In the Vineyard: February 13, 2015

In the Vineyard :: February 13, 2015 :: Volume 15, Issue 3

News from National

Healing Circle Workshop at VOTF 2015 Assembly

VOTF has been conducting Healing Circles across the country – thus far, three circles have been hosted in Boston, Virginia, and Florida. Thank you to all who have prayed for success of these Healing Circles.

For the child who is sexually abused by a priest, for the child’s family and loved ones, the wounds never fully heal. The scars left behind, on families, on the community, on the entire body of Christ, remain. This workshop explores the potential for Healing Circles to help those who seek healing.

The Healing Circle is not an end in itself, nor will it complete healing in its participants, but it can enable those harmed to continue, or to begin, a healing journey.

Voice of the Faithful and its partners began offering this model of Restorative Justice last year for anyone harmed by clergy sexual abuse or by the malfeasance of hierarchical leaders in response to it.

This workshop will explore the what, why, and how of a Healing Circle, facilitated by Bill Casey, former VOTF board chair with experience in restorative justice, and Fr. James Connell, a founder of Catholic Whistleblowers. Attendees of the VOTF 2014 Assembly will recall them from our informative panel discussion on the principles of Restorative Justice.

To learn more about Healing Circles click here.

VOTF 2015 National Assembly — Register Now’s 2015 National Assembly takes place on Saturday, April 18, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
The featured speaker is a clergy sexual abuse survivor who pioneered child protection standards and is now an advisor to Pope Francis. Workshops range from conversation about lay input options for the 2015 bishops’ “family life” synod, to a case study in the good, bad, and confusing in diocesan finances, to restorative justice healing circles as options for healing the People of God.

We’ll be at the same beautiful venue where we held last year’s assembly, and discount hotel rooms are available. Spring is a special time in New England, and the picture above of springtime in Hartford really doesn’t do the city justice.

Come and greet old friends and make new ones.
We trust we’ll see you there!

For Your Next Affiliate Meeting?

National Catholic Reporter recently reviewed “A Matter of Conscience: Confronting Clergy Abuse,” a new documentary about Catholic priests and women religious who confronted clergy sexual abuse. The documentary examines the whistleblowers’ motives, actions and the repercussions they experienced for speaking out against abuse. The film is being shown at meetings of Voice of the Faithful and is available for purchase at


Highlighting issues we face working together to Keep the Faith, Change the Church


Papal sex abuse commission ‘developing processes’ of accountability
“Somewhat cryptically hinting at possible new procedures for handling Catholic bishops who mishandle clergy sexual abuse, the Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on the issue says it is ‘developing processes to ensure accountability for everyone in the Church’ … Mentioning the word ‘accountability’ four times in (a) statement, the commission says it is ‘keenly aware that the issue of accountability is of major importance …’” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Pace of Vatican child protection body frustrates Marie Collins, By Paddy Agnew, The Irish Times
Papal group considers sanctions on bishops who cover up abuse, By Sylvia Poggoli, National Public Radio
Papal commission on sex abuse targets bishops, seeks to convince skeptics, By David Gibson, Religion News Service
Vatican says bishops will be held accountable, By Ines San Martin,
O’Malley calls on bishops to meet with abuse victims, By Ines San Martin,
Accountability is key concern for pope’s child protection commission, By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
Vatican abuse commission to recommend sanctions for non-reporting bishops, By Joshua J. McElwee,National Catholic Reporter
Forget spanking: bishop accountability is big pope story, By John L. Allen, Jr.,
Ensuring survivors voices are heard, By

Minnesota archdiocese transfer of assets may protect it from bankruptcy creditors
“For decades, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been shifting money into separate nonprofits that may be beyond the reach of its creditors in bankruptcy court … The nonprofits were created for various reasons, but they carry the potential benefit of protecting the church’s assets from liability linked to clergy abuse suits.” By Jean Hopfensperger and Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune

Ousted “Bling Bishop” makes soft landing in Vatican
“The German churchman christened the “Bishop of Bling” by the media for lavish expenditures he made on his residence and church offices has quietly been given a low-level post at the Vatican, nearly a year after Pope Francis ousted him from the Limburg diocese.” By David Gibson, Religion News Service

Click here to read the rest of this issue of Focus …


Join FutureChurch on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 8pm ET for a teleconference presentation by Theologian Dr. Richard Gaillardetz. He will discuss the topic “Reforming the Church with Francis.”

Listen to the podcast of our January 13 presentation My Experience Inside the Synod of the Bishops on the Family by Fr. Thomas Rosica and Mr. Sebastian Gomes.

Register Now button

Dr. Richard R. Gaillardetz is the Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College and the director of graduate studies. He previously taught at the University of Toledo as the Thomas and Margaret Murray and James J. Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies and at the University of St. Thomas Graduate School of Theology. He received a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Texas, an M.A. in Biblical Theology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, and both an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in Systematic Theology. He has published numerous articles and has authored eight books (one volume was co-authored) and edited two others (one was co-edited).

Dr. Gaillardetz was president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), the largest professional association of Catholic theologians in the world with over 1400 members. He has received numerous awards from both the Catholic Press Association and the Association of Catholic publishers and is a past recipient of the Sophia Award (2000), offered annually by the faculty of the Washington Theological Union in Washington D.C. in recognition of a theologian’s contributions to the life of the church. Dr. Gaillardetz is a popular speaker at theological and pastoral conferences. He is married to Diana Gaillardetz and they are the parents of four boys: David, Andrew, Brian and Gregory.

Join Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry
Reading the Hebrew Bible with Jesus

Michael Simone, S.J.

Wednesday, February 25, 5:30 p.m.
Presenter: Michael Simone, S.J.

The library of books we call the Hebrew Bible or the “Old Testament” was the only bible Jesus knew, but modern Christians often struggle to make sense of it. The narratives come from a time and place so far from our own that one might wonder if they have continuing value for modern believers. Paying attention to the passages that captivated the mind of Jesus, however, reveals just how powerful a source of revelation the Hebrew Bible continues to be.

Corcoran Commons, Heights Room
Chestnut Hill Campus
Free of Charge

Register For Event
Maps and directions
Sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry

Join VOTF NJ for a Book Discussion: Falling Upward by Richard Rohr

The discussion has been rescheduled to:
Sunday March 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm
Facilitator: Peg Pipchick
Liturgy: 4:45 pm
St. Mark Lutheran Church ,
100 Harter Road, Morristown, NJ

Most of us think of the second half of life as just getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life. Richard Rohr uses sacred text, poetry, and myths to create a new paradigm to show how the second half of life can and should be full of spiritual richness in the “here and now” and not only in the next life. Aging is a Falling Upward!

There are thought provoking questions at

Do not fear; there will be no pressure to discuss these questions. They will help add to the richness of the book for each of us.


Come to the Paulist Center

James Carroll, Boston Globe Columnist, will discuss his book CHRIST ACTUALLY: THE SON OF GOD FOR THE SECULAR AGE.In this book he explores how we can retrieve transcendent faith in modern times. Author of eleven novels and eight works of non-fiction, Jim Carroll, member of the Paulist Center, will be with us on Thursday, March 5, 7-8:30pm. We hope you will join us and that you will be able to read Christ Actually in preparation (although not required).

Brought to you by the Paulist Center’s Adult Education Committee. ($5 donation requested).

The Paulist Center
5 Park Street,
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 742-4460

Questions, Comments?

Please send them to Siobhan Carroll, Vineyard Editor, Unless otherwise indicated, I will assume comments can be published as Letters to the Editor.

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