were to keep silent, I tell you the very stones would
shout out.” Luke 19:41
Reflection – Susan Troy, M.Div., “We
Are An Easter People”
the urge to do something NOW? Sign
the petition for returning responsibility
to Catholicism – a few seconds of your time is
a small investment in the future of our Church.
AND watch the VOTF
web site for information on the training kit.
For now, the kit is called “Campaign for Catholic
Responsibility – Parish Voice Petition Drive Organizing
Group News - VOTF began on the shock wave
of abused children. What better investment in
their safety than the “Talking About Touching” training
program held 3/27? See the Protecting
Our Children report; Prayerful
Voice – why bother? Susan Troy responds.
Community News – VOTF Maine joined SNAP to
place ads in three weeklies; a survivor finds
peace at the VOTF San Francisco, CA conference. Read
- Priests’ Support
Working Group promotes advice from David
Gibson, author of The Coming Catholic Church; A
Gathering of Church - Priests speak openly about
the effect of the abuse crisis on their ministry.
Holy Cross College hosted a discussion with priests,
laity and survivors. The candor of the participating
priests speaks volumes for VOTF’s ongoing commitment
to unleash our voices – as Church. Readers will
no doubt recognize these priests’ sentiments
as very like their own – different circumstances,
same humanity. Read More.
invited to attend Bishop installation in
Springfield, MA. Read more
in Affiliate News.
Boston meets with Mayor Menino – Read
more in Events, Etc.
first for VOTF and maybe for global Catholicism!
The Structural Change Working Group begins to train
affiliates for the use of its long-awaited Primer
on Church Structures. Read
more in Affiliate News.
from the field – VOTF president Jim Post reports
on VOTF West Coast conference, VOTF joins
SNAP in Twin Cities conference and the Fallons “image
the Church” at University of San Francisco; report
from Rome visit (Read more
in Events, Etc.)
you know where your bishop is? He may be on an ad
limina visit to Rome – the quinquennial meeting
with the Pope required of bishops all over
the world. US bishops have already begun these
journeys, organized by region. Read
more in Events, Etc.
The Lord’s Prayer– in Aramaic. Read
more in Council Minutes
site discoveries: www.oncecatholic.org If
you or someone you know just can’t bring themselves “back
to church,” this web site might help. OnceCatholic.org
is a ministry of the Franciscan Friars of St.
John the Baptist Province, Cincinnati, Ohio,
U.S.A., a Roman Catholic order founded by Saint
Francis of Assisi. “The mission of OnceCatholic.org
is to put you back in touch with a face-to-face
community of Catholics. Along the way, we want
to walk with you as you sort through your issues
with the Church.”
check out www.networklobby.org NETWORK
supports and builds political will to
develop a just, participatory and sustainable
world community. Founded by women religious
as a contemporary response to the ministry
of Jesus, NETWORK uses Catholic Social Teaching
and the life experience of people who are
poor as lenses for viewing social reality.
Anthony Messenger press publishes a
monthly newsletter Vatican 2 Today. This
is a four-page monthly publication celebrating
the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican
Council and its ongoing impact on the Catholic
Church of the 21st century. Attending Mass
in Maine recently, Susan Troy found the
March 2004 issue “Road Map for the Future – Teachings
of Vatican II” an excellent source for
furthering the “good news.” Accessible
on line at www.americancatholic.org.
- Commentary: Language
Matters – When
You Know the Language. Readers would be missing
too much if some books are overlooked or never
noticed. See brief excerpts from Keep
the Faith, Change the Church by VOTF founding
president Jim Muller and journalist Charles Kenney; Vows
of Silence by Jason Berry and Gerald Renner; Governance,
Accountability and the Future of the Catholic
Church, edited by Frances Oakley and Bruce
of Renewal - Voice of Renewal has been working
to implement its mission as a forum to educate
and be educated about topics relating to the
VOTF mission and goals. To find out more check
our updated pages on the VOTF
web site. To contribute to our "virtual topics" join
the VOR listserv: VOR-VOTF- firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts Catholic Conference is the Public
Policy Voice of the Roman Catholic Church in Massachusetts
and is spearheading a drive for Catholic voter
registration so that Catholics will use their voices
at the polls – what’s wrong with this picture?
What Do You Think? Visit www.boston.com for
the story published on 3/26/04 and send your comments
McCarrick said on national TV that every parish
in the world has a parish pastoral Council (wrong);
the recent survey of same by the USCCB seems to
suggest an equally rosy picture. Is this what
VOTF means by meaningful lay involvement? What
Do You Think? Visit www.usccb.org/laity for
details and send comments to email@example.com.
- Events – West
Coast Conference; Minneapolis conference; April
13-16 The National Catholic Educators Association
is having its conference at the Hynes Convention
center and VOTF will be there. Visit http://www.ncea.org/annual/convention/exhibitorsinfo/04exhprpscts.pdf
News – VOTF Louisville, KY “goes out” to priests;
affiliates to receive the first VOTF Handbook; St.
Eulalia’s/Winchester, MA VOTF is hopping with speaker
events AND if your affiliate needs energizing, they
have an idea – a June conference for Boston affiliates
complete with planning questionnaire; VOTF National
has hired much-needed part-time help. Read
VOTF quarterly Voice call the VOTF office
VOTF postal address is P.O. Box 423, Newton Upper
Falls, MA 02464-0002
send comments and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
of the Faithful, VOTF, "Keep the Faith, Change the Church,"
Voice of Compassion, VOTF logo(s), Parish Voice, and
Prayerful Voice are trademarks of Voice of the Faithful,
of the Faithful is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization.
Volume 3, Issue 4
Printer Friendly Version
Luke tells us
that when Jesus was leaving the Mount of Olives on His
way to persecution and death, He said of his cheering
followers, “If these were to keep silent, I tell you the
very stones would shout out.” Silence hasn’t been an option
for a very long time.
One of the many
benefits of speaking to each other in the same language
is the eventual likelihood of understanding
each other. Frequently, there appears to be a language barrier
between Catholics in the pews as well as between Catholics
and Church leadership. There is also a profound gap in lay
education. Taken together, these do not contribute to an
environment of reform, much less of communion. So it is with
enormous relief and profound appreciation that VOTF heralds
the long-awaited, first-of-its-kind Primer on Church Structures – a
fundamental step toward bridging any language barrier among
us, perceived or real, as well as repairing some of the holes
in our understanding of “Church” and its history. This issue
and future issues of In the Vineyard will attempt
to facilitate a “negotiated settlement” of much that confuses
many good hearts caught in the tragedy of a failed Church.
If we know the language, we might begin to participate in
substantive inquiry and response. We hope that our efforts
coupled with feedback from our readers will contribute to
a virtual conference call on being Church in the 21st Century.
The Primer on Church Structures will evolve as we grow – in
a sense, it is our collective work in progress. It aims to
be a user-friendly introductory tool. To further ensure and
encourage the use of the Primer, the Spring issue of the
VOTF quarterly Voice, will recap the Primer’s content.
Speaking of language that unites, Susan Troy opens this
issue of In the Vineyard with a timely reminder that “We
are an Easter People.” VOTF wishes all of our readers a blessed
and blessing Easter.
Peggie L. Thorp, ed.