Minutes of Steering Committee,

Winchester Area VOTF, July 16, 2003, 7.30 p.m.


In attendance: Bob Morris, Mary Lou Burke, Jan Dolan, Anna-Marie Ferraro, Paul Kellen, Jane Howard, Marge Bean, Judy Eisel, Clare Keane.


The Opening Prayer was offered by Mary Lou.


Financial Status: Anna-Marie reported we have $538 in the WAVOTF account. We are still looking into the purchase of a locking bookcase for our library but need to work out the logistics of maintaining it. She purchased on our behalf a baby gift for Shannon, the parish secretary, on the occasion of the birth of Philip Lawrence.


Discussion of Recent Meetings: All felt that attendance at the meetings on June 23 and June 30 was amazing, given there was no guest speaker and that the agenda consisted of oral reports from various members and a discussion of the St. Anthony Messenger issue on the Crisis in the Church. This conveyed the feeling that attendees are serious about learning as much as possible. One June 16, Professor O'Brien's presentation was well-attended, but the absence of a Power-Point projector seemed to put him at a disadvantage. The presentations by the two Sisters of St. Joseph and Fr. Edward Vasek were well-received. There was a lengthy discussion about handling negativity during the course of meetings.


Future Meetings: On July 21, working groups will meet for the first time in quite a while. Paul Kellen will introduce a possible design for a Christmas card proceeds will go to survivors. The priests' support group will start planning another potluck for the fall. The prayerful voice group will work on the following week's prayer service.

On July 28, our chapter will host a Prayer Service to coincide with the week of Bishop O'Malley's installation as the new Archbishop of Boston. Christina may sing, and we will invite attendees on July 21 to write petitions and welcoming messages to include in the service.

On August 4, Darrell Simpson and Tom Fay from St. Zepherin's parish will talk about their parish's experience during the suspension of their pastor, who was ultimately restored to his ministry as a result of laborious research into the alleged facts of his case.

On August 11, Phil and Lauren de Albuquerque will talk about the Lighthouse, the new one-stop center for survivors of abuse which was opened recently in East Boston.

The August 18 meeting will consist of small group discussions on the topic "Where do we, as a church, go from here?"

August 25, Father David O'Leary, Catholic Chaplain at Tufts University and author of a forthcoming book on Boston-area priests, will speak to our chapter.

On September 8, accomplished musicians Dan Burns and Mary O'Keefe will present a spiritual music program.

One other meeting is in the planning stages a presentation by four members of the Priests' Forum on October 27.


A brainstorming session for future meeting topics followed.

Jan will approach Fr. John O'Malley again and invite him to speak some time in October.

Bob will contact Stephen Pope, Chairman of the Religion Department at Boston College, and Mary Jo Bane from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Marie will approach Sr. Kathleen McCluskey, head of the Sisters of St Joseph federation. Paul will contact Francine Cardman again. Survivors and their family members will be invited to speak in a small group format. Several pastors will be asked to provide the current view "from the trenches".


The next Steering Committee Meeting will be held on September 10.

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