THE VOICE - VOTFNJ's Monthly Newsletter

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Speaking Truth with Love & Wisdom: Sister Theresa Kane and the Catholic Women's Movement

Christine Schenk, CSJ with special guest, Theresa Kane, RSM
January 26, 2020

In 1979 Sister Theresa Kane's widely publicized greeting asking Pope John Paul II to open all the ministries of the Church to women galvanized the women's movement in the Catholic Church. Much has happened in the intervening 40 years and Sister Theresa provided leadership for the ongoing struggles, always speaking with deep faith.

Our presenter, Sister Christine Schenk, the founding director of
  FutureChurch,has also played an important role in pursuing a vision of equality and justice for women in the church and in society. She provided the creative energy behind the campaign to reclaim Mary of Magdala as the Apostle to the Apostles. In 2018 her book,  Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity, received a first place award from the Catholic Press Association. Most recently, she has written To Speak the Truth in Love: A Biography of Theresa Kane, RSMpublished in November 2019 by Orbis Books.

Sister Chris shared with us her perspectives on this important period of contemporary Catholic history when women religious exercised unparalleled leadership in speaking out for women's equality.
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Joining us as our special guest was Sister Theresa Kane who provided us with lively anecdotes of her story.

Please visit our audio library in the menu to listen to our January 26 program.

Our Church: Called to be a reflection of who God is. What does this ask of us?

Catherine Nerney, SSJ
September 22, 2019

Vatican Council II called the church to reclaim its core identity in the Communion of God's own Life-a Divine Life revealed and experienced as "COMPASSION." If that Life of God has birthed the church, then compassion is the church's very DNA. Sister Catherine Nerney SSJ explored with us what this means in our troubled times, what this asks of us, and how we can do our part to rebuild a church that God might recognize as a more authentic divine/human self-gift to the world and our planet.

Sr. Catherine Nerney SSJ, a Sister of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia received her Ph.D in systematic theology from The Catholic University of America. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Chestnut Hill College and Director of its Institute for Forgiveness and Reconciliation. Dr. Nerney's area of specialization is the Theology of the Church. Sister Cathy's latest publication is titled The Compassion Connection, Recovering Our Original Oneness

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What is going on with the Vatican? ...And why should I stay Catholic?

Jamie Manson
April 28, 2019

jamie manson 2In this talk, Jamie Manson, columnist and editor at the "National Catholic Reporter" shared her thoughts, based on her recent trip to Rome for the sex abuse summit, about several hot button issues: Why wasn't more accomplished at the summit? Why did those women journalists resign from the Vatican newspaper? Did Frederic Martel's book, In the Closet of the Vatican, have any impact at all? She'll also talk about why she stays Catholic amid this constant barrage of drama, controversy, and deep institutional sin, and what hope she is seeing for the Church among the next generation of Catholics and prophets. 

Jamie Manson is a columnist and books editor at the "National Catholic Reporter."  She received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics. She is editor of Changing the Questions: Explorations in Christian Ethics, a collection of writings by Margaret Farley (Orbis, 2015). Her writing has won numerous awards, most recently the 2015 Wilbur Award for Best Online Religion News Story for her extended essay "Feminism in Faith: Sister Elizabeth Johnson's Challenge to the Vatican." Her activism on behalf of women in the church recently garnered her the Theresa Kane Award for Women of Courage and Vision from the Women’s Ordination Conference.


In the Prophetic Tradition: Raise Your Voice!

VOTFNJ NCR 2019 1Dear VOTFNJ brothers and sisters,

The self-inflicted wound of the clerical sexual abuse crisis has brought our beloved Church to the point of implosion--at least the hierarchical clerical culture of our Church. It is, in one way, a good thing! This means that the wound has been exposed and now the healing may begin; the rebuilding of the Church can commence. What is good can be retained and what has gone off course can be rooted out and left behind.

As members of the laity, committed to our baptismal promises, we can - and must - participate in the rebuilding of our beloved local New Jersey church. In this packet of materials you will find helpful resources, appropriate contact information, and informative background articles. May we suggest a few things that we all can do to move the healing forward?

VOTFNJ has developed an Action Packet of practical steps you can take to confront the abuse crisis in our Church.

Join Us to Support Refugees in New Jersey

 Refugee Assistance Update

RAMP tag stackedAt VOTFNJ's invitation, a steering committee for refugee assistance held its first organizational meeting on May 23, 2016 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. The result: a coalition of 14 member organizations which have named themselves, Refugee Assistance Morris Partners (RAMP). Their stated purpose: "...to assist vetted Middle Eastern and other refugee families to transiton to productive lives of dignity, safety, and hope in the Morris County area of New Jersey." The group has partnered with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and with the Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ).

Learn more about RAMP here.
Learn more about RAMP's partnership with CFNJ here.
Donate to RAMP here.

For the latest news, read our latest newsletter here.
See RAMP's 2019 Fundraising Appeal here.

If you would like to join this multi-faith and civic effort, check for the opportunities available here. Contact RAMP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and to receive updates.






VOTF National News & Views

votfnj sStay in touch and informed!

Read In the Vineyard and stay abreast of VOTF national activities and views here.

Confronting the Systemic Dysfunction of Clericalism
Produced by the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests in collaboration with Voice of the Faithful and lay people and clergy across the nation; endorsed by FutureChurch.

When we were asked to prepare a document about clericalism within the Church, we quickly realized that our challenges would be two-fold. One was the sheer volume of books, articles,
editorials, and pronouncements on the topic. What could we say that would help advance the literature already available? What new perspectives or visions could we offer to move forward
on efforts to confront and root out clericalism?

Our other challenge was to produce a document that would “ring true” with both clergy and laity. Could we help us all to see the problem clearly and begin to recognize its manifestations? Could we frame the discussion so as to encourage clergy and laity together to confront actions and attitudes that contribute to clericalism?

Click above for more.

Road to Recovery

VOTFNJ is pleased to support ...

Road to RecoveryRoad to Recovery, a non-profit organization that offers compassionate counseling and referral services to survivors of sexual abuse. Launched in 2005 to provide direct assistance to victims of clergy sexual abuse, R2R has expanded its mission to include survivors of all sexual abuse. Learn more.

Next Eucharistic Celebration

Join us for a special Advent/Christmas Liturgy and Poetry Reading

Sunday, December 22, 2019HC
3:30 - 5:00 PM
Saint Mark Lutheran Church
100 Harter Road, Morristown, NJ

Ken Lasch, Presider

Only a crack in the wall...

but wide enough for eyes to pierce through decades of darkness.
Hope restored, hearts renewed, hands rejoined;
east meets west at dawn.

“The just shall flourish in his time,
and fullness of peace forever.” [Psalm 72:12-13]

Christmas is about east meeting west,
north meeting south,
and God entering history through the human heart.
It’s about erasing hurt, restoring hope and giving love.

May Jesus be in your heart and in your household
and may you be blessed with peace now
and in the coming year.

~ Pastor Ken Lasch
from Winter Soulstice






THE VOICE - VOTFNJ's Monthly Newsletter

Click here for VOTFNJ monthly news and more...

OPTIMUM EMAIL CUSTOMERS: Please note if you are an OPTIMUM customer, we are having difficulty delivering our newsletter to your email inbox. Please call OPTIMUM and tell them of this issue. In doing so, you will need our email address. It is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please also ensure our email is in your contact list. Thank you.

Living the Gospel - Intentional Eucharistic Communities

Intentional Eucharistic Communities (IECs) are those small faith communities, rooted in the Intentional Eucharistic CommunitiesCatholic tradition, which gather to celebrate Eucharist on a regular basis. Born in the enthusiasm flowing from Vatican II for a church of the people, some IECs were instituted in parishes, some were created as alternatives to the parish, some retain close ties with the institutional church, and some function independently. VOTFNJ considers itself to be an Intentional Eucharistic Community.

Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community is the "Sister Community" of VOTFNJ. Their Morristown Liturgy meets the 2nd Sunday of each month at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 100 Harter Rd. Morristown, NJ at 4:30 p.m. Follow Sophia on Facebook.

An Advent Blessing from Mike Corso & Sophia Inclusive Community
Hope Transforms

Hope Transforms

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Upcoming Events

2 Feb
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 02.02.2020 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Ken Lasch, Presider

16 Feb
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 02.16.2020 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Ken Lasch, Presider

1 Mar
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 03.01.2020 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Mike Corso, Presider

15 Mar
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 03.15.2020 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Dick Rento, Presider

5 Apr
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 04.05.2020 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Ken Lasch, Presider

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