Voice of the Faithful 10th Year Conference attendees gather for a reception outside the Marriott Boston Copley Place Hotel ballroom just before the start of VOTF's 10th Year Conference.
The Marriott Boston Copley Place Hotel ballroom fills up with VOTF members in anticipation of the start of VOTF's 10th Year Conference. The conference drew more than 450 VOTFers to the hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14-15, 2012.
Former Voice of the Faithful® President Jim Post and present VOTF President and Board Chairman Mark Mullaney cut VOTF's 10th birthday cake during the 10th Year Conference's opening banquet.
VOTF President and Board Chair Mark Mullaney kicks off VOTF 10th Year Conference and sets organization's course for the future.
10th Year Conference attendees watch Voice of the Faithful®: A Retrospective, a video especially produced to help celebrate VOTF's beginnings, its founders and long-time members' commitment to its mission, and its work during the first decade.
Illinois Supreme Court Justice and former USCCB NRB Chair Anne Burke addresses 10th Year Conference attendees during the opening banquet. "I am here today," she said, "to salute you and your sense of imagination and creativity, two critically important components of Christian discipleship ... [that] give you your 'voice.' And now, after 10 years, we realize that without your voice, here in the United States, everyone's freedom as a Catholic would be more threatened. Everyone's liberty as a disciple would be more contained. We never needed you more."
10th Year Conference attendees gather around the Liturgical Press table in the Conference exhibit area.
Brad Pritts, Margaret Roylance (center) and Anne Southwood sing in support of the Saturday morning opening invocation at VOTF's 10th Year Conference.
John Morgan, Chairman, National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland, reviewed for attendees the experience in Ireland vis a vis the United States with regard to clergy sexual abuse and Church reform measures.
Students at the conference listen attentively to Prof. Thomas Groome, Chairman of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, who grounded attendees in what's best about being Catholic -- the Person of Jesus.
Fr. Donald Cozzens addresses 10th Year Conference attendees. Fr. Cozzens received a VOTF Priest of Integrity Award in 2009. He is Writer in Residence at John Carroll University, an international commentator and lecturer on religious and cultural issues, and a best-selling, award-winning author, whose books have been translated into seven languages.
Rapt attendees listen to Fr. Donald Cozzens talk about what a tremendous difference VOTF has made to the Church and Catholics over the past decade.
Daivid Clohessy, Executive Director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, presented the conference with an impassioned plea for Church reform to address the clergy sexual abuse scandal.
Conference attendees read personal "lamentations" posted on the Conference's Lamentations Wall, located in a quiet space off the main Conference area where people could express "whatever form of lamentation flows within you ..." These lamentations were among the offertory gifts during the Conference's closing Mass.
Jamie Manson, award-winning columnist for National Catholic Reporter, had a special message for conference attendees about the future for young people in the Catholic Church and how the Church might address young people's needs.
Fr. James Connell, a Canon lawyer and priest in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, has been a staunch supporter of clergy sexual abuse survivors. He made a call for the full truth about the scandal, which would be the only way to get to justice, which in turn would be the only way to heal the Church.
Former VOTF Board Chair Bill Casey presents Fr. Patrick Bergquist of Fairbanks, Alaska with a VOTF Priest of Integrity Award. "My challenge then -- really my plea to my brother priests," he said in accepting the award, "is that we not shy away from this scandal -- but instead choose to embrace it: taking on the shared guilt of our brothers -- even as we dare to share in the sacrifice of Jesus. For this is our cross to bear -- the cross we take up without fear or regret -- without anger or resentment -- but instead with great humility and even greater hope." Read the rest of Fr. Bergquist's acceptance remarks by clicking here.
Phyllis Zagano, Research Associate and Adjunct Professor of Religion at Hofstra University, was one of two recipents of VOTF's St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Lay Person Award at the 10th Year Conference. Zagano is an author, theologian, and internationally recognized specialist in Catholic studies.
Joseph O'Callaghan, a founding member of VOTF in the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, received one of two VOTF St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Lay Person Awards presented during the 10th Year Conference. A Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at Fordham University, O'Callaghan is an historian, educator, philosopher, lecturerer, author and activist who has been a champion for the wounded and victimized. Read his acceptance remarks by clicking here.
Fr. James Connell officiates at the closing Mass for VOTF's 10th Year Conference.
We have commemorated the Voice of the Faithful® 10th Year Conference with a special publication and video. The book Voices: Telling Our Stories, written by VOTF members, and the video, Voice of the Faithful: A Retrospective, were produced especially to mark our 10th year. Order them by clicking here.