Minutes of Steering Committee,
Winchester Area VOTF, Jan. 2, 2003, 7.30 p.m.
In attendance: Bob Morris, Regina Pontes, Louise Aleo, Anne Harris, Marge Bean, Anna-Marie Ferraro, John Deyst, Mary Lou Burke, Judy Eisel, Paul Kellen, Jan Dolan, Clare Keane.
The Opening Prayer was offered by Mary Lou.
VOTF Information Line (781-729-VOTF): Bob reported this phone number will receive calls only and have a "bulletin board" of information about coming events, inclement weather, contributions, registration, etc. Regina will make cards to hand out at meetings and the number will be added to meeting agenda sheets.
New Website: the site is up now and Regina invited the group to view and critique it. She will give a brief Power Point presentation of the website at the start of Monday night's meeting.
January 6 Meeting: So far members have heard nothing about the candlelight vigil proposed for that day. (The vigil would commemorate the anniversary of the scandal revelations and protest the bans on VOTF chapters). Bob is inclined to hold our regular meeting anyway – individuals may choose to go to the Cathedral for whatever vigil ceremony is being planned. Each working group will brainstorm plans for 2003.
January 13 Meeting: Jacqui Landry, Harvard chaplain, will speak on the topic "Voices of the Future – Young Adults Face their First Crisis in the Church". Publicity has already appeared in the Winchester Star and will be in the Daily Times shortly. Bob will have fliers available on Monday night for attendees to take back and post at their own parishes. Jan Dolan also requested that time be allotted that night for election information since VOTF officers will be elected on January 23.
We will not hold a meeting on January 20 because of the observance of Martin Luther King Day.
Survey of Priests: Clare reported that the tasks remaining for this group are to create an executive summary and a preamble. The target date for completion is the end of January. The steering committee discussed where the survey will lead. All agreed it will help to demystify the priesthood. Christina has suggested holding a potluck dinner for priests whose parishes are represented in the Winchester Area VOTF chapter.
Finances: Anna-Marie reported the recent outlay of funds from the Winchester Area account for printing costs and kits for survivors. She pointed out that in the future we will have fixed monthly costs incurred by the VOTF Phoneline and the website. The group discussed a desirable minimum balance for the Winchester Area account. It was felt that we should try to keep $500 in the account at all times.
Future Speakers: Fr. Tom Nestor has agreed to speak on February 10 about seminary changes as a result of the abuse crisis. Fr. O'Malley is available to speak in March or April and Fr. Sassani will also speak in the next few months. We will plan on having only one speaker per month. Other suggestions for speakers/meetings include Fr. Donald Monan, former BC president; Margaret Guider; Gail Frawley; a musical evening; an evening of Lenten preparation.
Introduction to VOTF on Jan. 12 after 5 p.m. Mass: Since this is the teen mass, it seems appropriate to emphasize the reactions of this generation to the crisis in the Church and solicit input from youth workers – Mary Lou thought Paul Maguire could be helpful.
Draft of Letter to Membership: This letter will be distributed by email to all who have registered as members, and in hard copy at our Monday meetings. Two versions were distributed – one format was preferred and the group offered edits to this version. The letter provides an introduction to the Winchester Area chapter, an update on our activities and information about our new website and phoneline.
Open Discussion: Bob offered the suggestion that we try to reduce the number of Steering Committee meetings to one or two per month. There was enthusiastic approval for this plan by which we would plan for several meetings in one session.
For the Closing Prayer, the group prayed the Our Father.