Minutes of Steering Committee,

Winchester Area VOTF, February 19, 2003, 7.30 p.m.

In attendance: Bob Morris, Louise Aleo, Anne Harris, Marge Bean, Anna-Marie Ferraro, Mary Lou Burke, Clare Keane.

The Opening Prayer was offered by Anne.

Financial Report: Bob reported he had received a $50 donation to help meet printing expenses. Christina has not yet reported the cost of copying and binding the Priests' Survey. Bob passed the VOTF Information Line phone bill to Anna-Marie who will contact Verizon to see if they can reduce the cost.

Feb. 3 and Feb. 10 Meetings: The reaction to both meetings was very favorable. Fr. Nestor's presentation was very well received.

New Website: Bob reported the site has the capability to track the number of hits each page receives. He expressed his gratitude for all the time, energy and dedication Regina has put into the website.

Survey of Priests: The Priests' Survey report and the news release announcing it is on the website. Christina has been contacted by the New York Times for commentary.

VOTF Questionnaire: Anna-Marie, Dee and Anne created a one-page questionnaire to be distributed to St. Eulalia's parishioners first. Depending on its success, it might be useful for other parishes within our chapter. The questionnaire will be inserted in the bulletin of the March 8-9 weekend (the first weekend of Lent). Volunteers will be needed on Mar. 7 to stuff the bulletins.

February 24 Meeting: The meeting will be held in Manion Hall. The agenda will include an Invitation to Speak: a handout summarizing the Lay Council meeting to be held on Saturday Feb, 22: a presentation by Jim Skahan on Cardinal Newman. Breakout groups will include Structural Change, Survivor Support, Priest Support, Education, Membership Recruitment, Prayer. Marge Bean will lead the survivor support group in an effort to produce a fund-raiser for survivors' therapy expenses, possibly in the form of a concert. The priest support group will contact Svea Fraser to find out how a Priest Sounding Board Session could work in our chapter; and the group will start to plan a potluck supper for surveyed priests and priests whose parishioners attend our chapter meetings.

March 3 Meeting: Fr. John Sassani, Spiritual Development Director for the Archdiocese will speak to VOTF.

Future Meetings: Bob handed out a list of meetings topics and potential speakers. Fr. O'Malley is not available to speak until the fall: Professor Meg Guider will be available in May: other suggestions for speakers include Fr. Walter Cuenin and Gail Frawley. There was enthusiasm for the suggestion Fr. Nestor put forward that he and Jacqui Landry collaborate on a presentation. Bob would also like to invite back a speaker for a follow-up presentation, specifically Sr. Janice Farnham.

Other meeting suggestions include a Lenten prayer service or Mass: a presentation from members of several Parish Councils which would help us all understand the wide differences between councils: Louise will ask current and former Parish Council members to make themselves known to her at the Feb. 24 meeting. Bob also requested an informational presentation on Virtus, the training that all parish staff and volunteers will be receiving. Paul Maguire will be contacted with a view to getting the parish youth involved in VOTF. Bob is still hoping to hold a large Parish Voice get-together on a Saturday. He has the contact names for all of the North Shore chapters and is working on the idea with Frank Brophy.

Bishopsearch: A working paper defining the ways the laity might participate in the search for a new Bishop of Boston was distributed. It was produced at the informal council meeting in Reading and will be presented at the Lay Council meeting. It may or may not be adopted as a model to pursue. Apparently the Priests' Forum is also working on a White Paper regarding the search. This might be a topic for a presentation by Fr. Walter Cuenin.

Open Discussion: Bob suggested we make a special donation to St. Eulalia's on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Winchester Area VOTF.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 4 (due to March 5 being Ash Wednesday, with a 7:30 Mass at St. Eulalia’s).

For the Closing Prayer, the group prayed the Our Father.