Representative Leadership Council Minutes
of the Faithful Representative Council Meeting, Saturday,
December 13, 2003 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Our Lady Help
of Christians Parish Hall, Newton, MA
Moderator Frances O'Leary opened the Council meeting
at 11:15 am. Susan Troy led us in the Opening Prayer.
New Council members were recognized and welcomed, as
were those who traveled from out of state. Several members
were recognized to make announcements.
president Jim Post introduced guest speaker David O'Brien,
Loyola Professor of Roman Catholic Studies at the College
of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, and specialist in
the history of American Catholicism.
O'Brien offered a list of ten recommendations for the
ongoing work of VOTF. He emphasized listening to and
supporting the victims of abuse and predicted that there
will be more revelations of sexual abuse by clergy.
He also emphasized shared responsibility in the life
of the Church and the need for ongoing lay education.
A question and answer period followed.
Morris, St. Eulalia Affiliate, Winchester area, announced
that the sale of Christmas cards to benefit the Lighthouse
Foundation, a resource center for clergy sexual abuse
survivors, would take place at the close of the Council
Ott, Central Region Coordinator, announced a plan proposed
by representatives from the five regions of the archdiocese
to form a Boston, MA (RCAB) VOTF affiliate. Members
of the Organizing Team met and were available to affiliate
representatives at the conclusion of the Council meeting.
Fox, Our Lady of Sorrows Affiliate, Sharon, announced
that Svea Fraser will address their affiliate on January
15, 2004, in a discussion of Church documents.
Marnik, Protecting our Children Working Group, announced
that Kathy Kelly, trainer for the "Talking About Touching"
program of the Children's Trust Fund, will speak at
St. John the Evangelist, Wellesley, MA on Tuesday, December
16, at 7:00 p.m.
Post noted that, one year and two days ago, the Council
voted to ask Cardinal Bernard Law to step down, and,
exactly one year ago, Cardinal Law's resignation was
reviewed the month's major events and noted that monthly
conference calls with national reps all over the US
continue. The focus of these conversations has been
on national issues and action priorities for 2004. Jim
also addressed Strategic Plan priorities. Jim asked
Paul Kendrick of the Portland, ME, affiliate to share
a recent success story. After great perseverance by
VOTF members, the Archbishop of the Portland, ME diocese
Bishop Gerry announced that VOTF affiliates may meet
on parish property, if the pastor approves. Those meetings
are taking place.
the President's Report
Director Steve Krueger presented the VOTF Financial
Walsh and Svea Fraser presented the Elections Report
noting the remarkable spate of qualified candidates
for the four national VOTF offices. (see Election
Results in this issue)
Retreat Report - John Bowen, Northampton/Springfield,
MA Affiliate, spoke about the benefits of a retreat
they held after their first year. It centered on
prayer and reflection and augmented their present
Troy, Prayerful Voice Chair, announced a Conference
on Spirituality, to be held on April 17, 2004, in
Chicago, IL. The planning group envisions about
one hundred Prayerful Voice participants, with discussions
about "What is lay spirituality?" More detailed
information will be available in the near future.
Fraser gave a Priests' Support Working Group report
and proposed broad affiliate discussion of the meaning
and wording of Goal #2, "Support priests of integrity."
Fran O'Leary asked affiliate representatives to
bring back to a future Council meeting the thoughts
and recommendations of their respective affiliates.
Magilligan spoke about the governance structure
and mission of the Representative Council. It was
emphasized that any action in this area will be
in concert with the Governance Committee.
O'Leary distributed a Summary of Comments on Council
received on November 15, 2003. Attendees were advised
that the dates for the next three Council meetings
will be posted on the VOTF website.
Troy led us in a closing prayer.
meeting was adjourned at 12:40 p.m.
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