In the Vineyard :: August 24, 2012 :: Volume 12, Issue 14

News from National

There Is Something for Everyone at VOTF’s 10th Year Conference

Our notable speaker line-up:
Fr. Jim Connell: No truth, no justice; no justice, no healing; no healing, no peace.
John Morgan of Ireland: Speaks about transparency and reform
Justice Anne Burke: Protecting the most vulnerable among us
David Clohessy: VOTF and survivors
Jamie Manson: Through the lenses of young adults
Don Cozzens: VOTF’s impact on the church
Thomas Groome: Jesus IS the church

Authors and Exhibitors representing many interests!

Leadership Conference of Women Religious: Support for the sisters/nuns

HBO screening: “Maxima Mea Culpa: Silence in the House of God”; the story of St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee WI

Vatican II & Blessed John XXIII: Remembering and reinforcing the vision of the Ecumenical Council 50 years later and honoring Blessed John XXIII for his bold vision.

Debut: Our 10-year video

Table Wisdom: We need to hear your voice!

Catherine Sienna Award: Phyllis Zagano, Women in the Church, and Joe O’Callaghan (Bridgeport CT Affiliate), Electing Our Bishops

Priest of Integrity Award: Fr. Patrick Bergquist: The Long Dark Winter’s Night (Alaska)

Potential post-conference actions—help us decide on next steps for:
The role of women in the Church
Optional celibacy initiatives
Truth and Reconciliation
Accountability of bishops under canon law
Taking a sledgehammer to clericalism
Nurturing priest associations
Honing VOTF’s watch dog status

Celebrating history and making history!!

Deadline Extended to Aug. 29 for 10th Year Conference

Description: Marriott Boston Copley Place Hotel LobbyAs knowledgeable, committed, savvy Catholics continue to sign up for VOTF's essential 10th Year Conference, we’ve received an EXTENSION on our DISCOUNTED room block at the Marriott Boston Copley Place Hotel, where the conference takes place Sept. 14-15. You now have until AUG. 29 to reserve your room for $199 per night, double occupancy. After Aug. 29, the cost will be $259.

Take advantage of this hotel discount NOW.

Just click here. Marriott's room reservation page will open. VOTF's conference Group Code is already filled-in. Just select the dates, number of rooms and number of guests to reserve your room at the discounted price. Visit our 10th Year Conference web pages to find out more about the conference, to register, read about our speakers and more.

Reserve your discounted room TODAY and be at the heart of VOTF's 10th Year Conference!

VOTF 10th Year Conference Agenda Revised to Accommodate HBO Screening
VOTF’s 10th Year Conference agenda has been revised to accommodate a special preview screening of the HBO documentary film “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.” You must be registered for the conference to view this special screening, and seating is quite limited. If you have not yet received an invitation to the screening, send your e-mail address to Click here to see an updated conference agenda and click here to register online for VOTF's 10th Year Conference.

Affiliate News

Local VOTF Affiliates Support the Sisters
Ed Wilson reports that on August 14, there was a vigil supporting the Sisters in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. It was jointly sponsored by VOTF and Call to Action. The vigil was from 4:30 to 6:30 and ended with a short prayer service on the steps of the Cathedral. There were about 50-65 people vigiling and we attracted the attention of many passers by, including tourists, who snapped pictures of the supporters with their signs and banners.

Is your affiliate doing something of interest? If so, please share it with our members!

Voice of the Faithful FOCUS,
August 24, 2012

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

Leadership Conference of Women Religious Leader Sr. Pat Farrell Responds to Reporter during LCWR 2012 Assembly in St. Louis, Aug. 7-10
“At one point during a press conference at LCWR 2012 Assembly, one particularly aggressive journalist insisted that Sr. Pat Farrell, then LCWR's president, tell everyone what exactly LCWR wants.

“‘I'm hearing a lot of vague language about dialogue,’ he barked at her. ‘But what do you want to walk away with?’

“She paused for a moment, then responded quietly: ‘What we want is to finally, at some end stage of the process, be recognized and understood as equals in the church, that our form of religious life can be and is respected and affirmed. And really, we want to get to the point where there is an environment -- not just for us, but for the entire Catholic Church -- for the ability to openly and honestly search for truth together, to talk about issues that are very complicated. There is not that climate right now. So it might sound like just asking for dialogue is vague, but I think ultimately, one of our deepest goals is to create that kind of climate in the church -- not just for ourselves, but for the Catholic church throughout the world.’

“Given their bold history in our country, if anyone has a prayer of getting this done, it would be the sisters.”

This story is taken from Jamie Manson’s Grace on the Margins column in National Catholic Reporter. Ms. Manson will speak Sept. 15 during VOTF’s 10th Year Conference, which runs Sept. 14-15 in Boston. Click here for information and to register.


Vatican Crackdown: American Nuns Reject Takeover But Seek Dialogue on Difference

American nuns facing a Vatican takeover of their leadership organization on Friday (Aug. 10) rejected Rome's plans to recast the group in a more conservative mold, but declined -- for now -- to respond with an ultimatum that could have created an unprecedented schism between the sisters and the hierarchy. Instead, the nuns said they wanted to pursue a negotiated solution to the showdown that has galvanized American Catholics in recent months and prompted an outpouring of support for the sisters that left the Vatican with a black eye.
-- LCWR Assembly 2012 Wrap-up (Includes connections to LCWR press release, presidential address, and award acceptance speech at assembly conclusion.)
-- LCWR Will Continue Dialogue, But Not Compromise Mission
-- LCWR Response Offers New Vision for Being Church
-- Nuns Struggle with Rome over The Future of The Church
-- Protesters in St. Louis Support U.S. Nuns Rebuked by Vatican
-- Outside LCWR Meeting, Victims Allege Abuse by Sisters
-- LCWR Meets Archbishop, Says Way of Life Must Not Be Compromised

US Bishops Quietly Adopt Protocols for Theological Investigations
The U.S. bishops’ committee tasked with enforcing church doctrine quietly adopted new procedures for investigating theologians a year ago, apparently unbeknownst to the theologians whose teachings and writings would be subject to the protocols. The procedures seem to indicate that the committee is eschewing dialogue with theologians when concerns over their adherence to church doctrine are reported, instead preferring a private in-house review process.

Change in Age for New Vocations Nothing to Fear
One of Rome's great concerns about U.S. religious orders of women, it seems, is the lack of young early adult vocations in the United States today. Why U.S. women's orders, in the face of large-scale decline in numbers of both religious and priests in Europe as well, should merit such special attention on this subject, I'm not sure. I do think, however, that the subject in general needs to be rethought and perhaps reframed. Even by religious orders themselves.

The Church's Deep Pockets; The Butler Did It; And Myths About Atheism
Most people believe the real power in Catholicism resides with the hierarchy, and in terms of both theology and church law, that's basically right. For instance, canon law says the pope wields "supreme, full, immediate and universal" authority, and it's tough to get more sweeping than that. One wonders, however, if an accountant would reach the same conclusion. When it comes to the financial dimension of Catholic life, there are certainly some deep pockets out there.

U.S. Judge: Vatican Not Priests' Employer
The Vatican won a major victory Aug. 20 in an Oregon federal courtroom, where a judge ruled that the Holy See is not the employer of molester priests. The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman ends a six-year question in the decade-old case and could shield the Vatican from possible monetary damages.

The Catholic Church in America: Earthly Concerns
The Catholic Church is as big as any company in America. Bankruptcy cases have shed some light on its finances and their mismanagement.
Of all the organizations that serve America’s poor, few do more good work than the Catholic Church: its schools and hospitals provide a lifeline for millions. Yet even taking these virtues into account, the finances of the Catholic church in America are an unholy mess. The sins involved in its book-keeping are not as vivid or grotesque as those on display in the various sexual-abuse cases that have cost the American church more than $3 billion so far; but the financial mismanagement and questionable business practices would have seen widespread resignations at the top of any other public institution.

Following are articles commenting on the above Economist article:
 -- The Catholic Church’s Finances
-- Catholic Finances, Continued  
-- Spot the Difference
-- AIB Says No Credit Risk in US Catholic Church
-- The Economist Digs Into the American Catholic Church’s Finances, Finds That Cardinal Dolan Is Manhattan’s Largest Landowner

Read the rest of this issue of Focus here ...

Calendar of Events
(Editor’s Note: Please send events of interest to for inclusion in the Vineyard)

Sponsored by the Voice of the Faithful North Shore – Seacoast AffiliateIn collaboration with the School of Theology & Ministry, Boston College2012 - 2013 Adult Education and Faith Formation Program

Signs of the Times
Sunday evenings 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.

Lecture, Discussion and Refreshments
Sept. 23, 2012  Being a Responsible Catholic Voter (Newburyport) -Reverend Kenneth R. Himes, O.F.M., Ph.D. Associate Professor, Boston College Department of Theology

Sunday, September 23, 2012, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
Immaculate Conception Parish Center, 5 Court St., Newburyport

Lecture: The following questions will be examined in the lecture and discussed during the evening:  Is there a moral obligation to vote?  Can a person cooperate in evil by voting?  Is it possible to vote for a candidate and still have moral reservations about some of the candidate’s views?  Is single-issue voting possible?  Are there resources within the moral tradition of Catholicism that can assist us in thinking through such issues?

For more information

Boston College Events
Fall 2012 On-Campus events

Women in Interreligious Dialogue
Thursday, September 20, 5:00 p.m.
Presenter: Rosemary Radford Ruether, Carpenter Emerita Professor of Feminist Theology, Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union
Cosponsored by the Boston College Department of Theology, the School of Theology and Ministry, and The Church in the 21st Century Center

Introducing the Bible Today: Challenges and Opportunities
Tuesday, September 25, 5:30 p.m.
Presenters: Richard J. Clifford, S.J., STM professor of Old Testament, Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., STM professor of New Testament, and Pheme Perkins, professor, Boston College Theology Department
Cosponsored by Paulist Press, the School of Theology and Ministry, and the Boston College Department of Theology

An Archbishop's Perspective on Handing on the Faith
Monday, October 1, 4:30 p.m.
Presenter: Most Rev. Harry J. Flynn, Archbishop Emeritus, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Cosponsored by The Church in the 21st Century Center and STM

Tools of the Time: Tech-Savvy Teaching & Pastoral Ministry
Friday, October 12, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Presenter: Tim Welch, consultant for educational technology, Catholic Education Ministries, Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota
Cosponsored by The Church in the 21st Century Center, Roche Center for Catholic Education, and STM’s C21 Online

Catholic Spiritual Practices: A Treasury of Old and New
Tuesday, October 16, 5:30 p.m
Presenters: Colleen Griffith, STM associate professor of the practice of theology and faculty director of spirituality studies, and Thomas H. Groome, STM professor of theology and religious education and chair, Department of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry
Cosponsored by Paraclete Press, The Church in the 21st Century Center, and STM

The Power of Boundless Compassion: An Evening with Fr. Greg Boyle
Thursday, October 25, 7:00 p.m.
Presenter: Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, and author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion
Entrance by ticket only, reserved through registration.
Cosponsored by STM and The Church in the 21st Century Center

Prison Ministry: Where Justice and Mercy Meet
Friday, October 26, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Presenters: Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, and Maureen Clark, C.S.J., Catholic chaplain, Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Framingham, and South Middlesex Community Corrections
Early registration recommended.
Sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry

Education and Life, the Good Life, and Eternal Life
Tuesday, October 30, 4:30 p.m.
Presenter: M. Shawn Copeland, associate professor, Boston College Department of Theology
Sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry

New Evangelization for Today's Parish
Friday, November 2, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Presenters: David B. Couturier, O.F.M. Cap., instructor, St. Bonaventure University and the Pontifical Antonianum University, and organizational consultant, and Jane Regan, STM director of Continuing Education and associate professor of theology and religious education
Early registration recommended.
Cosponsored by STM and The Church in the 21st Century Center

Día de crecimiento para religiosas trabajando en el ministerio hispano
Viernes, 30 de noviembre, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Sin costo alguno, incluye almuerzo. Se recomienda inscribirse con anticipación.
Co-patrocinado por la Escuela de Teología y Ministerio de Boston College y The Church in the 21st Century Center
All events are FREE of charge
More information and registration at

Notre Dame Events
Thu Sep 13, 2012 - All Day
Location: Notre Dame Conference Center (McKenna Hall) and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

September 13, 14, and 15: Featuring James MacMillan
Sacred Music ND will be sponsoring “Mary and the Cross," a series of concerts linked to an interdisciplinary conference on sacred music, with an emphasis on new music for congregational singing.  Renowned Scottish composer James MacMillan will be present for both series of events, conducting a short motet on John 19:26-7 which we have commissioned. We will also be performing his Magnificat and his Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross, as well as a program of Renaissance choral works on the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Featured choirs include Aguava New Music Studio - Carmen-Helena Tellez, director; Pomerium - Alexander Blachly, director and the South Bend Chamber Singers -Nancy Menk, director. More details will be forthcoming.

For More Information

Two Win $200 Dinners in 10th Year Conference Raffle
We're pleased to announce the two winners in our 10th Year Conference dinner raffle. They are Brad Pritts, long-time VOTF leader in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Ed Sullivan, who has been active with VOTF's North Jersey affiliate ever since its first meeting in 2002. Each winner receives a $200 Dinner Certificate for Saturday, Sept. 15, at Legal Sea Foods restaurant in the Copley Place Mall in Boston, just a few steps away from the Marriott Copley Place Hotel, where our 10th Year Conference takes place. The winners won't even have to go outside to get to the restaurant. They also can take as many people as they want to dinner, but anything over $200 will be on them. Congratulations!

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