from the Representative Leadership Council
Submitted by Cathy Fallon, VOTF Secretary
Council Eager for National Representation
of the Voice of the Faithful Representative Lay Council have been
held monthly (with the exception of August) since last June, in
the spacious lower level of Our Lady Help of Christians Church
in Newton, MA. Thanks to the energetic leadership and gracious
hospitality of Rose Walsh, light suppers have been available on
a pre-ordered $5.00 pp basis at 5:00 p.m., with meetings following
at 7:00. This has enabled folks from New Hampshire, Maine and
Rhode Island to rest and get to know their fellow representatives
in an informal setting. Last month, Rose unfortunately broke a
leg, but in the best tradition of VOTF volunteerism, Mary Sheehan
and Martha Rowland took over the hostess duties and welcomed travelers
and newcomers with smiles and refreshments. Jim Post brought a
surprise visitor, Kathleen McChesney, recently appointed executive
director of the Church's Office of Child and Youth Protection,
to meet some of the Council leadership. He had driven Ms. McChesney
from the Chancery office where she had met with Bishop Lennon.
McChesney said she was very pleased with our work, especially
as it regards bishop accountability and child protection initiatives.
the time the meeting was called to order, crowd estimates ranged
upwards of 200. About twenty newly-elected representatives from
newly-formed parish affiliates included Ed Wilson from Brooklyn,
N.Y. and Inger White from Minneapolis/St. Paul. A spirit of excitement
swept through the hall as all the new representatives stood to
introduce themselves and were welcomed with warm applause. Their
presence among us affirmed that we must be doing something right-Voice
of the Faithful is continuing to grow, and grow rapidly.
and managing that growth, in fact, was the subject of several
motions brought to the floor that evening. The first motion was
to postpone the election of officers one month until February
22, so that representatives could consult with their affiliates
about the candidates. A lively discussion ensued, but the motion
failed. Jim Post noted that at an informal meeting held in North
Andover on January 11, a number of issues were raised regarding
national representation. The bubbling up of these ideas and issues
attests to the importance and identity of Voice of the Faithful
as a national organization. A second motion, to postpone consideration
of the slate of officers until there is affiliate representation
on the Executive Committee, also failed because the wording of
the motion would have precluded having the twice-postponed election
take place. A third motion, to create three vice-president positions
to more broadly represent the country, passed. At the end of the
meeting Jim Post asked for and received the affirmation of the
Council to encourage the growth of local parish voice affiliates
in every parish, cluster, vicariate and diocese in the country.
He announced his intention to create a task force to establish
a plan for selecting qualified persons to carry out and manage
our rapid national growth.
popular demand, the February meeting will be held at St. John
the Evangelist Church in Wellesley, MA on Saturday, 2/22, to allow
more people to attend from out of state. Recognizing the need
for adult education of our leadership, and taking advantage of
the generosity of the faculty of the Jesuit Theological Seminary
in Cambridge, we are very grateful for a much-anticipated morning
session, "Educating Ourselves," featuring three half-hour lectures
by theologians Roger Haight on the differences between doctrine
and dogma, Catherine Mooney on activists in the Church throughout
history, and James Keenan, S.J. on moral authority. All Council
members able to do so are encouraged to come share this unique
and timely gift. The Council meeting will follow at 1 pm.
Council Home Hospitality Program was activated successfully in
January; Maura O'Brien has a list of willing VOTF hosts. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Leadership Council Report - covering the 1/23 Council
Groups - ongoing progress reports on goal-related work
at Large - members covering key events in Naples, FL and Manchester,
Voices Everywhere! - updates from affiliates coast-to-coast
from Members - members share information about resources supportive
of female victims of abuse and an upcoming talk by Fr. Austin
Fleming in Concord, MA.
Post's Speaking Schedule
submissions to In the Vineyard to email@example.com.