Welcome to our latest effort to improve communications! Besides streamlining page one and shortening the overall content, we will be publishing the Vineyard twice monthly - beginning this month, you will receive the Vineyard every other Thursday but not more than twice in a calendar month. The next issue will be posted on August 25. Comments are welcome, as always, at pthorp.ed@votf.org



  • Convocation speeches and working group material are on our web site; excellent Convocation coverage in audio and video tapes, CDs and DVDs is available at www.resurrectiontapes.com; and add this Convocation vignette to your Convocation memories - where was Aimee Hairamimi on Friday night of the Convocation weekend? (See the hard-copy July 29 issue of National Catholic Reporter commentary on the Indianapolis Convocation and VOTF’s Many Hands Many Hearts initiative.)
  • A national model for working with your state legislature is emerging in Boston, MA. See Regional News for activity around the Sen. Marian Walsh bill and watch future issues of the Vineyard for more details on the “how” from interim press manager John Moynihan.
  • VOTF vice president Kris Ward is looking ahead to the November USCCB meeting and reports that Task Force for the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is back at work.
  • A brief update from VOTF Executive Director Ray Joyce on office changes; office volunteer opportunities abound! Contact Ruth Kiley at rkiley@votf.org
  • Note: “Twist of Faith” – the Academy Award-nominated documentary is the powerful story of Tony Comes, a firefighter from Toledo, Ohio, who confronts the trauma of boyhood sexual abuse by a Catholic priest. This film may be coming to your area soon. Check out the schedule.

Sunday October 23, 2005. Regional event with far-reaching implications: The Boston College initiative “Church in the 21st Century” is sponsoring a presentation of a study of Voice of the Faithful. Details under Regional News/Calendar Notes and at the BC web site.



  • Massachusetts State Sen. Marian Walsh is making history on Beacon Hill as author of legislation that would require the Church to open its books. Boston Area VOTF members were among the panelists who spoke at the hearing yesterday. See the bill’s summary, links to recent coverage and a list of VOTF participants.
  • Fr. Bob Bowers honored by many for S/spirited leadership when it was needed most.
  • CALENDAR Notes: Seacoast Affiliates, MA continue their Faith Formation series in collaboration with Boston College; VOTF Upper Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA is planning for a future with fewer priests – their panel discussion is open to all; Boston College “Church in the 21st Century” presents “Voice of the Faithful: Findings from a Study of a Social Movement within the Catholic Church.”
  • East Lyme, CT VOTFers do not find a “Christian imperative” in their bishop’s non-response to the sexual abuse crisis, so lay people have moved to Plan B – going public in their New London, CT newspaper; VOTF Winchester’s survivor support initiative is back with a selection of Christmas cards – if you didn’t pick them up at the Convocation, you can order them now; the VOTF Cincinnati DVD that impressed so many in Indianapolis is available for purchase; VOTF Spokane, WA’s hard work is paying off – in their State House.
  • No grass will grow beneath the feet of VOTFers in Bridgeport, CT. They have taken a convocation idea and are “running” with it.
  • The death of a priest by suicide in Wisconsin shatters a community.
  • Archbishop Levada of San Francisco, CA was preparing to leave San Francisco for his new post when he was served a subpoena.
  • A group of Maine VOTFers reports on a recent initiative.

  Next issue: Council reports on their work since the Convocation; what new, parish connection emerged in Indianapolis?; update on the VOTF Boston, MA presence at the Boston State House judiciary hearings on August 10; a new spin on lay accountability – a Donut Rebellion!!?? and VOTF Maine reports on their meeting with Bishop Malone
In the Vineyard
August 11, 2005
Volume 4, Issue 8
Printer Friendly Version


Contact Us 

Opportunities in the National Office




For an overview of press coverage of VOTF, click here.

Update Your Profile

As readers of In the Vineyard know, many VOTF affiliate members and VOTF members “at large” have spent the last three years pursuing various goal-related initiatives. These include revision or elimination of statutes of limitation that have hobbled justice for survivors; opening dialogue with diocesan leadership; and establishing a substantive place for the laity in the guidance and governance of our Church on the parish and the diocesan levels. In this and the 8/25 issue, you will see measurable progress in all of these VOTF efforts: VOTF Maine has had a promising meeting with Bishop Malone; VOTF Brooklyn, NY reports meaningful change in their diocese with a “previously hostile bishop”; it took three years but VOTF Spokane, WA has made strides in their lobbying effort for sexual abuse legislation – a mandatory reporting law is now in effect; in Tampa Bay, Florida, VOTF affiliate members successfully lobbied their bishop to create, for the first time, a Diocesan Pastoral Council, to publish financial audits, and to require that parish council meetings are open to non-members; and Boston VOTF is playing a major role in the Massachusetts Senate judiciary hearings on a bill that would alter the way religious organizations share financial information.

And already, an affiliate has taken up a Convocation message, the affiliate’s board has approved a plan, and action is under way. Tony Wiggins reports for VOTF Bridgeport, CT under Regional News.

The Vineyard has documented clearly at least two facts in nearly three years of publishing: Our work is of the long-haul variety AND there is always good news, mixed in with the setbacks and intransigencies of particular situations. It is vital for all of the workers “in the vineyard,” as well as our thousands of readers, to hear the positive. Please continue to share your progress, no matter how small it may seem to you – in the case of Church reform, we will trumpet the smallest rising tide! Send your comments, inquiries, and news to pthorp.ed@votf.org and please know in advance how very much your correspondence means to all of us.


©Voice of the Faithful 2005.All Rights Reserved