GROUP and NATIONAL NEWS
VOTF’s full coverage of the Bishops’ conference
in Denver last month, as well as VOTF National press
K of C member writes of his disappointment in the
“sterling silence” of K of C leadership on the sexual
abuse crisis; See more in Letters
to the Editor
of the foremost authorities in Catholic social
attitudes, Dr. William D'Antonio, recently received
a grant to carry out a study of Voice of the Faithful.
If you are interested in participating in this study,
From those who respond, a group will be randomly
selected to participate in this important research.
If you are chosen, the survey itself will only take
a half hour to fill out.
Can I Keep from Singing?” is the tune for the song
written by Sr. Delores Duffner, OSB. She offers it
to VOTF for use in “times of challenge and crisis.”
Sing along at Making
a Joyful Noise; you asked for it – the Oscar
Romero prayer can be read at A
Prayer For Our Time in Affiliate News/Boston.
Parish Voice Office updates regional coordinators
and affiliate contacts. Read
more in National News AND meet Aimee
Carevich, another VOTF summer treasure. “After
two years of teaching ‘People, Power and Change’ to
graduate students with Marshall Ganz, and four years
of organizing and training Boston and Cambridge public
school students with an organization called BYOP (the
Boston-area Youth Organizing Project), I come to you.”
Aimee’s greeting in National News.
of the Faithful responded to the stunning revelations
of the global nature of the clergy sexual
abuse crisis made by the Dallas Morning News by urging
Pope John Paul II to meet with an international delegation
of survivors and to call for the resignations of
Bishops who knowingly transferred abusive priests.
our statement here.
Betty Clermont of Atlanta-Voice of the Faithful also
advises that SNAP at www.snapnetwork.org has a link
to The Dallas Morning News article "Church
Leaders and Lay People reflect on Runaway Priests."
sixth annual Cardinal Bernardin lecture was
delivered at Catholic University, Washington, DC on
June 25. National Catholic Reporter Rome correspondent
John Allen proposed a five-component “Spirituality
of Dialogue” The good news is that VOTF is already
there! Jim Post shares some notes
from Australia. Read more in Reports
from the Field.
will be no September issue of In the Vineyard.
Instead, watch for a survey that will canvas your
likes and dislikes, needs, etc., for this monthly
newsletter. October 2004 begins our third year “in
the vineyard.” We need to know, as New York’s Mayor
Koch frequently asked, “How’m I doin’?”
COLUMN: From Your Pastor – in this issue
a Maryland priest shares his thoughts on the sexual
abuse crisis with his parishioners. ”Something is
dreadfully wrong in our culture, and we know it at
a deep level; the scandal in the Catholic Church has
provided an outlet for a moral outrage far beyond
the confines of our own shameful story.” Read
more in From Your Pastor in Supporting
for your copy of the Voice of the Faithful Annual
Report 2004 – mailing will take place over the
next two weeks.
said that a Rep. Council meeting is no picnic?
July 24 VOTF Representative Council meeting
will be held in Newburyport, MA. Read
more in Events.
closings continue to rock the archdiocese of Boston.
Structural Change Working Group chair Margaret
Roylance sends a prayer that fellow Boston VOTF member
Frank DeAlderete provided "Litany for the People of
the Archdiocese of Boston." “He sent it for our use
as a closing prayer at our SCWG meeting last Thursday.
I found it to be very powerful and effective evocation
of the pain that we are living through in the Archdiocese.”
Litany for the People. Also, see
the special web page on parish and school closings
at our web
Bob Bullock, founder of the Boston Priests’ Forum,
died in June. David Boeri is a reporter
for a news station in Boston. He is also
at Our Lady of Sorrows, in Sharon, MA, where Fr.
Bob Bullock served before his death last month.
a tribute to Fr. Bullock, describing why
it is that his death is such a great loss for his
the archdiocese of Boston, and the Catholic Church
in the United States.
ponder parish closings – one correspondent hears an
opportunity knocking in Letters
to the Editor.
VOTF announces the August 15 Mass on Boston Common.
Brief: from Paul Kendrick, VOTF Maine: “In
the book The Poor are the Church, Rev. Joseph
Wresenski argues that the Church has no existence,
much less authenticity, apart from the poor. The poor
are the church, and we are fully in the Church only
when we stand with the poorest. He calls us all to
see poverty in a profoundly different way, not just
as destitution or oppression but as social isolation,
an isolation created by all of us to the degree that
we live apart from the poor”; Long Island Newsday
published an article written by Dick Ryan, VOTF
member from West Islip, NY “LI Catholics need
to play more active roles” can be read at www.newsday.com.
Search under the article title.
Our Children Working Group - Jetta Bernier,
Member of the Victims’ Rights Committee, to address
Winchester Area VOTF Affiliate Meeting, Monday, July
26, at 7:30 p.m., St. Eulalia’s Church, 50 Ridge St.,
County, Maryland has emerged as another model
VOTF affiliate. See what they have been up to in Affiliate
Doucette concludes her three-installment coverage
of the Boston College workshop onleadership issues
in our Church; See Marge Bean’s comments on
the play “Sin: A Cardinal Deposed” as it completed
its Boston run. Reports
from the Field.
of the Faithful, VOTF, "Keep the Faith, Change
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 7
“We water seeds already planted, knowing that
they hold future promise.” Archbishop Oscar Romero
relationships within and across the Catholic network is
not only a necessary ingredient for VOTF growth and relevance
but it is immediately rewarding. The Protecting Our Children
working group’s early and successful association with the Massachusetts Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Partnership (MCSAPP) and RCAB K-4 program TAT; VOTF’s collaborative efforts with SNAP, the Linkup, and SurvivorsFirst; the spirited dialogue that has come from various priests’ forums;
and healing and reconciliation services alongside parish
leadership including parish pastoral councils are obvious
examples of this outreach. There are many more and each
is a model for others.
essential to our mission and goals is outreach to those
and associations who have come before VOTF, who have spoken
for decades on behalf of our Catholic common ground and
the Church-wide need for dialogue. The most recent Common
Ground Initiative lecture, co-sponsored by and held at Catholic
University in Washington, DC, turned out to be an extraordinary,
if unintended, endorsement of VOTF’s work. National Catholic Reporter Rome
correspondent John Allen’s address centering on the creation of “spaces for dialogue” could not have described more accurately the work of VOTF since our inception in January 2002. The National Pastoral Life Center in New York City, which continues to serve the legacy of Cardinal Bernardin, the founder of the Common Ground Initiative, says in its quarterly newsletter that the Initiative “represents a call to renewed dialogue within the Church and an effort to undertake and exemplify that kind of dialogue.” We hear a common language and “go out” to greet our fellows – Allen’s
remarks also cautioned against only listening to like minds.
In this issue, we provide a recap of the lecture as well
as a brief note on the 2004 recipient of the Cardinal Joseph
Bernardin Award Dolores Leckey, and links to additional
information about the work we share.
language is evolving among parishioners gathering across
In the Boston, MA archdiocese, Boston VOTF continues to
invite Catholics to weekly Parish Preservation Summits for
mutual support in the wake of announced scores of parish
closings (read more in Events, Etc./East Region). Peter
Davey from VOTF East Bay, CA tells us about a gathering
of priests with survivors and Jim Accurso reports on a priests’ forum
that brought great candor to an Illinois
lines, blending, reaching out – whatever one calls it – is the work that Catholics know as “communio” or,
simply, communion. We cannot have genuine dialogue without
communion nor can we have the reverse, and certainly we
can have neither within a culture of labels.
one bishop anywhere in the US issuing this statement: “I invite all Catholics in our far-flung community, regardless of your politics, your difficulties with certain Church teachings, your sexuality, your past, your anger, your pain, your successes or your failures, to join me for a great diocesan Mass and lunch so we might begin with the help of our God to address your concerns and mine – no holds barred. We break the same Bread.” What is so immensely difficult about this? I believe most Catholics, even those who “fell away” before
the current crisis, would welcome with joy such a Christ-like
VOTF did not wait for an invitation in 2002 – instead, we
extended it. VOTF continues to accept RSVPs. When you’re ready,
us, listen to someone you might have written
off in the past and don’t forget to report back to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peggie L. Thorp, Ed.