e are a group of Catholics who are concerned about our Church, and who meet regularly to learn about our past and discuss our future. We rejoice and give thanks for all the gifts we have, and strive for truth and integrity in holding everyone, including ourselves, accountable for the way we live our Christianity.
VOTFNJ Local News and Upcoming Events
A Lenten Discussion of the Book: Falling Upward: Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
By Father Richard Rohr
“…in my opinion, this first-half-of-life task is no more than finding the starting gate. It is merely the warm-up act, not the full journey. It is the raft but not the shore. If you realize that there is a further journey, you might do the warm-up act quite differently, which would better prepare you for what follows. People at any age must know about the whole arc of their life and where it is tending and leading.”
Fr. Richard Rohr offers a new paradigm for understanding one of life’s most profound mysteries: how our failings can be the foundation for our ongoing spiritual growth. Drawing on the wisdom of time-honored myths, heroic poems, great thinkers and sacred religious texts, he explores the two halves of life to show that those who have fallen, failed, or “gone down” are the only ones who understand “up.” We grow spiritually more by doing it wrong than by doing it right. With rare insight, Rohr takes us on a journey to give us an understanding of how the heartbreaks, disappointments, and weaknesses of life can actually be stepping stones to the spiritual joys that the second half of life has in store for us.
A Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province, Fr. Richard Rohr founded the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1986. He is the author of more than 20 books, translated into many languages. An internationally known speaker, he is also well known for his numerous recorded teachings, through the Center’s quarterly publication, Radical Grace, and is a regular contributing writer for Sojourners and Tikkun magazines. He uses many platforms in teaching on such themes as adult Christian spirituality, Scripture as liberation, male spirituality, politics and spirituality, nature, and interfaith dialogue.
Discussion Facilitator: Peg Pipchick
In commemoration of the 50th Year Anniversary of the March on Selma Catholic Clergy & Religious at Selma
Sunday, March 15, 2015, 3:30 PM*
St. Mark Lutheran Church
100 Harter Road
* Eucharistic Celebration to follow.
Viewing of a documentary film with comentary by march participant, Gerry Gannon
ALL ARE WELCOME
Child Victim's Act
VOTFNJ Coordinating Committee member, Bob Hoatson, and clergy abuse survivor, Fred Marigliano, have been visiting members of the New Jersey State legislature in their district and Trenton offices to encourage them to vote in favor of "The Child Victims' Act" which would allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to have their day in court.
The legislation would allow any person who was abused in the state of New Jersey as a minor to hold his/her abuser accountable by bringing a civil action against him/her. Gaining access to the courthouse does not guarantee any childhood victim an automatic victory, since the burden of proof rests on the victim who brings the claim. However,access to the courthouse would guarantee the "fairness" to have victims' cases heard, a concept that heretofore has been denied to childhood victims of sexual abuse in the State of New Jersey.
VOTF members and their families are urged to contact their New Jersey State Legislators (Senate and Assembly) and request that they vote "Yea" for the Child Victims' Act, sometimes referred to as the "Statute of Limitations in Childhood Sexual Abuse Cases Act." Senator Joseph Vitale of Woodbridge has been the prime mover of this legislation for years and continues his ardent pursuit of justice for victims of childhood sexual abuse.
There is a renewed effort to convince Archbishop Myers that his retirement home is neither in line with the Gospel message or the example of Pope Francis. People in the Newark Archdiocese willing to make their displeasure known regarding this matter please contact, Kevin Davitt email@example.com
The Synod on the Family
"The Synod of Bishops, gathered around the Holy Father, turned its thoughts to all the families of the world, each with its joys, difficulties and hopes. In a special way, the Assembly felt a duty to give thanks to the Lord for the generosity and faithfulness of so many Christian families in responding to their vocation and mission, which they fulfill with joy and faith, even when living as a family requires facing obstacles, misunderstandings and suffering."Read more.
Sign open letter to let bishops know the 2015 Synod on the Family needs broad input
Voice of the Faithful®, along with 15 other Catholic organizations, is issuing an open letter calling on the world's bishops to widen the circle of auditors and experts invited to the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family.
In part, the letter states: "We urge the Vatican Synod office to make every effort to include a wide diversity of Catholics, especially those from the constituencies being discussed: divorced and remarried people; cohabitating couples; interfaith families; impoverished families; single parents; families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members; same-sex couples; and families torn by the violence of war and abuse."
Click hereto read and sign the letter and offer additional comment. You have until March 3. The letter then will be sent to all English-speaking bishops and Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops. The Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family takes place this October.
COR, to which VOTF belongs, also has put up a website to help facilitate input into the synod -- OurCatholicFamily.org -- AndClick hereto download sample letters and resources from fellow COR member FutureChurch. These will help you communicate your views to your bishop.
Click here to review the Lineamenta the Vatican has sent to bishops around the world to outline the parameters of the synod and the process of collecting input.
Keep the Faith, Change the Church
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