VOTF Greater Philadelphia, PA
Submitted by Walter Fox
A half-day conference on the financial management of
Catholic parishes will be held from 9 am to 1 pm on
Saturday, April 23, at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa.,
under the sponsorship of Voice of the Faithful of Greater
The conference, entitled Parish Finance Council Conference
2005, has been organized by the Financial Accountability
Subcommittee of VOTF/GP and will include speakers, panels
and small-group discussions on topics of interest to
members of parish finance councils and others concerned
with fiscal issues confronting Catholic churches.
The keynote speaker will be David Castaldi, chair of
the Parish Reconfiguration Fund Oversight Committee
for the Archdiocese of Boston. A former chancellor of
the Boston archdiocese, Castaldi is a founder and chairman
of the board of trustees of Voice of the Faithful.
Among topics scheduled for discussion are canon law
and church teaching on finance, planning parish budgets,
church bankruptcies and parish property ownership,
parish closures and consolidations. For further information
or to enroll call 610-853-1561 or e-mail: PFCONF2005@CS.com.
There is no charge.
VOTF Boston, MA
From the Boston Council Newsletter
Steering Committee report:
We have completed a governance proposal for the Boston
Council. It will be presented to the membership at the
Ed Wade, Steering Committee member, has assembled a
group of VOTF members from each of the five regions
of the Boston Archdiocese to review a proposal for structural
change in the Church. Once approved by the Boston membership,
Ed will collaborate with VOTF members from other dioceses
who are also working on the document. They will submit
a final proposal for consideration at the national VOTF
conference in Indianapolis this summer.
Mike Gustin, Steering Committee Chairperson, met with
Jim Burns, S.J., the Director of a Parish Transitions
Research Project at Boston University. This series of
research studies is exploring the effects of parish
reorganization in the Roman Catholic Church in the United
States. The goal of the study is to increase understanding
of the impact of the changes and, if possible, to make
recommendations to other dioceses and denominations
facing a similar process in the future.
They are inviting Boston Catholics to participate in
a survey about their personal experiences, both positive
and negative, during this transition. Click
here to complete the survey online.
"A TIME FOR HEALING" - St. Susanna's, Dedham. We invite
you to a very special adult education series during
Eastertide, the time of Resurrection, the time of spring
and new life, new birth, and new hope. Dr. Don Pachuta
will present a four-week course on Healing on Monday
nights April 11, 18, 25 and May 2, from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
at St. Susanna, 262 Needham Street, Dedham. We know
you will find this course most valuable.
We hope that you will commit to all four sessions.
In case you need to miss one, there will be a review
of the previous session from 6:30-7:00 pm, on April
18, 25, and May 2. We will be using a bound notebook.
You may bring one or we will provide one for you. Please
note: The first three sessions will be in parish hall,
and the fourth on May 2 in the church.
DIRECTIONS to ST
SUSANNA: From Route 128, take exit 18 and head toward
West Roxbury. St Susanna is approximately 1 mile down
on right. Park behind the church and enter the parish
hall through the door between the church and rectory.
"EXPERIENCES OF A PASTORAL ASSISTANT" - Sister Theresa
Carlow, SND, speaks at St. Albert the Great, Weymouth.
The Weymouth Voice of the Faithful welcomes Sister Theresa
Carlow, SND, to their Tuesday, April 12th VOTF meeting.
Sr. Theresa will speak on her experience as a pastoral
assistant in a lay-led parish in the Midwest. The meeting
will start at 7:00 p.m. in the St. Albert the Great
Parish Hall, 1130 Washington Street, Weymouth, MA.
"RECONFIGURATION AND FINANCES" - David Castaldi speaks
at Our Lady of Sorrows, Sharon. The Voice of the Faithful
of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Sharon, MA, welcomes
David Castaldi on Thursday, April 21, 2005, in the Parish
Hall, 59 Cottage Street, Sharon, 7:30 p.m. David Castaldi,
founding member of the Voice of the Faithful, will be
speaking on the issues of reconfiguration and the financial
issues surrounding the closing of 83 parishes.
DIRECTIONS to OUR
LADY OF SORROWS, SHARON: From Rte. 128/95 South,
take Exit 10 ("Coney Street, Sharon"). Turn left. Follow
this road for approximately 2.5 miles into the center
of Sharon (traffic light). Continue straight (Post Office
Square becomes Billings St.) for about 3/10 of a mile.
Turn right onto Cottage Street. The church is 2/10 of
a mile on the left.
REMINDER: The next Boston Area VOTF Council meeting
will be held on Wednesday, April 13, from 7:00-8:30
p.m. at Our Lady Help of Christians, 539 Washington
Street, Newton. All are welcome!
VOTF Winchester Area, MA
Submitted by Bob Morris
A highlight for our group in March was a discussion
with Fr. Bruce Teague, a featured speaker at the New
England VOTF Conference in Worcester, MA in November
2004, and currently a chaplain at Beth Israel Hospital.
Fr. Teague touched on many issues, including the current
effort to abolish the statute of limitations for sexual
abuse of minors. Fr. Teague had met with Attorney General
Riley on that issue on the day he spoke to us. Fr. Teague's
calm manner and willingness to engage everyone, regardless
of point of view, won over the 60 people in attendance.
In March our small-group faith-sharing sessions met
again. This initiative, led by Bill Murphy of St. Malachy's
in Burlington and a team of dedicated discussion leaders,
allows us to prove that we are truly "a prayerful voice,
attentive to the spirit." Many thanks are due to Bill
for his leadership on this initiative.
Finally, our affiliate has begun discussing the action
phase of the Many Hands, Many Hearts initiative of the
Parish Voice office. We have devoted two meetings thus
far to identifying an issue on which we can take action.
We have been blessed that Suzy Nauman, a co-founder
of our affiliate, has taken time from her Parish Voice
duties to lead us in this effort.
VOTF SOUTH REGION
VOTF Palm Beach County, FL
Submitted by Ed Hill
After several months in planning, the Palm Beach County
Affiliate conducted its first major program since its
founding in April 2003. On Saturday, March 19, a Healing
Program in recognition of, and compassion for, victims
of sexual abuse by the clergy, was held from 9:30 am
to 3:30 pm at the Lighthouse Center for the Arts facility
in Tequesta, FL. Over 100 people attended. The program
consisted of three distinguished speakers, including
Dr. Eugene Kennedy, Fr. Donald Cozzens and Dr. Jon Connelly.
Speakers were introduced by Kristine Ward, national
VOTF Vice President and Peter Amann, President of the
Palm Beach County affiliate. The theme of the program
bears the same name as Fr.Cozzens’ recent book Faith
That Dares To Speak, which includes a chapter on
Dr. Kennedy opened the discussion with topics from
his subject, “The World, the Flesh and the Catholic
Church,” which touched on the origins of the current
crisis in the Catholic Church, and where we might be
headed unless significant changes, including dialogue,
are initiated at the hierarchic level. Dr. Kennedy is
Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Loyola University,
Chicago, and author of over 40 books on Psychology and
religion, as well as novels, plays and biographies.
Several of his works were offered for sale and signing
Next was Fr. Donald Cozzens speaking on selected topics
from his own recent work Faith That Dares to Speak.
He currently teachers and is a Resident Writer at
John Carroll University, Cleveland. Based upon his experience
as vicar of clergy and religious, and as president of
St. Mary Seminary, he was inspired to write his award
winning book The Changing Face of the Priesthood,
subsequently translated into six languages. Three
of Fr. Cozzens’ books were also available for sale,
including Sacred Silence. It is worthy of note
that all of the program’s consigned books were sold
out, an indication that the audience liked the messages
of our speakers.
At the conclusion of the morning program, a complimentary
lunch was enjoyed by all. The afternoon program began
with a presentation by Dr. Jon Connelly, a Diplomate
in Psychotherapy, specializing in sex therapy and hypnotherapy.
He is a staff member at the Jupiter Medical Center and
founder of the non-profit Institute for Survivors of
Sexual Violence, which trains mental health professionals
all over the United States. A most interesting part
of Dr. Connelly’s program included a courageous presentation
by a patient who recovered completely from her long
battle with abuse-driven guilt, shame and loss of self
worth through special techniques developed by Dr. Connelly.
The Healing Program concluded with a half-hour Prayer
Service in a garden area near the Arts facility on one
of the most gorgeous days in Florida in weeks. For that
we must have surely been blessed from above! The Prayer
Service was arranged and conducted by the Prayer Service
committee members with Kristine Ward participating.
Copies of the Prayer Service are available on request.
By all accounts, our Healing Program was a resounding
success and will serve as a model of inspiration for
our future VOTF affiliate programs. We are thankful
and grateful to all for the hardworking and caring people
who contributed to that success, including our local
affiliate members and national VOTF support, especially
Kristine Ward. Special thanks and appreciation are given
to Dr. Kennedy and Fr. Cozzens for the important and
powerful messages they brought to our Healing Program.
PHOTO A: Fr. Donald Cozzens signing copies of his book
Faith That Dares To Speak PHOTO B: Eugene Kennedy,
Loyola University, Chicago
VOTF Louisville, KY
Submitted by Vince Grenough
On April 9th Kristine Ward, vice president of Voice
of the Faithful, spoke passionately to an attentive
crowd of young and old at Bellarmine University about
“Accountability in the Catholic Church.” After her talk
I drove Kris and Colleen Powell, a member of our local
VOTF affiliate, out to the LinkUp Farm at Fox Hollow
for a visit with Sue Archibald and other staff members.
As we drove past Bardstown Road on the Watterson Expressway
Kris asked, ”Oh, isn't that the road that leads to the
Abbey of Gethsemani? I've always wanted to go there.”
After a brief discussion I agreed that I would be happy
to drive her to Gethsemani the next day after she went
to the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass at Community of the Epiphany
with Margie Zoeller, a founding member of our local
affiliate. When we arrived at Gethsemani shortly after
noon, we went to the Guest office and introduced ourselves
to Brother Stephen, identifying ourselves as Voice of
the Faithful members. Immediately, Brother Stephen's
face lit up. He thanked us enthusiastically for the
good work that VOTF does for the Church and assured
us of his support and prayers. What a wonderful way
to be welcomed to the Abbey!!
I then asked him if we could possibly see Abbot Damien
Thompson for a few minutes. (Last summer, Abbot Damien
had attended one of the dialogues we have been having
with our priests, and we have stayed in communication
with one another since then.) Brother Stephen phoned
Abbot Damien and told him about our request to meet
with him. Within a minute he was in the Guest area greeting
us like old friends and said, “Let's go sit somewhere.”
He walked with us across the parking lot to three metal
chairs under a big tree that was just beginning to sprout
its new leaves. Our animated and wide-ranging conversation
went on until the 5-minute bell for the Hour of None
sounded. As we walked together toward the Chapel, Abbot
Damien assured us again of his admiration for Voice
of the Faithful and for other groups who are helping
to bring about needed reforms in our Church. He wished
Kris a safe journey to the Vatican where she will go
to be present for the Conclave.
How nice it is to know that these monks support Voice
of the Faithful and keep us in their prayers! Let us
keep them in our prayers as well.
of the Faithful, VOTF, "Keep the Faith, Change the Church,"
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Prayerful Voice are trademarks of Voice of the Faithful,
of the Faithful is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization.