Minutes of Steering Committee,

Winchester Area VOTF, Feb. 18, 2004, 7.30 p.m.


In attendance: Bob Morris, Anna-Marie Ferraro, Pat Brandl, Jan Dolan, Marge Bean, Paul Kellen, Clare Keane.


The Opening Prayer was offered by Anna-Marie.


Discussion of Recent Meetings: Presentations by David Gibson ("The Coming Catholic Church"), Tom Beaudoin and a panel of young people, and Mary Lou Burke were well-received and attendance was good despite wintry weather.


Financial Status: Anna-Marie reported we have $6,889 in our account. This amount includes $4,103, the net profit from the sale of Christmas cards for the benefit of survivors, $515 owing to Bob for printing and duplicating costs, and $775 owing to Anna-Marie for copies of David Gibson's book. Without those amounts, our net balance is $1,496.

Discussion followed, centering on the disposition of the card money which was to go to the Lighthouse which has since closed. Marge and Paul are attending organizational meetings following the closing, and Marge is investigating survivor organizations to see which group could use the money for services to survivors. Paul will present the options at our March 8 meeting.

Bob and Jan will take copies of the Gibson book to the next Lay Council meeting, then to the Parish Voices meeting, and will try to return any remaining copies to the publisher within the required time.

Regarding the meeting on Feb. 21 which WAVOTF is co-hosting with the Concord chapter, Bob reported that Book Ends will bring copies of David France's book, "Our Fathers: the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal". We will supply coffee and the Concord group will bring food. There is a conflict with a Survivors First meeting from 9-12 the same day.


February 23 meeting: We will revisit once more the issue of rewording Goal #2. Clare reported the Supporting Priests group has come out in favor of changing the wording as suggested months ago by Fr. Bob Bullock to "Supporting priests in their ministry". We have discussed the 6 questions VOTF leadership sent out to Parish Voices. At this meeting Bob also plans to distribute copies of diocesan audit reports for discussion. Other topics will be a Spring potluck supper for priests, the planned Parish Voices meeting which has been moved to June 12, and plans for another Coffeehouse for Survivors.


Other Planned Meetings: Marge is hoping to bring in organizers of BishopAccountability.org for a March meeting. Marie Doyle is organizing a Lenten Spiritual evening led by Srs. Joan McCarthy and Kay Hanigan. We will use one meeting to discuss the John Jay report, due to be released next week. Other meetings for which we have commitments are as follows:

March 1: Francine Cardman

March 15: Pastoral Associates

April 26: Sr. Mary Johnson of Emmanuel College

May 3: Meg Guider of Weston School of Theology


Possible Future meetings: Bob reported the new organist has offered to give an organ recital as a fund-raiser, an idea that was enthusiastically received. Several panel discussion possibilities were aired present and former parish council members from a number of parishes, contrasting models of parish governance, finance councils, married deacons, parents of survivors. Pat urged us to plan an evening of healing prayer for the summer when the closing of parishes begins. Bob asked us to think about where we are headed as an organization. Clare suggested the group volunteer for opportunities that present themselves within the parish, since that is the way we can truly integrate into parish life.


It was noted that Louise Aleo is recovering from a hip fracture in the Woburn Nursing Center and will be home this weekend. Several members have called or visited.


The next Steering Committee Meeting will be held on March 24.

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