In the Vineyard: March 26, 2018

In the Vineyard :: March 26, 2018 :: Volume 18, Issue 6

News from National

Lent Reflections for 2018: Palm Sunday

The beautiful excerpt from Ephesians 5 in the Palm Sunday readings reminds us to “live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.” Even as we begin the dark journey through Holy Week, we are minded of the ending beyond the ending – Christ’s death and his Resurrection.

Jean-Baptiste Fauré (not to be confused with Gabriel Fauré, the more widely known composer) was primarily a singer, but he wrote several songs, among which we find the beloved hymn “Les Rameaux” or “The Palms.” Not only is the tune a soaring, inspiring one, but the words carry us towards the hope of the Resurrection and towards faith in the light.

O’er all the way green palms and blossoms gay
Are strewn this day in festive preparation,
Where Jesus comes, to wipe our tears away,
E’en now the throng to welcome Him prepare.

Join all and sing His name declare,
Let ev’ry voice resound with acclamation,
Hosanna! Praised be the Lord!
Bless Him, who cometh to bring us salvation!

His word goes forth, and people by its might
Once more their freedom gain from degradation,
Humanity doth give to each his right,
While those in darkness find restored the light.

Join all and sing His name declare,
Let ev’ry voice resound with acclamation,
Hosanna! Praised be the Lord!
Bless Him, who cometh to bring us salvation!

Sing and rejoice, O blest Jerusalem,
Of all thy sons sing the emancipation,
Thro’ boundless love, the Christ of Bethlehem
Brings faith the hope to thee forevermore.

Join all and sing His name declare,
Let ev’ry voice resound with acclamation,
Hosanna! Praised be the Lord!
Bless Him, who cometh to bring us salvation!

Our writer in Ephesians calls us: “Awake, O Sleeper, and arise from the dead and Christ will give you light.” While with Fauré we sing, “Humanity doth give to each his right/While those in darkness find restored the light.”

And finally in glorious worship, the refrain:

Join all and sing, His name declare!
Let every voice resound with acclamation!
Hosanna! Praised be the Lord!
Bless Him, who cometh to bring us salvation!”

Liturgical Readings

Click the link below to view the Liturgical Readings for Holy Week.

Would You Like to Lunch with Our Speakers?

You can, if you register for VOTF’s 2018 Conference before April 1 and we select your name in our drawing. The winner and one guest will join the trustees and our speakers for a Speaker’s Lunch on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Click here to register. And if you already have registered? Good news–you are automatically entered in the drawing already! We will draw the lunch guest name from all those who register through midnight on March 31. But don’t delay!

P.S. Even if you are not a winner here, you STILL get a free lunch — the box lunch on Saturday is part of our Conference Package.

Scheduled speakers so far are:

Massimo Faggioli, Ph.D., internationally known theologian, expert on Vatican II and Pope Francis’ leadership, prolific writer and sought after speaker, will address the Conference on Vatican II’s legacy for the laity. (Read more about Prof. Faggioli.)

Marie Collins, a forceful voice for clergy abuse survivors, a lay member of Pope Francis’ initial Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and counselor to bishops’ conferences worldwide on best practices for protecting children from abuse, is making a return visit to update us on the Commission’s work — including the obstacles she has faced. (Read more about Marie Collins.)

Attendees also will hear VOTF leaders talk about progress in healing the wounds of clergy sexual abuse; holding dioceses accountable for financial transparency; and developing resources for lay leadership.

Cost per person is still just $85 if you take advantage of our early-bird rate. Full -price registration will be $125/person.

Click here to register.

Date: Oct. 6, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Providence RI at the Providence Marriott Downtown

Make your hotel reservation now at a reduced rate by using this link to go to Marriott’s Voice of the Faithful reservations page. VOTF’s 2018 Conference takes place at one of the most popular time of the year for visitors to New England — Columbus Day weekend — so book your hotel room now. Use this link. (NOTE: We already sold out one block of rooms and have a limited number of additional rooms but those also are going fast.)

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


Vatican sentences Guam archbishop accused of abuse to removal from office, exile
“A Vatican tribunal has found Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who had been accused of sexually abusing young men decades ago, ‘guilty of certain of the accusations,’ imposing a penalty of removal from office and a prohibition from living on the U.S. island territory. A five-judge apostolic tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith announced its verdict in Apuron’s canonical case March 16 with a brief press release.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Victims who say Cardinal abused them end testimony in Australia
“The alleged victims of the most senior Vatican official charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis finished testifying to an Australian court Wednesday Mar. 14). A hearing began last week in the Melbourne Magistrate Court to determine whether prosecutors have sufficient evidence to put Australian Cardinal George Pell on trial.” By Associated Press in U.S. News & World Report

Francis invites change, but we are the change
“There was a time in life when I wanted things done and wanted them done now. I still want things done now but over the course of the years, I discovered that, at least where the church is concerned, I was looking for action in the wrong places … It’s the average layperson living out the faith in the temper of the times who shapes the future. It is the visionary teacher, the loving critic, the truth-telling prophet that moves the church from one age to another. By Joan Chittister, National Catholic Reporter

Fresh financial scandals hit Vatican
“A fresh round of financial scandals has emerged in the Vatican as Pope Francis marks five years as the 266th successor of Saint Peter today. On Thursday (Mar. 12), a former president of the Vatican bank, Angelo Caloia, 78, who headed the institution for 20 years until 2009 will go on trial before a Vatican court with his lawyer, Gabriele Liuzzo, 94. The pair is accused ‘unlawful conduct’ involving ‘the disposal of a considerable part of the institute’s real estate assets.’” By Tess Livingstone, The Australian

Catholic Church fails to confront tragedy of ‘epic proportions’
“The Catholic Church has failed to fully accept the horrific impact of child sexual abuse and its own role in a tragedy of ‘epic proportions,’ a member of the royal commission has said. In a surprisingly frank speech, Robert Fitzgerald – one of the six commissioners that oversaw the recently completed, five year inquiry – has slammed the church’s approach to abuse survivors, and its failure to tackle practices that contributed to the scourge of abuse and the secrecy around it.” By Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar, Chris Vedelago, The Canberra Times

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

Youth Want a Church That’s Transparent, Up-to-date

At the end of a week-long meeting held at the Vatican, young people from around the world have urged the Church to be more authentic, modern and creative in the way it interacts with young people, and in addressing controversial contemporary issues.

“We want to say, especially to the hierarchy of the Church, that they should be a transparent, welcoming, honest, inviting, communicative, accessible, joyful and interactive community,” the youth delegates said in the final document of this week’s pre-synod meeting in Rome.

The document, released March 24, is the product of a week-long discussion with young people from different cultural and religious backgrounds, who gathered in Rome for a March 19-24 pre-synod meeting, which is a precursor to the October synod of bishops on “Young People, the Faith and the Discernment of Vocation.”

Some 15,300 young people took part in the discussion. Drafting groups were tasked with taking the conclusions of the 26 different groups and compiling them into one comprehensive text.

Young people, they wrote, “are deeply vested in and concerned about topics such as sexuality, addiction, failed marriages, broken families as well as larger-scale social issues such as organized crime, human trafficking, violence, corruption, exploitation, femicide, all forms of persecution and the degradation of our natural environment.”

The youth also addressed the role of women in the Church. They said women are still not given equal spaces in the Church or in society, and questioned how and where women can “flourish” in these environments. They said the role of women often isn’t clear, and asked the Church to specify what their role entails.

To read more about the report, click here.

Looking for Something to Read?

A Pope Francis Lexicon has gathered many of Pope Francis’ most common themes and ideas from his talks, audiences, documents and speeches and compiled them into a short but comprehensive and easy-to-read compendium. “A Pope Francis Lexicon” published by Liturgical Press is a collection of more than 50 essays written by contributors from around the world – each focusing on a particular word that has become a vital part of Pope Francis’s papacy.

Edited by Cindy Wooden, the Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service, and Joshua J. McElwee, the Vatican correspondent for National Catholic Reporter, the book includes 54 essays from Catholic and non-Catholic writers. Each contributor has taken one word and expounded on what that means to Francis and his ministry.

The essays focus on a variety of topics from Baptism to capitalism to dignity to ecumenism to hope to Jesus to women to youth and just about everything else in between. For more information – go to

3x your impact! From March 12-31, Amazon is tripling the donation rate on your first purchase. The promotion ends on March 31.

This is a great opportunity to increase your donations to Voice of the Faithful by using AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile program is Amazon’s dedicated portal through which a portion of your eligible purchases are donated to your designated charity. You must copy this URL into your web then go to the AmazonSmile page to name Voice of the Faithful as the beneficiary of the donation. (Once you name us as the Smile recipient, the selection should be automatic each time you return to Amazon.)


Praying with Creation Mini-Retreat at Paulist Center Boston: April 15

Pope Francis has invited all Catholics – indeed all people – to reflect on our relationship with God through gift of creation. Our faith inspires care for our earth and its inhabitants. On April 15 at the Paulist Center in Boston (5 Park Street), Christina Leaño, Associate Director of the Global Catholic Climate movement, will lead a “mini-retreat” on our relation to the earth and how we care for our common home.

The Global Catholic Climate movement is an international network of more than 650 Catholic institutions and individuals who are responding to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ letter on action for climate justice.

The event begins with a light lunch (11:15am-12pm), and the retreat starts at noon. There is no cost, but the Center would appreciate an RSVP to to prepare adequate food.

Adult Faith Formation Programs at Saint Susanna in Dedham MA

The two Adult Faith Formation programs in March will be held on Monday evenings, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, at Saint Susanna Parish Hall, 262 Needham Street, Dedham. There will be a refreshments break. There are no fees, there is no charge for refreshments, and there is no preregistration requirement. Free Will offerings are gratefully accepted to cover costs.

MAY BOOK GROUP REMINDER: Barking to the Choir by Father Gregory Boyle has been chosen as the book for “Father Steve’s Book Group” at St. Susanna’s. Father Boyle is an American Jesuit priest and the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world. He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, the White House named Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics. He is the acclaimed author of Tattoos on the Heart (2010). Barking to the Choir is his second book, and he will be donating all net proceeds to Homeboy Industries.

All who plan on attending the Book Group on May 7, 14 and 21 are reminded that discussion starts with the very first session, so they should arrive having read the first three chapters of the book. The book itself is readily available both online and in bookstores, as well as at the local libraries in the Minuteman System.

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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