We will be sending  someone to Winchester to report on this meeting.

Voice of the Faithful welcomes guest speaker

On Monday, October 3, at 7:30 p.m., the Winchester Area Voice of the Faithful welcomes Ray Joyce as a guest speaker to its regular weekly meeting at St. Eulalia's Church, 50 Ridge Street, Winchester. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend.








We will be sending  someone to Winchester to report on this meeting.

The usual Monday meetings attract 25 ­ 35 attendees.

When they have a major speaker the attendance rises.

Questions are always damning of The Roman Catholic Church and promote an American catholic church* [ spelling intentional"].

Vatican II is always misinterpreted .

St Eulalia in Winchester is a VOTF parish.

I was at a meeting when their pastor was removed because of homosexual abuse accusations.

The entire VOTF contingent condemned  the abused boy as a liar.

VOTF Winchester accused the accuser.

VOTF Winchester abused the abused.


I have seen more and it reported throughout  www.FaithfulVoice.com


Janos Anitorvsky , Editor





We will be sending  someone to Winchester to report on this meeting.

Voice of the Faithful welcomes guest speaker

Thursday, September 22, 2005


On Monday, October 3, at 7:30 p.m., the Winchester Area Voice of the Faithful welcomes Ray Joyce as a guest speaker to its regular weekly meeting at St. Eulalia's Church, 50 Ridge Street, Winchester. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend.


     Ray Joyce was named as Executive Director of Voice of the Faithful in May 2005. The October 3rd meeting is entitled, "Questions and Answers with the Executive Director: Meet Ray Joyce."


     The Winchester Area VOTF is a Catholic organization that has been meeting weekly on Monday evenings (holidays excluded) since May 13, 2002. Its goals are to support survivors of clergy abuse, to support priests of integrity, and to support structural change within the Catholic Church. Members of the Winchester Area VOTF come from Winchester, Arlington, Lexington, Medford, Stoneham, Woburn, Burlington, and other surrounding towns and cities.


     For further information, please contact Bob Morris at 781-721-1399, or by e-mail at rmorrisvotf@aol.com . The group's web-site is www.votfwinchester.org.




Catholics face critical issues


VOTF seminar looks at future needs of church


By Pamela Higgins



How Catholics can address the issues that face ³The Parish of Tomorrow,² including what one priest called the ³gaping chasm² between whatıs needed and whatıs expected from ordained clergy, was the topic of a seminar held by the Upper Cape Voice of the Faithful (VOTF).


Five panelists spoke on the critical issues facing the Church. These include the lack of living up to the invitations set forth by Vatican II, concerns about ³deep-rooted systemic problems,² the decline in the number of priests and laity, and the importance of lay involvement in the management of parishes.


 The majority of the 250 attending Sundayıs seminar at the Morse Pond School in Falmouth lived through Vatican II.


 The Rev. John OıMalley, a professor of church history at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, is an expert on Vatican II and Catholic Church history. He said the spirit of the council was to move the church from a vertical or hierarchical style to a ³horizontal dimension, one of collegiality.²


 The laity was also a maor theme for the council, according to OıMalley, who said they ³were described as participating in the kingly role (management). They too were prophets Š who would bring the gospel to the marketplace.² The laity was to offer expert assistance to the church.


 ³Forty years later, our situation today was utterly unseen, the sex abuse, closing churches, drop-in seminarians and the skeptical viewpoint of the hierarchy,² said OıMalley.


 The open-ended character of the council led OıMalley to say, ³They realized this was an ongoing process.²


 ³The truth is that there are thousands of qualified and competent lay ministry professionals looking to roll up their sleeves and bring our parish communities back to life,² said the Rev. Thomas Mahoney, who is chairman of the board of the Boston Priestsı Forum. ³We have to open our hearts and minds and especially our wallets to create more possibilities.²


 He explained that priests are trained to be solely responsible for parish management.


 ³There is a gaping chasm between what we truly need from ordained clergy and the expectations and responsibilities we priests deal with on a daily basis,² he said. ³Many priests are in trouble. I think many older men who are nearing the end of their lifeıs work of dedication to the people of God now question their value because the scandal has brought great shame and eroded much of the respect and esteem that many have validly earned.²


 Despite all of this, Mahoney still looks forward to becoming a pastor. ³We are on the precipice of near disaster,² said Michael Iwanowicz, who is a deacon at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Sharon. ³The first step is denial, which I believe the church is in.²


 His concern is the insufficient number of priests. In 1973, he said, there were 411 parishes with 1,300 diocesan priests and 37 deacons in the Boston diocese, Today there are 290 parishes with 400 diocesan priests and 200 deacons.


³Only a handful of priests will be ordained in the diocese,² he said. Some parishes have addressed this concern by moving toward a new model of management.


 ³We believe to survive as a viable, vibrant parish we need to be self-sustaining both in a financial sense and in a ministerial way,² said Pam Chaplin of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hopedale.


 Their vision is to take ownership and responsibility for parish life and work with their pastor, parish staff and parishioners to create teams that will accomplish the mission of their church. They have implemented systemic change at their parish and formed six teams, which address a particular aspect of parish ministry including finance and stewardship.


³The process hasnıt been easy, and some of us who have been on the front lines have gotten pretty beat up,² Chaplin said. ³Yet we continue to feel called to the work and we remain steadfast.²


 For Sister Marie LaBollita, this inclusiveness is key to the survival of parishes.


 ³At our parish, councils make decisions,² said LaBollita, who is pastoral associate at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Newton. ³We do not act behind closed doors. There is nothing more detrimental than that type of ministry.²


 Some attendees from the Cape are frustrated with the Diocese of Fall River, which they say has closed the door to any discussion with the Upper Cape VOTF.


 ³We are trying to tickle the bishopıs feet and he is wearing hard-nail boots,² said an audience member.


 Robert Moll, the facilitator for the seminar and an Upper Cape VOTF member, agrees that it is a slow and difficult process.


 ³They (the priests) are caught between a rock and a hard place,² said Moll. ³They have been told to not have anything to do with us.²


 I think we are the hope of the future,² said Faith Mazdar, a VOTF member from Natick. ³The people care deeply.²



Familiar face back in Lynn

By James Haynes

Thursday, September 15, 2005


LYNN - For some attending his speech at St. Pius, Voice of the Faithful's national Executive Director Ray Joyce might have looked oddly familiar.


      A former Lynner and one-time congregant at St. Pius, before moving in his teens, Joyce returned Thursday to the church's lower hall, where he remembered taking CCD classes, to meet with members of the Lynn-Area VOTF affiliate and the curious among Lynn's laity.


      Heading an organization that is viewed by some as a much-needed progressive voice in Catholicism, and by others as a radical group that spoke out against the Boston Archdiocese, getting out amongst the faithful and explaining what VOTF is working for is an important part of Joyce's activism.


      "A big part of what we are doing now is education," said Joyce. "For the laity on the whole, there is much more we could know about our faith. To have the confidence to speak up and speak out, you need to have that basis and familiarity in our faith."


     Formed in the basement of a Wellesley parish in February of 2002, VOTF quickly rose to prominence in the Boston area during the height of the priest sex abuse scandal - Lynn's affiliate formed only a month later - and has consistently called for transparency and accountability within the church, and pushed for a greater say in church affairs for the laity. The movement has spread throughout the United States and beyond its borders.


     But with the furor over abuse slackening in the wake of an $85 million settlement in December of 2003, and the uproar of parish and school closures also tapering, Joyce, and others in the group, are working hard to keep VOTF relevant to mainstream Catholicism in the Boston Archdiocese's post-scandal era.


     "Everything we're talking about is geared toward rebuilding trust in our church. The discoveries everyone made about problem priests being moved from parish to parish- it's terrible that happened - but it did and a lot of people's trust was injured or lost." said Joyce. "But in many of these cases, people are committed to their faith. They are not leaving the church, they want to stay and help."


      Broadly, the current effort means supporting the "good priests" and survivors of sexual abuse, and establishing a productive dialogue with church leadership after several adversarial years.


      How successful that dialogue will be, while VOTF continues lobbying state legislators and voters to support a Senate bill requiring religious organizations to file annual reports with the Attorney General disclosing financial holdings, remains an open question.


     It also means trying to meet with as many of those who are undecided about what role VOTF should play in church reform. The organization, Joyce argued, works for change within existing Catholic doctrine and has avoided hot-button issues like priest marriage or women in the priesthood.


     But in an area of life where questioning the accepted order is not always encouraged, and fighting against sometimes ambivalent public perception -former Cardinal Bernard Law banned many of the groups affiliates from using Archdiocese property or materials - it can be an uphill battle.


     "It's almost a cultural issue. As Catholics, although we were encouraged to question some social orders or governments, it feels wrong to question the Church. There's an old saying 'Pray, pay and obey,' but once you start talking with people, it's often possible to get over that cultural gap," said Joyce. "We're not against the church; we are trying to spread the good news. We feel with more laity involvement, with more accountability and transparency we will have a more welcoming and vibrant church."





'Spirituality for the 21st Century'


     The West Suburban Affiliate of Voice of the Faithful welcomes Colleen Griffith, professor of theology and director of spirituality studies at Boston College, to the first VOTF general meeting this fall.


     Her presentation and discussion, "Spirituality for the 2lst Century," explores spirituality for a person, parish and community. The meeting takes place Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 to 9 p.m., in Philbin Hall at St. John's School, on the corner of Washington Street and Glen Road in Wellesley.