Voice of the Faithful 2018 Conference: Progress & Promise
With a theme promoting Progress & Promise, Voice of the Faithful's 2018 Conference will take place Oct. 6 in Providence, Rhode Island.
VOTF's 2018 Conference will feature three speakers who will engage attendees on issues closely related to our mission and goals.
VOTF's return guest speaker will be 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. She is making a return visit. She spoke at VOTF's 2015 conference in Hartford, Connecticut, and at this year's conference, will update us on the Commission's work -- including the obstacles she has faced.
Prof. Massimo Faggioli, Ph.D., also will speak. He is professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova, an internationally known theologian, expert on Vatican II and Pope Francis' leadership, prolific writer and sought-after speaker. He will address us on Vatican II's legacy for the laity, offering his view on what it means to be a lay person in today's Church. His views on the Church from Western European and American perspectives is sure to be thought provoking.
Our third speaker will be Fr. William Clark, S.J., S.T.D., who will talk about lay leadership in our Church. Fr. Clark specializes in systematic theology, particularly ecclesiology, and he is particularly interested in parish life and issues affecting local church communities, which lay leadership certainly would affect. He also has extensive experience in parish pastoral work and retreat direction.
In addition to these important presentations, attendees will hear VOTF leaders talk about progress and promise in three major areas:
- Healing the wounds of clergy sexual abuse — The directors of our Broken Vessel™ Healing Circle program, former trustees Jayne O'Donnell and Bill Casey, will update attendees on the program's progress. By holding a mock circle, they also will demonstrate graphically to attendees how effectively they have used this restorative justice model to bring healing to those harmed by the clergy sexual abuse scandal.
- Holding dioceses accountable for financial transparency — VOTF's Financial Working Group, led by trustee Margaret Roylance, will announce the results of its second annual survey of diocesan online financial transparency. As in 2017, the FWG will study all 177 U.S. dioceses and rank them according to their degree of online financial transparency. The FWG's initial 2017 study revealed a wide disparity in online financial transparency. Based on responses to the initial report, we anticipate some movement toward greater financial transparency to be shown in this second report.
- Developing resources for lay leadership — The issue of leadership in the Church, always a focus for VOTF, will become increasingly problematic as the U.S. clergy continues to shrink, making the substance of lay leadership increasingly important. VOTF has formed a Collaborative Inquiry Team, which includes one of our speakers, Fr. William Clark, to seek funding for a study to answer the question: What forms of lay spirituality will provide the basis for effective lay servant leadership in faith communities without a pastor? Members of the team will lead this discussion at our Conference.
Register for the conference at this link to take advantage of the Early Bird Special reduced price of $85/person (Full-price registration will be $125 per person at a later date). Students -- please note the low-cost $25-per-person student registration. You may also download this registration form and mail your registration to VOTF.
Join us to discuss how we will continue to raise Spirit-led voices for our Church.
Name of Event:
VOTF 2018 Conference: Progress & Promise
Cost per person:
$85/Person Early Bird Special
(Full -price registration will be $125/person)
Date: Oct. 6, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Providence Marriott Downtown
(Click here to go to the City of Providence's GoProvidence website, where you can find out all about this great city's attractions.)
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 times of the year for visitors to New England — Columbus Day weekend — so book your hotel room now. Reduced-rate rooms are limited.