In the Vineyard: July 15, 2016

In the Vineyard :: July 15, 2016 :: Volume 16, Issue 13

News at National

VOTF at U.S. Priests’ Assembly

From Donna B. Doucette, Executive Director: I was privileged to attend, with Svea Fraser and Mary Freemen, the annual Assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests in Chicago last month, where we distributed information about VOTF and presented a colloquium on clericalism. As guests, we also had the opportunity to hear their invited speakers and attend the awards banquet as well as the Mass celebrated with Archbishop Blaise Cupich of Chicago. We will be reporting on the event in this Vineyard issue and in subsequent editions as well as member emails, so keep an eye on your email box.

Below please find a report from Svea Fraser about her thoughts on the conference as well as a link to the Vespers Service she mentions:

Donna, Mary and I were warmly welcomed by a group of nearly 200 priests, none of whom wore a Roman collar and all of whom seemed to share our Vatican II upside-down model of the church as the People of God. We knew we were “preaching to the choir” but found the 20 or so priests who came to our workshops were interested in sharing their views and seeking ideas to better collaborate with their parishioners. Of note was the reality that different cultures (notably
the Hispanic/Latino) are deeply imprinted with the notion that the priest is always Padre … even when invited to a first-name basis.

Concerns about the newly ordained who exhibit a sense of “separateness” were raised as well.

Continue reading …

And the Lucky Winners Are….

Between June 14 and June 27, VOTF ran a 4th of July promotion offering two packages of Omaha Steaks barbecue treats to VOTF supporters who had donated $25 or more during that time. The lucky winners were from Hockessin, Delaware, and Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Their barbecue foods were shipped to them in time for their 4th of July celebrations. Thanks to all who donated!

Network’s Nuns on the Bus are Coming to Boston!

NETWORK’s Nuns on the Bus are hitting the road again daring to call on elected officials and candidates to mend the gaps in income and wealth inequality in our nation. They will listen to stories of the gaps that people are experiencing in our society and offer a proactive policy strategy that can bridge those divides.

The program is called “Mend the Gaps,” and a rally is scheduled for Saturday, July 23, at 10 a.m. on the front lawn of Boston College High School, 150 Morrissey Blvd., Boston. For more information, email

Voice of the Faithful Advisory Board Member Paul Lakeland
Elected Catholic Theological Society of America Vice President

Voice of the Faithful advisory board member Paul Lakeland, Ph.D., has been elected vice president of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Lakeland was elected during the society’s 2016 annual meeting, which was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He serves as vice president for the next year. In June 2017, he will become president-elect and then president in June 2018. In 2019, he will be past president for a final year in his four-year presidential service.

Continue reading …


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

Pope calls bishops’ negligence a crime: this is important
“When it comes to holding bishops and religious superiors responsible for the cover up of clergy sex abuse, Pope Francis’ June 4 apostolic letter on ecclesial accountability is not only a distinct improvement over the proposal made a year ago to establish a tribunal to hold bishops accountable, it is possibly the most positive and hopeful signal to come out of the Vatican to date.” By Thomas P. Doyle, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis appoints Archbishop Cupich to Congregation for Bishops
“In yet one more sign of his growing confidence in the archbishop of Chicago, Pope Francis appointed Blasé Cupich to the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, the office that proposes candidates for the episcopacy. The announcement, made July 7, means the congregation retains two Americans. The other is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C. … The turnover of American personnel on the congregation during the past few years is significant for several reasons.” By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter
How Archbishop Cupich’s appointment could shape the U.S. church, By Michael O’Loughlin, America: The National Catholic Review

N.Y. Legislature, Gov. Cuomo abandons child sex abuse victims
In the end, state lawmakers protected the predators. The state Legislature ended the 2016 legislative session about 5 a.m. Saturday (Jun. 18) without acting on legislation to help survivors of child sex abuse. An all-night session to wrap up the legislative year did not lead to a last-minute miracle that victims and advocates were hoping for. ‘The survivors were thrown a tattered raft in this stormy session,’ said Kathryn Robb, an advocate and sexual abuse survivor.” By Kenneth Lovett, New York Daily News
Extending the statute of limitations, By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter
Pennsylvania Senate committee votes to alter controversial child sex-abuse bill, By Maria Panaritis,

Sex abuse survivors’ resources for recovery
“When someone decides to embark on healing from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and/or when concerned loved ones of a survivor want to help that person begin to heal, it can be confusing to know how to start. This last article in the series focuses on finding the best healing resources. It is a slice of all the resources available to someone and does not represent either endorsement or rejection of any particular source.” By Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, National Catholic Reporter

Special forces: graduates head home armed with skills to fight abuse
“The Catholic Church has launched a new kind of ‘special forces’ in the fight against child abuse. Nineteen men and women from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas became the first graduates awarded special certification in the safeguarding of minors — an initiative begun in Rome in 2016 to help dioceses, bishops’ conferences, religious orders and other church bodies excel in child protection.” By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

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


The Adult Faith Formation Program at Saint Susanna Parish in Needham, MA, has a sister program that offers longer courses, from four sessions to as many as fifteen sessions, once a week. Many of these courses are Sacred Scripture courses, but other courses are offered as well. For example, recently a multi-week series was offered on the teachings of the noted theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

For those of you who have always wanted to join in the Scripture Study program but could not, for some reason, make the Tuesday evening commitment, as well as for those for whom this is new information, St. Susanna now offers a parallel series to the Tuesday series on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 10:30.

It will run in such a way that if you miss a Tuesday meeting, you can just attend the following Saturday and the same material will be covered. Or, if you opt for the Saturday morning sessions and anticipate that you might miss a day, you can attend the Tuesday session earlier that week instead.

The first course in the new parallel track system begins in August: a 6-week course on the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, entitled “Thomas Aquinas: Master Theologian and Spiritual Guide.” This is an introductory course and no previous experience with Aquinas is necessary. Pre-printed lecture notes will be provided to help everyone follow along and better absorb the course content.

The course begins Tuesday, August 2nd, with sessions from 7 to 9 p.m.; Saturday sessions, beginning August 6th, run from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., at St Susanna’s Parish hall located in the lower level of the church at 262 Needham Street, Dedham MA.

Tim Sullivan will facilitate the Tuesday evening schedule and Rich Creegan will facilitate the Saturday morning schedule.

If you are interested in more information and/or wish to register, please contact Tim Sullivan at email: or home phone 781-326-2834 or call the rectory at 781-329-9575 by July 15th. Please also indicate which meeting time is best for you.

The course is offered without fee, but a free-will donation will be collected toward the end of the course to help offset operational costs such as printed materials and DVDs. Come and see!

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention for July

For July, Pope Francis asks that we pray for indigenous people and their way of life. Watch here.

Questions, Comments?

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

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