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In the Vineyard

February 2003

"Speak, Lord, God. Your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:10

A year ago this month, what started out as Jim Muller's "discussion group" began to show signs of becoming much more than anyone might have anticipated. Nearly twelve months later, as Voice of the Faithful, we embrace our first anniversary in that same spirit of wonder and with the same faith that allows us, as Michael Cook, S.J., Th. D. says, "to trust in a promised future and to act on that trust." The act of faith that says "I believe you" is the very act of faith that continues to animate our commitment to the survivors, to our priests, and to a renewed Catholic Church.

With a brand new slate of elected officers ready to continue and build on the work begun , VOTF finds itself invigorated by our growing membership, by the continuing courage of the survivors and by increasing support among our clergy . Again, you will find in this issue the fruits of listening and caring enough to act. You will find an underlying sense of rededication to each other and to our Church - the Prayerful Voice plan for a Mass of Rededication marks and celebrates that clarity. You will read the many ways affiliates all over this country are reaching out to survivors and church leadership, and toward educational opportunities that will help us to protect our children. You will also note increasing interest and success in collaborating across parish lines. As one after another VOTFer says, "The Spirit is moving!"

Because your response to In the Vineyard has been so strong, we are considering a twice-monthly distribution. This will accommodate interest in new sections - volunteer reporters covering various VOTF-related lectures and events, and a Notes from Members section, as you will find in this issue. We expect to add a Q&A section so we might continue to learn together, a section for thoughtful commentary by our readers and/or VOTF leadership including Jim Post's speeches, and a page for your letters.

And still, we come back to prayer as our center. The pain that is the ongoing legacy of this crisis finds many of us seeking prayers that resonate - some of these are ancient, some new. VOTF member Terry McKiernan was introduced by friends, Fr. John Sassani and Mary Ann McLaughlin, to a much-loved prayer from the 11th Century monk, theologian and archbishop, St. Anselm of Canterbury. In the spirit of rededication to our mission statement, Anselm's prayerful voice, so attentive to the Spirit, offers timeless comfort.

O my God, teach my heart where and how to seek you,
where and how to find you.
You are my God
and you are my All and I have never seen you.
You have made me and remade me,
You have bestowed on me all the good things I possess.
Still I do not know you.
I have not yet done that for which I was made.
Teach me to seek you.
I cannot seek you unless you teach me
or find you unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire,
let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you,
let me love you when I find you.*

Peggie L. Thorp, Ed.

*John Veltri, S.J. Orientations. Vol. 1, A Collection of Helps for Prayer. Part 6. Toronto: B. Broughton Co., 1993. Available on-line at


Representative Leadership Council Report - covering the 1/23 Council

Working Groups - ongoing progress reports on goal-related work

Reporters at Large - members covering key events in Naples, FL and Manchester, NH

Voices, Voices Everywhere! - updates from affiliates coast-to-coast

Notes from Members - members share information about resources supportive of female victims of abuse and an upcoming talk by Fr. Austin Fleming in Concord, MA.

Jim Post's Speaking Schedule



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In the Vineyard
February 2003
Vol 2, Issue 2

Page One

Representative Leadership Council Report

Working Groups

Voices, Voices Everywhere!

Reporters at Large

In the Vineyard Archives

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.

Purple Cross

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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