In the Vineyard: January 31, 2015

In the Vineyard :: January 31, 2015 :: Volume 15, Issue 2

News from National

You Could Receive a Fantastic Surf & Turf Dinner
Register NOW for VOTF’s 2015 National Assembly’s 2015 National Assembly takes place on Saturday, April 18, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
Register for the Assembly by midnight Jan. 31, 2015, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a delectable Legal Sea Foods dinner for two delivered to your door.
Click here for details … for our “Healing Circle”
Tomorrow, Jan. 31, our Northern Virginia, affiliate will host VOTF’s second “Healing Circle” model of Restorative Justice.

Please pray for us.

Pray that the Holy Spirit is present with us to help bring about the healing, justice, and peace that we seek.

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

VOTF 2015 National Assembly Workshop

Survivor Support: A Discussion with Fr. Thomas Doyle

We are looking forward to the distinctive brand of advocacy Fr. Thomas P. Doyle brings to the issue of survivors of clergy sexual abuse. He will reprise and broaden his survivor support workshop from the VOTF 2014 Assembly.

Fr. Doyle’s level of experience with and knowledge of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, including the criminality of its coverup, is unsurpassed. Undeniably an expert in the canonical and pastoral dimensions of clergy sexual abuse, he has worked since 1984 directly with victims, their families, and other high-ranking Church officials. Equally unsurpassed is his passion for the rights of survivors and abusers.

Join us at the Assembly to attend Tom’s workshop and learn more about how we can address the continuing need for vigilance and support

Is There a Problem with New Priests?

Too Conservative? Too Liberal? Is there a problem with newly ordained Priests?

Pope Francis has spoken about it. And both liberals and conservatives have often spoken of the “rigidity” of newly ordained priests. Years ago, many thought new priests were too traditional – not changing with the times. More recently, many of us have asked or heard asked: Are new priests too rigid? Anthony Ruff, O.S.B., asked three diocesan workers, who must work with “new priests” daily, for their reflections. You can read them here.

The Jesuit Post

The Jesuit Post, a site that offers a Jesuit and Catholic perspective on the contemporary world kicks off its third year with a new editor in chief, but the same great mission – “We focus on both sacred and secular issues, and everything in between, because we’re convinced that God does too.”

The site features essays and interviews by young Jesuits, with articles that run the gamut from “27.5 Signs You Went to a Catholic University” to Papal Economics, or Francis the Communalist.

Affiliate News

Notes from the Mid-Michigan VOTF January Affiliate Meeting

Vision: The laity shares fully in the leadership and ministry of the Diocese of Saginaw
1. We opened the meeting with a song and prayer.
2. Educational Presentation: The history of the Curia and its current structure were explained. A discussion of Pope Francis’ Christmas address to the Curia followed.
3. Officers’ Reports

  • Regional Coordinator – Meeting dates and locations are set for 2015. Christmas goodies were provided to the staffs of the churches where we meet.

4. Action Plans:
a. Membership – Members are urged to continue inviting guests. The brochure for our affiliate is undergoing final review.
b. Program 3 – The officers will compose a letter to the bishop inquiring as to the process for lay input for the 2nd Synod on the Family.
c. Program 4 – The February educational topic will be the 2nd Synod on the Family.
d. Program 5 – Nancy R. will begin planning a prayer service for the success of the 2nd Synod, to be held just before the Synod begins.
5. Our next meeting will be at 4:00 P.M. on Thursday, February 26 at Assumption.
6. We adjourned with a prayer.
Ray Barta, Secretary

Affiliate Meeting Model – How Do They Know How to Get Started?
Each of our affiliates develops a particular form of meeting that best matches their purposes and members’ preferences. From time to time, we share those models with others. Many are suitable not just for a VOTF affiliate meeting but also for a parish gathering, a faith-sharing group, a day of reflection.

On VOTF’s website we feature a model from the Coastal Delmarva affiliate based in Bethany Beach DE. Their meetings, and their “ministry of reconciliation,” include song, Scripture readings, prayerful silence, and shared reflections. We are sharing as a model the 2014 November meeting (you will recognize the autumn harvest graphic). Both are presented as PDFs: one designed to be folded twice to create a four-page booklet, and the other the guide for the meeting’s leader. Our thanks to Skip and John Sullivan for sharing the affiliate’s work with us.

Meeting handout
Leader’s guide


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


St. Paul Archdiocese declares bankruptcy, calling it ‘fairest’ course
“The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday (Jan. 16), becoming the twelfth in the nation to say its treasury cannot withstand the unprecedented wave of lawsuits from clergy abuse victims. The move freezes lawsuits against the church, protecting the archdiocese from creditors while allowing it to develop a reorganization plan. It also halts three abuse trials scheduled to begin Jan. 26.” By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune
After bankruptcy filing, Twin Cities Catholics reflect, By MRP News
Church bankruptcy leaves abuse victims in limbo, By Emma Nelson, Star Tribune
St. Paul archbishop: bankruptcy will help clergy sex abuse victims, By Amy R. Connolly, UPI

Ex-Vatican sex crimes prosecutor returns to hear appeals
“The Vatican’s long-time sex abuse prosecutor has beennamed to head up a new Vatican board to hear appeals by priests sanctioned for molesting minors. Bishop Charles Scicluna will head the panel, which also includes some of the Vatican’s most senior and seasoned canon lawyers, the Vatican said Wednesday (Jan. 21).” By Associated Press on
Pope names former top prosecutor to head board for clergy abuse appeals, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter
Pope Francis completes new Vatican office to tackle clergy abuse, By Andera Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency

Cardinal sparks row over whether Church teaching on family can changes
“During a recent Vatican summit, the top official at the Synod of Bishops stirred controversy by reportedly telling participants they should not be ‘shocked’ by theologians questioning Church teaching on matters such as marriage and family life. Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri also reportedly said that if the aim of the synod is simply to repeat established Church teaching and discipline, then it would be ‘senseless’ to hold it.” By Ines San Martin,

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


Join NJ VOTF for their Next Liturgy
Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
100 Harter Rd.
Morristown, NJ
Presider: Mike Corso

Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Summer Institute 2015
The School of Theology and Ministry’s Summer Institute offers a rich array of theological and ministerial courses and certificates. Summer at STM is flexible. A number of two-week, one-week, weekend, evening, and online classes are available. To view a complete listing of all courses and lectures, please visit:

This year, the STM Summer Institute will offer two new on-campus evening courses that examine the relationship between spirituality and digital media.

These courses are designed so that you can take both or just one.
Spirituality in a Digital Age
Mary Hess
July 6-10
Learn more here

Spirituality, New Media, and the Religiously Unaffiliated
Elizabeth Drescher
July 13-17
Learn more here

Jesus: ‘Who Do You Say That I Am?’
Barbara Anne Radtke
May 18-June 12
Adult Believers in a Postmodern Context
Jane Regan
May 18-June 12

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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