The media interview us. Academics study us. Bishops complain about us. Isn’t it time Voice of the Faithful® members told our own stories?
In our 10th year, as we prepared for our Conference, we decided the answer was yes. And we asked you to tell that story. Your story. Who you are. Why you are here. What you look for today in our Church and tomorrow in a renewed and reformed Church.
Your responded with more than 700 answers to our five questions. We are compiling those answers into our -- your -- VOTF book.
If you wish to know more about how we developed the project and the submission guidelines we used, please read this Information Sheet.
Although it is too late to add any additional answers, here are the questions we used for the project:
1. Who are you?
Tell us about yourself, your family, your work -- including your work within the Church. Are you a cradle Catholic, a convert, or on the fence? Are you a lay minister? A singer or musician? CCD teacher? (For examples, here's how our trustees describe themselves on our web pages.) Click here to answer "Who are you?"
2. What brings you to VOTF?
During the early days of VOTF, Jim Muller opened meetings by asking each attendee, "What brings you here tonight?" In that spirit, and mindful of the virtual gathering space we share through membership in Voice of the Faithful, we ask a similar question. Click here to answer "What brings you to VOTF?"
3. Regardless of your own personal desires, what do you see as the most important change for the universal Church in the 21st century?
As Church, we have endured for more than 2,000 years because we can explore the changes that allow fresh understandings of God's revelations within "today's" world--whatever period of time "today" represents. That's why we no longer believe the sun revolves around the earth or think slavery is the natural order of God's universe, or condemn interest-bearing loans ... Click here to answer: Regardless of your own personal desires, what do you see as the most important change for the universal Church in the 21st century?
4. What do you treasure and hope to see renewed or continued within our 21st century Church?
It is easy to point fingers and highlight failures, but responsible reform also indentifies "successes" and what should be preserved. What treasures do you hope are preserved as we repair the many wrongs in our Church today: a philosophy, a ritual, habits of prayer, sacramental character, communal worship, devotional practices, a personal joy you find? Click here to tell us what you most treasure.
5. What keeps you in the Church today?
For our last question, we ask simply the question that underlies and fuels our determination to "Keep the Faith, Change the Church."