- Communications – As
VOTF says “au revoir” to
Steve Krueger, Jim Post announces the beginning
of a nationwide search for a new, full-time Executive
Director. A search committee is being
formed, chaired by Mark Mullaney and will begin
its work immediately. Read office
news. Steve’s tenure as Executive
Director of VOTF speaks for itself in his own
words, as well as those of VOTF president Jim
USCCB General Assembly November meeting and the
future of the National Review Board – Laity:
Keeping Our Voice. See
commentary from VOTF
president Jim Post. Archbishop
Harry J. Flynn, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee
on Sexual Abuse of the USCCB
announced the beginning of the review process
for the Charter for the Protection of Children
and Young People, which the bishops adopted
in June, 2002. See the USCCB press release
at www.usccb.org under Communications.
this issue, we welcome our first ad. Commonweal magazine
and VOTF are "trading spaces" in the mutual endeavor
of reaching more Catholics. Since its founding
in 1924, Commonweal has stood for an "America
that has much to learn from Catholicism." We
agree and welcome this experiment.
for national officers: all
registered VOTF members are invited to nominate
qualified candidates. Read more in Election
News. Are you registered to vote?
have a site! The VOTF National Convention 2005 to
be held in Indianapolis, IN. Read
closings: questions and a need for creative
thinking continue. VOTF member Julie Rafferty
has identified a few telling web sites offering
other perspectives on this painful issue. In
rural Los Angeles County, a church is run by
a nun, appointed by the Diocese. There are
more parishes than you might think under the
leadership of someone other than a priest.
Group report from Goal #2 – supporting our
priests has been an education for all.
News – VOTF NH want their say in court;
VOTF NJ members invited to new bishop’s installation;
Boise, ID VOTF are welcome and active in their
diocese; and VOTF Atlanta is on the Web. Read
more about our affiliates' activities.
now has 211 affiliates worldwide – newcomers
are from Kentucky, Florida and Canada. LINK to Parish
minutes – Council representatives passed overwhelmingly
the Episcopal Accountability resolution. Read
more and let us know what you think at email@example.com
Christmas cards to go on sale - The Winchester,
MA Area VOTF is again selling Christmas cards
in packages of 12 for $12. There are four designs
painted by artists in the VOTF group. All proceeds
will benefit abuse survivors. The affiliate hopes
to beat last year’s sales - $4100! Please visit www.votfwinchester.org to
view the cards, and print an order form. Contact
Bob Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org if
you have any questions.
CT friend has some advice worth pondering – availing
ourselves of some guided reflection on incarnation
theology. Read Something to Think About
the October 11 National Catholic Reporter review
of Keep the Faith, Change the Church – the
genesis story of Voice of the Faithful written
by Jim Muller and Charles Kenny at Read
the Review and THEN
ORDER THE BOOK.
weeks of parish sit-ins and a general public
outcry regarding parish closings, Boston Archbishop
O’Malley charges an External Review Committee
to review the process. See VOTF reaction.
of our steadiest survivor supporters brings
all that he continues to learn from survivors
to another population of hurting Catholics – parishioners
whose churches are closing; Steve Sheehan’s
remarks appear in Letters to the
Another correspondent is concerned for
the fate of lay employees of closing parishes.
now for the New England regional conference in
Worcester, MA on November 13, 2004. View program
details under Events,
Etc. East Region. To register, click
James Scahill will receive a Priest of
Integrity Award at the New England Regional
Conference on Nov. 13. Bob Morris and John
Bowen call Fr. Scahill “an example of personal
decency and spiritual conviction” Read
Ryan’s editorial in the Long Island section of
Newsday said “Long Island Catholics hold the
key to Reforming the Church.” The full article
is archived via subscription at www.newsday.com.
On September 19, the Long Island supplement of
the New York Times also spoke on behalf
of the laity in “Hear Their Voices” and it is
archived at www.nytimes.com
sad story of Bishop Dupre’s (Springfield, MA
diocese) indictment is available here.
Howard Hubbard of the Albany diocese in NY will
publish a diary of his recent ad limina visit
with the Pope at www.evangelist.org/
Center Adult Education presentation on 10/19 “STRUGGLING
TO STAY ALIVE IN THE CHURCH” with Joseph T.
Kelley, Ph.D. on Tuesday, 7-8:30 in the Paulist
Center Library, Boston, MA. For details click
Allen is back! The NCR Vatican correspondent
and CNN Vatican analyst will speak at the St.
Eulalia’s VOTF on Sunday, October 17 at
7 pm. His talk: “The Sexual Abuse Crisis and
the Role of the Laity: The View from Rome.” St.
Eulalia’s is at 50 Ridge St., Winchester, MA.
Contact Rmorrisvotf@aol.com for
directions. If you can’t make this one, John
is also speaking at Boston College on Monday
Events, Etc. for details.
7 – A Faith Formation Program for Adult Christians continues.
Sponsored by the Voice of the Faithful Affiliates
of The North Shore, Lynn and Seacoast Areas in
collaboration with Boston College, Weston Jesuit
School of Theology. Read more in Events,
November 14, 2004 - “Are the Wounds Healing?” VOTF
president Jim Post will be a panelist at a
Symposium sponsored by the Voice of the Faithful
Affiliates of the Baltimore-Washington Region.
Etc., for details.
11-12. The Mind/Body Institute offers
VOTF members a substantial discount on an upcoming
two-day event, “The Enhanced Importance
of the Integration of Mind/Body Practices and
Prayer.” Details at Events,
members call Anne Coursey at 617-558-5252.
December 12, 1-9:30. Come join Fr. Laurence
Freeman, world renowned expert on the history
and practice of contemplative prayer, for a
day of quiet when you need it most! Location:
Upper Noyes Hall, Andover Newton Theological
School. This retreat is co-sponsored by The
Empty Bell, Andover Newton Theological School,
and the RUAH Spirituality Institute. For additional
information, go to EVENTS.
- Join Voice of the Faithful and make your voice
count; donate to Voice of the Faithful
and keep that voice alive.
The VOTF postal address is P.O. Box 423, Newton Upper
Falls, MA 02464-0002
Please send comments and inquiries to email@example.com
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 9
Third Anniversary of In the Vineyard and 1000 pages
of documented voice! Thank you!
issue November 11
vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment
and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait
for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.” Habakkuk
For the past few
months, this country has been inundated with the political
scrim of truth-telling while the Catholic
community grapples with many similar challenges – What do
we want our country to be? is not so far from What do we
want our Church to be? “See the world steady, and see it
whole” is one of those aphorisms that appears to fit the
moment. To see the world steady, and see it whole, C. P.
Scott, founding editor of the Manchester Guardian, paraphrased
Matthew Arnold’s sonnet to Sophocles. In doing so, he laid
out the trust he was undertaking with the Guardian’s publication.
It is a charge taken no less lightly in Voice of the Faithful
while we balance our mission alongside day-to-day realities.
As the National Catholic Reporter book review of Keep
the Faith, Change the Church said, “We must hope that
Voice of the Faithful will have the endurance to keep speaking,
even when it seems no one is listening.” Usually, VOTF
can find evidence that someone is listening – what
the other party is hearing depends on a mutual ability
to speak honestly, clearly, often, and with love. Endurance
is where we begin.
the spectacle of vibrant parishes closing,
in most, if not all, cases, without reasoned,
After weeks of sit-ins, anguish and protests from parishioners
and others in the communities affected, Boston Archbishop
O’Malley has named a committee to review the process. The
gesture alone is a positive development. While we cannot
anticipate the outcome of the committee’s work, we are buoyed
by the words in Habakkuk noted above, “The vision still has
its time ….” Read VOTF press release.
the growing concern for the future of
the National Review Board – the lay board appointed by the USCCB to audit
and report on incidents of sexual abuse by clergy. Justice
Anne Burke, interim chair of the NRB, is one of five members
whose terms have expired or will expire at year’s end. Burke
has expressed understandable concern for the future of the
board. Taken alone, the National Review Board was and remains
a positive development for laity everywhere – keeping it
that way is vital.
that a second US diocese, that of Tucson,
AZ has filed for bankruptcy as did Portland,
OR a few months ago.
These dioceses have crossed a line into the secular world
most of us occupy – reality meets reality. Tragic as these
situations are, they are not nearly as tragic as the road
taken to get them there. Couple these developments with the
Pope’s statement of September 11, 2004 to the bishops of
Pennsylvania and New Jersey during their ad limina visits
to Vatican City. The address is titled, “Every Act of Governance
Must Be Aimed at Fostering Communion and Mission.” In that
address, the Pope noted that ecclesial communion “presupposes
the participation of every category of the faithful, inasmuch
as they share responsibility for the good of the particular
Church which they themselves form." (See text excerpt and
link for the full statement under National
News.) To see
the world steady, and see it whole, Voice of the Faithful
is committed to speaking even when it seems no one is listening.
As the prophet said, “…if it delays, wait for it, it will
surely come, it will not be late.” It appears that the Pope
Peggie L. Thorp, ed