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Please forward submissions to In the Vineyard to leaderpub@votf.org.

"It is in the Spirit that we eagerly await the justification we hope for, and only Faith can yield it." Gal. 5:5

It is hard to believe that a year ago, we embraced this season without a VOTF! Today we not only embrace the organization and its continuing ability to maintain new and vibrant dialogue, but we embrace many new friends in far-flung places. Hundreds of you have written over the past month of your unwavering interest in and support for In the Vineyard and the endless work of VOTF. It means more than you can know. Your words and voices make a unique carol and we thank you for that sweet sound!

In the 1940s, E. B. White wrote a reflection about the Christmas season, "The Distant Music of the Hounds." In it, he decried the preoccupation with noise and bustle that seemed to be the lot of mankind in those raw post-war years. He had come across one of those little trumpets that hunters used to hear "the distant music of the hounds." He said, "The miracle of Christmas is that, like the distant music of the hounds, it penetrates finally and becomes heard in the heart - over so many years, through so many cheap curtain-raisers." It resonates, doesn't it, at this time in our Church's history? Difficult as these days and months have been, we are still called to listen and to hear and we have the great, good fortune to be doing so as the People of God.

JoAnne Nowak from our Andover, MA VOTF "heard" something recently in some Advent material distributed at her parish, St. Robert Bellarmine. She wrote, "We read that Advent isn't rooted in nostalgic remembrance of the birth of a baby nor in the longing for the second coming but in the coming of Christ into our daily lives. 'When we take the tradition and enter it fully, we become Advent, the people in and through whom Christ comes.'"

Wishing you peace in this season of welcome,
Peggie L. Thorp

Some days before our VOTF team met with Cardinal Law (see the press release) the Prayerful Voice group was asked by our president Jim Post to write a special prayer for the success of the meeting. We distributed the prayer to area parishes, many of whom found a place for it in their liturgies. We thought it would serve all of you well from time to time so we share it.


Generous God,
We are united in our desire to be faithful to you.
As we move toward greater dialogue within the Church, we open our hearts to
each other and to the transforming power of your grace.

Grant us, Gentle God, wisdom, courage and guidance, as we seek mutual
understanding and respect in this new moment. Amen.




  • A Few Contributors to In the Vineyard might enjoy this link identified by our Webmaster, Eileen Hespeler. It covers the topic of writing online: http://www.clickz.com/design/write_onl/
  • Many of our members have written of their great appreciation for the homilies by Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Michigan. The website address for The Peace Pulpit, homilies by Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, is http://nationalcatholicreporter.org/peace/
  • Be sure to click onto the Boston College website for information and re-caps on the education initiative "The Church in the 21st Century - From Crisis to Renewal"
  • There is now a printer friendly version of "In the Vineyard"
  • Terry McKiernan of Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton, tells us that Ben's Bakery in Providence, RI is donating 10% of their holiday-season sales to Survivors Appeal. This is a single-donation collection fund, which will distribute money to all the survivor groups as well as individual survivors. Ben's sells fudge, candies, nuts and other gift items. Italian cookies are a specialty as are custom baskets. Purchases can be made online at http://www.bensbakeryandcafe.com.
  • A Place at the Table Survivors and supporters have put together a simple cookbook for the holidays and throughout the year, dedicated to the memory of Laura Gallagher -- amazing mom and friend, and wife of Joe Gallagher, who has been a solid supporter of survivors from the beginning of this crisis. A Place at the Table: Cuisine with Compassion is available for $15.00, with the proceeds going to survivor organizations in the Boston area. If you are interested in buying a copy, please contact Steve Lewis at afreeknight@attbi.com
  • Slowly we have assembled a group of volunteers to make up an Editorial Advisory Board who will help gather material for, edit and distribute In the Vineyard as well as the quarterly publication. Members are Cathy Fallon, Eileen Hespeler, Amy Kotsopoulos, Anne Murphy, Jane McDaid, Donna Salacuse, Midge Seibert, Steve Sheehan, Tom Smith and Peggie Thorp. We expect to have our first group meeting in January.


In the Vineyard
Table of Contents

Page One

Jim Post's Speech

From the Desk of the Executive Director

Working Groups

Voices, Voices Everywhere!


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In the Vineyard
Vol 1, Issue 2

Page One

Jim Post's Speech

From the Desk of the Executive Director

Working Groups

Voices, Voices Everywhere!

Current VOTF members, please re-register as part of our database update. New members, please register.

Voice of the Faithful is recognized as one of the most promising lay organizations to evolve in the Catholic Church. Your support is absolutely necessary for us to continue. The online donation form and the mail in donation form are both quick and easy ways for you to participate, and we are most grateful.

Mission Statement

To provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.

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Our Goals

1. To support those who have been abused

2. To support priests of integrity

3. To shape structural change within Church

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Pray Each Day
at Noon

Jesus, Lord and Brother, help us with our faithfulness. Please hear our voice, and let our voice be heard. Amen. More



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