VOTF 2021 Conference: Re–Membering the Church

Voice of the Faithful’s 2021 Conference Re–Membering the Church: Moving Forward looked closely at the body of the Church to see how structure, power, participation, and accountability could be brought together within the Church to fulfill its mission of bringing Christ to the world.

The online Zoom conference took place Oct. 22-23, 2021. At 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (U.S. & Canada), Oct. 22, conference registrants gathered for free Zoom listening sessions to talk about Synod 2021-2023. The full-day conference took place on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Prominent in the development of VOTF’s 2021 Conference theme of Re–Membering the Church, was VOTF’s vision of a Church of openness and respect between hierarchy and the laity, of great inclusivity, and of collaborations that lead to more activities and initiatives within the church that reflect lay voices. As outlined at a previous VOTF conference, “There is no body without its members. There are no members without participation. There is no participation without mutual recognition and accountability. Structural change is possible. Accountability is necessary. Re-membering the church is essential.”

The 2021 Conferences two featured speakers speakers were Sister Carol Zinn, S.S.J. Ph.D. and Prof. Massimo Faggioli, Ph.D.

Sister Carol is Leadership Conference of Women Religious executive director and serves as Saint John Vianney Center consultant for women religious community health and transition. Formerly, she served as United Nations Economic and Social Council consultant. Faggioli spoke at VOTF’s 2018 Conference, so his was a return engagement. He is a professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University, a prolific author, and a leading international authority on Catholic Church history and ecclesiology, the inner workings of the Church.

Also during VOTF’s 2021 Conference, a panel comprising women liturgy leaders from the Paulist Center Boston faith community discussed lay-led liturgies, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The four panelists expressed how the richness and breadth of in-person liturgy was incorporated and, in some areas expanded, into a liturgy of the word that involved as many as 100 people in virtural liturgy.

During the conference’s afternoon sessions, VOTF leaders will offered presentations on VOTF projects in diocesan financial transparency, Church governance by and through lay involvement in Diocesan Financial Councils, adherence to protection of children guidelines in parishes and dioceses, and women’s emerging voices in the Catholic Church. These programs and projects will engage VOTF for the rest of this year and next.

Voice of the Faithful 2021 ConferencePresentation Videos, Information & Resources

Presentation Videos

Synod 2021-2023 Breakout Sessions’ Notes

  • VOTF 2021 Conference Breakout Sessions (Prior to the Saturday October 23, 2021, conference with our keynote speakers and project updates, Voice of the Faithful hosted Friday night listening sessions for attendees. Focus was on the 2021-2023 Synod, specifically on the Diocesan phase of the process and how VOTF and its members can participate.)

Information & Resources