In the Vineyard  ::    August 27, 2009   ::    Volume 8, Issue 15

National News

The National office has been busy this month! The Voices in Action plan was released and we have received much positive feedback. Please check out the project descriptions—we will have more details as the efforts take shape, and we will be posting requests for volunteers as the work progresses.

We hope you also received an update on VOTF’s financial situation from VOTF President Dan Bartley. If you missed that email, here is a copy. Finally, if you tried to make a pledge and had trouble, it is easier now – just click on the following link or go to

Catherine of Siena Distinguished Lay Person Award
The 2009 National Conference Committee is seeking nominations for this year’s Catherine of Siena Distinguished Lay Person Award. This award was established by the 2005 VOTF Convocation Steering Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees at that time. Click here for nomination requirements; deadline for nominations is Aug. 28.


Featuring SR. JOAN CHITTISTER, O.S.B., and

Join in lively discussions as we come together to reflect on the state of our church and how we can be part of the changes that will renew our faith. For registration, check the additional info here.
We are asking affiliates, members and supporters to make their presence known at VOTF's conference on Long Island in October. How? Please consider taking an ad in our conference program book. It's easy; just fill out the ad reservation form and return it to the address on the form by September 15, 2009.

News from the Affiliates

Winchester MA Area VOTF
Submitted by Clare Keane
The following penance service was written for VOTF Ireland by members of the Winchester Area VOTF. Sean O'Conaill had asked whether someone in our group might create something like this, since they recently held a prayer service for hope and healing that included prayers for survivors; so this was a gift to VOTF Ireland in a sense. However, the Winchester area VOTF will also be using it for a prayer service this fall.

Sexual abuse of minors by a significant number of priests and religious, together with attempts by many church authorities to conceal the abuse, constitute one of the ugliest stories ever to emerge from the Catholic Church. It is hard to imagine a more total contradiction of everything Jesus Christ stood for, and it would be difficult to overestimate the pervasive and lasting harm it has done to the Church. -- Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church

"....and, we would add, it would be difficult to overestimate the pervasive and lasting harm to the survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their loved ones."  -- Marie Doyle and Bill Murphy, Steering Committee Winchester Area VOTF


Concord MA Area VOTF
The Concord Area VOTF has developed a wonderful bookmark that can be used to advertise affiliate meetings. Click on the following link.

The Concord MA VOTF affiliate will be hosting James M. O'Toole, Clough Millennium Chair in History at  Boston College. O’Toole will discuss his latest book: The Faithful: A History of Catholics in America on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at Holy Family Parish Monument Hall at 7pm. O'Toole's presentation is part of the Annual Concord Festival of Authors.

A reception and book signing will follow. Book Sale and Donation Basket Proceeds will go to support Clergy Benefit Trusts - Archdiocese of Boston.

Monument Hall is located in Monument Square, Concord Center. Parking is available behind the St Bernard's Church diagonally across the street from Monument Hall.

News from Ireland
Elephants in the Sanctuary
by Sean O'Conaill
VOTF Ireland, President
Flashbacks are a diagnostic symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder - unavoidable mental images of frightful events that have wrenched the mind and heart.  Until their dying day, horrific memories of brutality and degradation will at any moment startle those who suffered in Ireland's church-run residential institutions.


We would love to hear about other affiliates across the country! Please send your updates to

Site Seeing

Father Bourgeois speaks out on his position on women’s ordination.
articles/2009/08/24/ excommunicated_priest_takes_

USA Today reports on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling against a Roman Catholic diocese in Connecticut, saying that thousands of documents generated by lawsuits against six priests for alleged sexual abuse cannot remain sealed.

The Church in Nova Scotia reaches $13 million settlement in abuse case.

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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Affiliate News

Site Seeing

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