Minutes of Steering Committee,

Winchester Area VOTF, Nov. 13, 2002, 7.30 p.m.

In attendance: Bob Morris, Mary Lou Burke, Anna-Marie Ferraro, Jan Dolan, Anne Harris, Suzy Nauman, Marge Bean, Judy Eisel, Dee Ingalls, Clare Keane.

The Opening Prayer was offered by Mary Lou Burke.

Discussion of Recent Meetings: All agreed the presentation on the Voice of Compassion Fund was excellent. Ann Carroll was well-prepared and delivered information clearly. Fr. Bullock’s talk was well-received. He spoke from the heart and was not derailed by the sudden illness of one attendee. Some assistance might be available in future to jog the presenter’s memory in the case of multi-part questions.

Meeting with representatives of St. Zepherin’s parish: Anna-Marie and Bonnie represented St. Eulalia’s at this meeting with 3 representatives from St. Zepherin’s. Their pastor, who was also removed following an abuse allegation, has been writing a note to their bulletin each week. St. Zeph’s reported they have not been allowed to pray for him in the Prayers of the Faithful. They do not know what his financial situation is. Both groups expressed the desire for additional dialog, including possibly a joint prayer service.

Nov. 18 VOTF meeting: this meeting will be held in the church. Jan Dolan distributed the latest drafts of the Statement of Beliefs from VOTF-Central. She will present it, along with the thoughts of the Steering Committee, at Monday’s meeting. A vote will be taken. She and her group will report at the Lay Council meeting on Nov. 21. The Nov. 18 meeting will also include an invitation to speak, and breakout group sessions.

Future Meetings: The committee discussed holding a prayer service as our final meeting before the Christmas/New Year break, on Dec. 16. Several members suggested adding the short video about survivors shown at the July Conference. On Saturday, Nov. 23, there will be an Introduction to VOTF session following the 4 p.m. Mass. Volunteers are needed for that session. Plans are also being made for a session following the 5 p.m. Mass on Jan. 12.

There will be a Movie Night Fundraiser for SNAP at the West Newton Cinema on Saturday Dec. 5, costing $10 per person.

Thursday, Nov. 21 will be a Day of Adoration at St. Eulalia’s, to pray for our priests.

Tom Carr of PRAT (Parish Response Assistance Team) and Sister Katherine Donnelly will speak to our chapter on Dec. 2. They will focus on survivor difficulties in revealing abuse. The meeting will start with a video presentation by Phil Saviano. The presentation will last 45 minutes, and a break will precede the question and answer period.

Plans for 2003 include the following ideas: Jackie Landry, the Catholic Chaplain at Harvard, has accepted an invitation to speak on Jan. 13; Marge Bean is working on another session featuring survivors; Jan is writing to Fr. O’Malley to see if he would be willing to speak; Judy suggested inviting Fr. John Sassani of the Hope and Healing ministry; and several people asked Bob to reiterate the invitation to Fr. Tom Nestor to speak about changes in priestly formation as a result of the abuse scandal. In the hopes that these sessions will bring in many more attendees, it was decided to reintroduce a Publicity breakout session at Monday night meetings. The importance of publicizing inclement weather cancellations on radio and TV was also stressed.

Fundraising ideas to benefit survivors: 3 ideas were floated – the sale of VOTF candles, packaged with the VOTF prayer; the sale of Advent Candles (St. Agnes, Reading’s Voice is hoping to do this but there are fears it will cut into the parish’s own fundraising sale of candles); and the sponsoring of gift baskets for survivors. These would contain phone cards, gas cards, CVS cards, lists of resources, a video, and other items. The baskets cost $90 each and are being prepared by Survivors First, SNAP, Linkup, and CCS. The committee decided that, at the very least, our chapter would sponsor 2 baskets. Individuals would also be encouraged to sponsor a basket.

Small loaves of bread will be distributed to the Cathedral volunteers the week before Christmas.

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