2009 Voice of the Faithful National Conference

Making Our Voices Heard

Fr. Thomas Reese talks with conference attendees

Click here to order conference DVDs online

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Hosted by the Long Island Voice of the Faithful

October 30-31 2009

Thanks to the more than 500 members who attended this year’s successful event at the Huntington Hilton in Melville, New York!

An excerpt from Sister Joan Chittister’s speech is available, and you may view the Priest of Integrity Award presentations here.

Click here to view clips from this year’s conference. *Please note the videos are best viewed with Firefox. They can also be viewed at https://vimeo.com/user1161247/videos.

“Thank you so much for all the work and prayer that produced last Saturday’s conference. It was a beautiful and uplifting experience. Sister Joan Chittister and Father Tom Reese spoke with the power and conviction of those who, like Jacob, have wrestled with the Lord and received His blessing. Not only were the keynote speakers superb, but everyone else who spoke, whether they were introducing the award recipients or actually accepting the award, inspired us. They spoke from the quietness and from the Spirit. I truly felt the presence of the Lord.” — Peggy Hardiman

Friday Night Highlights

  • Presentations by Voices in Action Campaign Teams. Click here to read about the different teams and opportunities to get involved. You can also view the webinar presentation by VOTF President Dan Bartley and Vice President Janet Hauter.
  • Long Island Voice of the Faithful presented vigiling strategies. Click here to see a clip of their presentation.Their dedication to survivors inspired the conference attendees.

Saturday Highlights

  • Voice of the Faithful President Dan Bartley encouraged members to get involved in the Voices in Action campaign. Click here to hear his presentation.
  • Sr. Joan Chittister spoke on leadership in the Church. She said power and leadership are not the same. She noted that every institution we know today is undergoing transformation, not just our Church. But the reform sought for the Church is about more than just the institution. “Reform has nothing to do with the survival of the Church. Reform has to do with the survival of the Gospel.”
  • Margaret L. Smith of John Jay College presented a report on the “Causes and Context Study” of sexual abuse of youths by Catholic priests. If you attended the conference and did not have a chance to ask your question, please send an email to causes-context@jjay.cuny.edu. If you were unable to attend, please keep an eye open for questions that will be posted by the researchers to VOTF members.
  • Priest of Integrity Awards were presented to Fr. Joseph Fowler of Louisville, Kentucky, by Representative Jim Wayne, and to Fr. Donald Cozzens who is a noted author and long-time friend of Voice of the Faithful. Click here to see clips from award presentations. Or see the presentations and acceptance speeches at the Priest Support Working Group’s web site.
  • Jason Berry received the St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Lay Person Award for his persistent quest for justice, amid repeated attack, in bringing the sexual abuse scandal to light. Click here to see a clip of Jason Berry’s award presentation.
  • Fr. Thomas Reese, S. J., shared his ‘Survival Guide for Thinking Catholics” with conference attendees. Click here to see a clip of Fr. Reese’s presentation.