VOTF 2019 Conference: Creating a Just Church
Voice of the Faithful 2019 Conference
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Boston Marriott Newton, Newton, Massachusetts
$125 / Person (includes lunch)
Mark your calendars for Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, for Voice of the Faithful’s 2019 Conference. We will be at the Boston Marriott Newton, a suburban location with amenities of a downtown Boston hotel.
Our special return guest speaker will be the Honorable Anne M. Burke, Illinois Supreme Court Justice, who spoke to us at our 10th Anniversary Conference in 2012. For more than two years, she served as the interim chair of the USCCB’s National Review Board, directing its efforts to investigate the causes and effects of the clerical sexual abuse scandal and helping to establish guidelines and policies for effectively responding to the scandal. Much has happened in the clergy abuse scandal since then, and she is now involved with a group advocating accountability for bishops who have covered up abuse.
Justice Burke will be joined by Chicago Children's Advocacy Exec. Dir. Char Rivette. Together, they will show how CAC can be a model for battling clergy child abuse in your diocese. CAC is Chicago's front-line responder to reports of child sexual abuse, child physical abuse, and other serious maltreatment, and the only not-for-profit coordinating the efforts of child protection staff, law enforcement professionals, family advocates, medical experts, and mental health clinicians under one roof. All services are free and aimed at reducing trauma, so children and families may begin healing. Since opening in 2001, ChicagoCAC has served more than 34,000 children.
A second featured speaker will be Fr. Richard Lennan, professor of systematic theology at Boston College. He presently directs Boston College's sacred theology licenture program. Together with Boston College theology professors Thomas Groome and Richard Gaillardetz, Prof. Lennan wrote "To Serve the People of God: Renewing the Conversation on Priesthood and Ministry," which calls for reexamining the formation process for diocesan priests and eradicating the priesthood's embedded clerical culture. The paper resulted from a seminar begun in 2016 and composed of lay and ordained women and men and theologians and ministers working in pastoral and academic settings. (Click here to read a statement from Boston College with links to additional information).
In addition, the conference will feature a panel discussion during which parishioners from the Cincinnati, Ohio, Washington, D.C., and Buffalo, New York, areas will discuss actions they are taking at the grassroots level to help create a just Church. The panel presentations and Q&A will segue into our lunch period when attendees can continue the panel members' discussion.
Set aside Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, and stay tuned for updates!