Minutes of Steering Committee,

Winchester Area VOTF, June 9, 2004, 7.30 p.m.


In attendance: Bob Morris, Jan Dolan, Anna-Marie Ferraro, Mary Lou Burke, Pat Brandl, Louise Aleo, Bill Murphy, Paul Kellen, Clare Keane.


The Opening Prayer was offered by Bob.


Financial Status: Anna-Marie reported that the Coffeehouse raised $819: two of the performers will receive remuneration for their services, resulting in a profit of $669.

The money raised by the sale of Christmas cards has been distributed to SNAP. WAVOTF is paying for David Gibson's Amtrak ticket and overnight stay for the Parish Voices Conference on June 12.


Discussion of Recent Meetings: The last month's meetings were reviewed. WAVOTF hosted a healing/listening session for closing parishes instead of having a "working groups" session this week. It turned out differently from what was anticipated, but the board felt this is an early stage for those parishes and they are not yet ready to talk of healing since they are fighting closure. The Marniks' presentation on church structures was informative and well presented. Jim Post and Kathleen McChesney attracted the largest crowd, which was attentive and respectful.


Parish Voices Conference: Pat Brandl will take care of registration and purchase nametags. Bob thinks roughly 60 people will attend, about the right number for this type of conference. There will be note-takers for all breakout sessions, except for the Structural Change Working Group, for which there is an extensive handout. Bob will moderate the 45-minute panel discussion on parish closings.


Upcoming Meetings: Jane Regan of Boston College, who specializes in adult faith-formation, may come on Sept. 14 or 21. It may be necessary to postpone the panel of deacons and wives since the date planned falls during the Democratic National Convention week when all traffic will be adversely affected.

Fr. Donald Cozzens has agreed to speak to our affiliate on Dec. 2.


Faith-Sharing Groups: Bob would like to see this rolled out in September when parish activities are logically resuming ideally Jane Regan's presentation might precede and provide an impetus for the formation of groups.


Planned Meetings: Meetings already in place include the following:

June 12, Parish Voice Conference David Gibson will speak on "Changing Church Culture or Structure?"

June 14 Fr. Ron Coyne from St. Albert the Great Church, Weymouth, will speak.

June 23 (note that this is a Wednesday): Lisa Sowle Cahill, professor at Boston College, will speak.

June 28: Healing Service for all affected by parish reconfigurations.

July 6 (note that this is a Tuesday): Jason Berry will speak.

July 12: Working Groups

July 19: Dick Ryan, contributor to the National Catholic Reporter, will speak.

July 26: Panel of married deacons and their wives (may be postponed because of DNC).


Possible Future Meetings:

Sr. Janice Farnham has been mentioned as a possible returning speaker, possibly at the end of August. Duing the fall, we would like to convene a panel of parish council/finance council members from various parishes. Also on our wish list are Rev. Frank Sullivan from BC spoke on the participation of the laity in the Church in the 21st Century program: and Rev. Robert Goizueta, also from BC, an expert on world church affairs and uses a faithful revolution video in his presentation.


The next Steering Committee Meeting will be held on Aug. 4.

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