Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

2020 Conference: Visions of a Just Church

Voice of the Faithful's 2020 Conference: Visions of a Just Church took place as a Zoom gathering on Oct. 3. Here are links to video recordings of each of the major presentations at the 2020 Conference:

VOTF 2020 Virtual Conference Information

Click here ... for links to information pertinent to Voice of the Faithful's 2020 Conference: Visions of a Just Church, commonly called collateral material, which would have been exhibited and placed in folders had the conference taken place in person.)

VOTF 2020 Conference speakers, each offering their unique visions of a just Church, included Catholic studies scholar Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D., and Fr. Richard Lennan, Boston College theologian.

In addition, VOTF leaders gave presentations, updating conference attendees on the work of our Protection of Children Working Group, Finance Working Group, and Women's Roles Working Group. VOTF Executive Director Donna B. Doucette and Trustee Elia Marnik brought attendees up to speed on a new child protection initiative. VOTF Trustee and Vice President Margaret Roylance offered attendees highlights from our fourth annual review of diocesan online financial transparency and outlined a similar effort in Church governance that will be forthcoming. Former Trustee Svea Fraser's presentation involved the promotion of women in the Church and synopsized a paper on which she collaborated with the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests and other entitled, "Association of U.S. Catholic Priests' Declaration on the Status of Women in the Church. See above for links to each of these speaker's presentations.

Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized scholar in Catholic studies and women’s roles in the Church and advocate of an ordained women’s diaconate. Author of nearly 20 books, she received Voice of the Faithful’s Catherine of Siena Distinguished Layperson Award during VOTF’s 10th Year Conference in Boston in 2012 and the Issac Hecker Award for Social Justice from the Paulist Center in Boston in 2014. On August 2, 2016, Pope Francis appointed her to the Papal Commission for the Study of Women in the Diaconate, which convened in Rome November 2016. She also is senior research associate-in-residence and adjunct professor of religion at Hofstra University.

Our featured return speaker was Fr. Richard Lennan, professor of systematic theology and Professor Ordinarius in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. He will speak at the conference about Australia's new draft Church governance document, which he helped develop and which promises to be a guide toward a more lay-participatory Church. Lennan grew up in Newcastle, Australia, and has been a priest of the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle since 1983. Lennan has taught systematic theology in the Catholic Institute of Sydney and served as president of the Australian Catholic Theological Association. He began teaching at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in 2007 and continued teaching at Boston College after Weston became part of BC. He currently directs STM's Sacred Theology Licensure program, serves on the editorial board of Theological Studies, and chairs the steering committee of the Karl Rahner Society. Together with two BC colleagues, Lennan wrote "To Serve the People of God: Renewing the Conversation on Priesthood and Ministry," about which he spoke at last year's conference, calling for reexamining the formation process for diocesan priests and eradicating the priesthood's embedded clerical culture. Lennan is the author of two books, and he has edited five others.

VOTF 2020 Conference Agenda

A Zoom Gathering, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020

8:30 a.m. - Gather in Zoom Waiting Room

9:00 a.m. - Welcome
Mary Pat Fox, VOTF President & Conference Moderator

9:15 a.m. - Opening Prayer
Emily Jendzejec, M.Div.

9:20 a.m. - Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D.
nternationally recognized scholar in Catholic studies and women’s roles in the Church and senior research associate-in-residence and adjunct professor of religion at Hofstra University

10:10 a.m. - Break to collate questions

10:15 a.m. - Phyllis Zagano Q&A

10:45 a.m. - Break

11:00 a.m. - Fr. Richard Lennan
Professor of systematic theology, School of Theology & Ministry, Boston College, and committee member for development of Australia’s "The Light from the Southern Cross: Promoting Co-Responsible Governance in the Catholic Church in Australia”

11:50 a.m. - Break to collate questions

11:55 a.m. - Fr. Richard Lennan Q&A

12:25 p.m. - Lunch

1:40 p.m. - Child Protection Working Group Presentation
VOTF Trustee Elia Marnik & VOTF Executive Director Donna B. Doucette

2:10 p.m. - Break to collate questions

2:15 p.m. - Child Protection Working Group Q&A

2:35 p.m. - Finance Working Group Presentation
VOTF Trustee Margaret Roylance

3:05 p.m. - Break to collate questions

3:10 p.m. - Finance Working Group Q&A

3:30 p.m. - Women’s Roles Working Group Presentation
Former VOTF Trustee Svea Fraser

4:00 p.m. - Break to collate questions

4:05 p.m. - Women’s Roles Working Group Q&A

4:25 p.m. - Closing Remarks
Mary Pat Fox, VOTF President & Conference Moderator

4:40 p.m. - Closing Benediction
Fr. Bill Clark, College of the Holy Cross