Minutes of Steering Committee,

Winchester Area VOTF, Sept. 25, 2002, 7.30 p.m.

In attendance: Bob Morris, Anna-Marie Ferraro, Marge Bean, Anne Harris, Louise Aleo, Dee Ingalls, Paul Kellen, Clare Keane.

The Opening Prayer was offered by Bob.

September 22 presentation by Fr. O’Donohoe:

Judy will be asked to write a note thanking Fr. O’D for his presentation. The group discussed their impressions of the event. Problems with the wireless microphones must be worked out. We should have some guidelines and a designated moderator for meetings in which questions are solicited from attendees. Either each questioner should be allowed the same timeframe we have used for the open discussion sessions – about 2 minutes – or the moderator or speaker should read selected questions. Cards and pencils could be distributed through pews.

James Carroll, due to speak on October 7, has not yet communicated the topic on which he will speak. Regina and Anne are working on cable and newspaper publicity for this event. There is an announcement in the church bulletin. Bob distributed flyers to be put up in member parishes and public places.

Future Meetings:

Bob mentioned that the Voice of Compassion wants to send a speaker to one of our Monday meetings to talk about this fund.

Fr. Bob Bullock will be on retreat through September. Marie will follow up with him. As far as his theme is concerned, Louise believes that he should be clarifying the direction we (VOTF and the Priests’ Forum) should be taking at this time.

Louise will talk to Fr. Nestor to clarify for him what VOTF is hoping for in the way of focus from featured speakers. The group discussed the focus at length and stated that the real issue that needs to be addressed is "How did the abuse happen and what is being done differently to ensure that it does not recur?" Fr. Nestor can indicate whether he would be willing to address the issue in a future presentation.

September 30 Meeting: Paul suggested a different format - all attendees would sit in a circle, allowing face-to-face discussion. Louise pointed out that this would be an excellent way to elect the Lay Council representative, which is a planned agenda item for next Monday. The group agreed on an informal vote followed by a commissioning and blessing by all those attending. Meanwhile, Louise will attend the Lay Council meeting this week and report back on the commitment dates over the next 3 months. If time allows, we may also hold breakout sessions in different area of Manion Hall.

The Program on Sex Abuse: Tom Carr’s PRAT (Parish Response Assistance Team) may be joined by Phil Saviano (victim/survivor), who would be eminently suitable for this panel discussion. We should collect contributions that evening so as to make a donation to PRAT.

Cable Access: Dee and Regina will take a course in cable production from Arlington Cable Access Nov. 14, 21, and Dec. 5. This course is open to anyone else who would like to attend. She also reported they would be willing to tape James Carroll’s presentation if he agreed to it.

Bob noted that there will be a Candlelight Vigil on Oct. 1, beginning at St. Ignatius Church and moving to the Cardinal’s Residence. The main VOTF website has directions.

A suggestion was made by several members that we shelve some Monday meetings that conflict with Boston College lectures. The conflicts would not recur until the New Year.

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