The monster electronic billboard at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford greets VOTF members and friends to the 2015 National Assembly. Scores of the most experienced and committed voices declaiming justice for clergy sexual abuse survivors and expanded lay roles in governance and guidance of the Catholic Church attended the Assembly.
Svea Fraser, a VOTF founding member and former VOTF trustee, offers the 2015 National Assembly opening prayer
Mark Mullaney, VOTF president and board chair, provides opening remarks at 2015 National Assembly and acted as MC for the event.
Marie Collins, a clergy sexual abuse survivor from Ireland and member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, takes the podium as the 2015 National Asssembly featured speaker.
Mary Pat Fox, VOTF trustee and past president, and Brad Pritts, long-time VOTF Michigan affiliate leader, peruse their Assembly material while waiting for the featured speaker.
VOTF trustee and treasurer Anne Southwood listens attentively to 2015 national Assembly featured speaker Marie Collins’ presentation.
VOTF Winchester, Massaachusetts, long-time affiliate leader Clare Keane arranges merchandise for sale on the VOTF table at the 2015 National Assembly.
Virginia (Skip) Sullivan, longtime VOTF Delmarva Peninsula, Delaware, affiliate leader, refers to her folder full of Assembly materials during a break in the action.
VOTF trustee Pat Gomez gets ready to co-facilitate the afternoon workshop called Your Voice for the Synod on the Family. Workshop attendees discussed two questions leading to this fall’s Synod on the Family: 1.) What is your definition of family? 2.) Given what family is to you, how can the Church minister to all families?
VOTF trustee Mary Freeman co-facilitates the Your Voice for the Synod on the Family workshop with Pat Gomez.
Margaret Roylance, VOTF trustee and secreatry, presents the workshop Degrees of Transparency: The Good, the Bad, and the Confusing in Diocesan Financial Accountability. Attendees received a primer on VOTF’s new web-accessed Diocese Finances database and looked at online resources that can help show connections between diocesan entities. VOTF’s new online database can help Catholics learn where their diocese stands financially and compare the reporting and transparency of dioceses of similar sizes.
Tom Doyle, a canon lawyer who, as a young priest, sacrificed a promising career at the Vatican Embassy to become an outspoken advocate for clergy sexual abuse survivors, presents the workshop Survivor Support: A Discussion with Tom Doyle.
Winchester, Massachusetts, VOTF affiliate leader Bill Murhphy co-facilitates a workshop on clergy/lay dialogue called Let’s Talk About It: Can Clergy & Laity Speak to Each Other As Equals? Participants developed a list of Best Practices.