Candidates: Board of Trustees 2012 Election
Eligible members will vote for four of the following five candidates for the Board of Trustees during the peiod June 1 through June 10, 2012. The Candidate Statements are below, in alphabetical order; use a quick link to jump to a particular candidate, or scroll down the page to see each Statement in order.
If you have a question for any candidate(s), please use this link to send an email to email@example.com. Their answers will be posted (usually within 3-4 days) on the Candidate Responses page once received. Note that VOTF reserves the right to edit questions for clarity and to combine duplicated questions into a single query as well as the right to maintain appropriate tones of decorum and respect.
I have been a member of Voice of the Faithful since spring of 2002 when I co-founded the second affiliate within the developing organization in the Concord MA area and then served as affiliate leader for five years. My early work with Voice of the Faithful on the national level centered on two areas: the protection of children and leadership within the organization. I served on the Protecting God’s Children national working group of VOTF that led efforts for the protection of children at the parish, diocesan, and national levels.
From the beginnings of the VOTF, I have been involved in the governance of the organization, serving on the early National Representative Council and later as an elected member of the restructured Council, where I worked on the Steering Committee.
Currently, I serve as a trustee on the VOTF Board, as Secretary of the Board, and am seeking election to the Board for a second term. I am dedicated to carrying out the Mission of VOTF: 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.
I firmly believe in the need for structural change within the Catholic Church and in the primacy of an educated laity to bring about the needed changes. An important responsibility of the educated laity is to work for the rights of all the baptized within the Church.
The backsliding of bishops in Philadelphia and Providence has convinced me to reengage in the work of VOTF. I had stepped back for a while due to family needs and the frustration that too few of the hierarchy grasped the seriousness of the pedophilia issue. For the past fifty years the best and the brightest have no longer been invited into the RC leadership. Now we are forced to work with those who are afraid, unwilling or incapable of admitting error and correcting it. But we must not weary of the efforts to speak to power and correct it.
In addition to being the voice of patient sanity in our church, I see the role of VOTF as being a focal point to educate that large percentage of lay Catholics who have been unable to come to grasp with the horrific crimes committed and who need to believe that they have a baptismal right to demand structural change in our Church.
With the hope that I would be of service to the Board of Trustees, I offer my name to you for consideration in this election.
- Captain, United States Navy, Retired
- Adjunct Professor/Instructor (Foreign Languages), Retired
- S.T.B., Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
- M.A. and Ph.D., Catholic University of America
- Joined VOTF May 2002; coordinated parish voices in RI, CT and NY.
- Elected to the National Council 2002.
- Organized, with Mary Freeman, the regional VOTF group in southern RI.
I have been a member of Long Island-VOTF since its inception in 2002 and have served as a member of its Board of Directors for almost all of that time. In 2006, I replaced Dan Bartley as male co-chair of LI-VOTF and served in that capacity through 2009.
In 2002, I organized a survey covering the Diocese of Rockville Centre to gauge reaction to the abuse scandal. The results of that Survey served as the subject matter of the first LI-VOTF Faith Conference. In addition to this first conference, I have chaired, along with Pat Paone, five other Conferences, the last of which also served as a National VOTF Conference. The total attendance at these Conferences exceeds 3,000 people.
The reasons for my involvement with and commitment to VOTF have not changed; it is still important to me that we build a Church which inspires and engages our children and grandchildren. A Church that believes in protecting the innocent is more important than the avoidance of scandal. I still dream of a Church defined by what it stands for rather than what it stands against.
I believe my background will allow me to contribute as a member of the Board. The M.B.A. from Florida State University in Organization Theory gives me an understanding of how various organizations should and do work. My background as an Attorney allows me to deal with differing viewpoints and to compromise, and the M.A. in Theology provides a sound understanding of what the Church should be.
I was privileged to lead the Structural Change Working Group from its foundation, working to establish a stronger role for the laity in the life of our church, protect children, and develop educational tools such as the Primer on Church Structures.
I successfully fought for structural change in my own parish, securing a voice for the laity in selection of a new pastor in the wake of the unjust and arbitrary removal of our previous pastor. I am a part of my parish child abuse prevention team and have worked for ten years to put the goals of VOTF in action at the parish level.
Looking back, it is clear to me that the Spirit has accomplished great things in our church in the last ten years. In 2002 few would have predicted that arbitrary, ill-considered decisions to close faith-filled parishes could be reversed through determined action by the laity, or that the Vatican would even reverse some of those bad decisions!
Our work is far from done, however. Moving forward, I believe we must reclaim the fervor of our early days. We must remain active and positive members of our local faith communities and of our church: diocesan, national and universal.
We can help shape the future of our church by speaking out as the Spirit leads us, by declaring our dedication to VOTF and its goals, and working in faith to make them realities, always remembering that we are called to act with justice and love tenderly.
I am willing to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of VOTF. I believe my ten years of experience in various capacities with VOTF make me qualified to serve at this point in the organization’s history. I am still strongly committed to the goals and mission statement of VOTF.
At the moment I am serving on the Prayer and Spiritual Growth Committee and Marcom as well as an e-mail member of our local affiliate. I think the office team that is in place is a good one. The new organizational structure of the Board will be a challenge to keep the vision of grass roots of VOTF. I think I can contribute to keeping that vision articulated.
The name of our group is “Voice of the Faithful.” The outrage experienced by many, first in the Boston area and then throughout the country because children had been sexually abused by priests whose actions were then covered up by their bishops, needed to be expressed. Many people supported the group, with affiliates sprouting up not only throughout the country but across the world. Unfortunately some have been worn down by the inability of the Bishops to acknowledge the ongoing nature and their responsibility for the sexual abuse.
All of our voices need to be heard. I hope to be the “grass root” voice on the board.