Former official leads church group

 

 'Biding time' while looking for new job

 

By Denise Dub, Globe Correspondent  |  October 10, 2004

 

Former Lexington town manager Richard White said he is biding his time as interim director of Voice of the Faithful until another community hires him as its town manager.

 

White became director on Oct. 1 but said he would not seek a permanent position with the Newton-based group.

 

''I'm doing it now to keep busy and to provide structure and assistance to their association," he said Tuesday in a telephone interview.

 

Voice of the Faithful, according to spokeswoman Suzanne Morse, is a lay group established by Catholics in response to the clergy's sexual abuse scandal. Its goal is to support victims and survivors of abuse, support priests of integrity, and shape structural change within the church. The organization has about 30,000 members in the United States and 39 other countries, in 207 parishes throughout the world.

 

''This is an arrangement of convenience for the two of us," White said. ''I'm available. I have skills that are very attractive to them. It's interesting. It allows me to manage on a different level. Neither they nor I have an awful lot of encumbrances as it relates to an employment relationship."

 

Voice of the Faithful president Jim Post said he was introduced to White by mutual friends. He said the former town manager's experience fits perfectly with the organization's goals. Most important is shaping reforms to ''advance the role of laity in the life of the church, and the governance and guidance of the church," said Post.

 

White is ''doing a lot of listening about what's working and how it can be improved, and helping us really chart a course for the future," Post said.

 

The temporary job allows White, a Catholic, to take time off to interview for positions that are likely to be out of state. Finding a position outside Massachusetts is a real possibility, he said, because ''options in this state are not as strong. But there are some."

 

White is taking over for Steve Krueger, who stepped down Sept. 30. Krueger was the founding director and, over his two-year tenure, helped build the organization and communication among the worldwide chapters.

 

White said he joins the group with the understanding that ''I will help them as long as I can. I'm looking at all my options."

 

Voice of the Faithful will start a national search for a permanent executive director, Morse said. Krueger was paid $48,000 a year, but Post would not say how much White is making.

 

White resigned as Lexington town manager in August, amid a contentious relationship with the Board of Selectmen.

 

His settlement with the town provided him with a onetime check of $2,500, $75,000 in salary for the next six months, and insurance benefits. According to Dawn McKenna, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, White's job with Voice of the Faithful will not affect these provisions.

 

Under the settlement, if White does not find employment within six months, he will get another six months with the same benefits. Attorney Robert Sullivan of Sullivan Weinstein & McQuay, which represented Lexington in negotiating the settlement, said he would not try to predict whether White's new job affects these provisions.

 

Speaking of his resignation and new job, White said, ''When you go through transitions like I'm going through, you have the flexibility to look at things you wouldn't normally look at." 

  Copyright  2004 The New York Times Company

 

 

 

 

VOTF  has run its course.

Money is gone so is its leadership

 

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

Transition and change are inevitable in all organizations. Thus, I am writing to inform you that after more than two years in his current position, Steve Krueger will be stepping down as Executive Director of Voice of the Faithful to pursue other interests. Steve and I have been speaking with the Trustees about this for some time, and have agreed that his last day as Executive Director will be September 30, 2004.

 

With Steve's departure, we will begin a nationwide search for a new, full-time Executive Director. A search committee is being formed and will begin its work immediately. We will be working through this time of transition within the national office - details will be forthcoming shortly.

 

When Steve started this position at the end of June 2002, Voice of the Faithful was a Boston - focused, all-volunteer organization. He built the organization from the ground up, hiring staff and volunteers; developing administrative processes, technological systems and our Parish Voice affiliate network; and supervising our communications and leading our fund-raising efforts. Today, the movement has over 200 Parish Voice affiliates and over 30,000 members and supporters served by the infrastructure of the national organization.

 

In the past two years, Steve has helped to raise over $1.5 million to fund our efforts to address the root causes of the crises that are confronting the Catholic Church today. Thanks to the efforts of Steve, the staff, and our many volunteers, Voice of the Faithful has become widely recognized as the reasoned voice of Catholic laity.

 

Throughout this difficult period of the Church crisis, Steve has remained steadfastly optimistic in the work we have been called to do and has brought inspiration to building a national office that can serve the movement. Underlying all of this is has been an abiding love for our faith and deep care for the future of our beloved Catholic Church.

 

Please join me in thanking Steve for his service to Voice of the Faithful and in wishing him well in his new endeavors. We look forward to his continued support.

 

Sincerely,

 

James E. Post

 President

 Voice of the Faithful

 

Read on For Steve's Letter

 

September 30, 2004

 

Dear Friends,

 

I want to thank each and every one of you for the opportunity I have been given to serve you in the work we have all been called to do in the Voice of the Faithful movement.

 

I have had the distinct honor of meeting hundreds of you personally. I have also heard from thousands of you on a regular basis, often in response to emails you have received from me. Sometimes it has been to tell us what we are doing right and other times it has been to tell us what we can do better. But always, it has been from someone who cares deeply enough about the future of our Church that they are taking responsibility for its future. All of you have inspired all of us in the national organization.

 

From this experience, I have learned more about our Church as a People of God and my faith than I could have imagined when I took this position over two years ago. Serving in this position has only strengthened my faith in the Church. You are providing leadership for the Church today by supporting survivors of clergy sexual abuse, supporting our priests of integrity, and creating the environment for meaningful lay involvement in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church. In embracing your responsibilities as lay Catholics, you are bringing your faith into the world for the betterment of our beloved Church and its mission.

 

I remain committed to the movement that Voice of the Faithful represents and look forward to continuing the work we are called to do. In an institution that measures change in centuries, there is no doubt that we have already made a difference in our young life as an organization and that we continue to make one today. There is a long road ahead but together by keeping the faith, we will continue to change the Church.

 

Thank you for letting me serve you and keep up your inspiring work!

 

With gratitude and warm regards,

 

Steve Krueger

 Executive Director

 Voice of the Faithful