each other as members of the Christian community, laity and clergy alike, grow in these three elements, just as any real friendship or marriage or relationship that is deepening and developing requires." In the workshop it-self, the working group will re-create the experience of finding voice, and growing to trust one's own voice, and most importantly developing materials and events to share our voice.
The workshop will make participants familiar with materials that VOR has crafted. It will provide a model process for starting such a group in your own area. VOR has created a workshop that will give people confidence in their own voice. Bill hopes that people will come away emboldened to share their Voice as members of the lay faithful who want to "keep" that faith and "change the Church."
Sally Vance-Trembath Vice-President VOTF
Who Says It’s Time to Blow Out the Candles?
Francis Piderit from the NYC affiliate has worked with Peter Borre from Boston and Carmen Villegas from New York to present this panel on parish closings on Saturday afternoon.
With wave after wave of parish closures and mergers hitting US dioceses, critical questions are forcing Catholic laity to rethink the structure, operation and ownership of the parish. This panel discussion raises and deals with the the following questions:
Who decides when it’s time to close down a parish?
Does the hierarchy hold this power alone, or do bishops have a responsibility to respect the authority of the parish faith community?
What practical actions can believers take to protect their parishes from un-wanted closure or merger? How do you go about filing a canonical appeal?
Who really owns parish assets, and where should these assets go when churches are closed?
Are there new models of parish organization and operation that will allow more parishes to remain open in an era of declining priests?
In this panel, parish activists from Boston and New York will share their
ex-periences on fighting closures on the streets, in the courts and in the