Upcoming Liturgies
Liturgy Celebrating the Life of Gerry Gannon
January 15, 2022
4:30 PM

Presider: Mark DeStephano
Zoom details will be provided in the invitations to the liturgies and presentations.
We invite everyone not only to join our liturgies but to actively participate! Please let us know if you would like to be a reader or present the Eucharistic prayer.
Upcoming Presentations
"A Year Devoted to Peace"
Sunday, January 22, 2023
4:30 PM

Jesus Christ, Peacemaker:
a New Theology of Peace

Terrence J. Rynne, Professor of Peace Studies at Marquette University.

A new theology of peace renders the just war theory near mute by making Jesus and his teachings the cornerstone of both theory and practice. Rynne believes that Jesus Christ and the early church can only be properly understood through a nonviolent lens. Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection should be seen as the offer of God’s forgiveness, not a bloody sacrifice to appease an angry god. Jesus presented a foretaste of this reality with his continuous dialogue with opponents and his radically inclusive community. Jesus did not allow his disciples to violently defend him when he was arrested. This injunction against violence to defend others is the cornerstone of Rynne’s argument against the just war theory.
TERRENCE J. RYNNEteaches peace studies at Marquette University and is a National Catholic reporter board member. He and his wife, Sally, are founders of the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking. He is co-President of the Sally and Terry Rynne Foundation which is dedicated to peacemaking and the empowerment of women. He currently teaches Peace Studies at Marquette University. Previously Dr. Rynne was President of the Rynne Marketing Group, a nationally recognized healthcare marketing firm. He has served as a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago and was a faculty member of the Archdiocesan Seminary at Mundelein. Dr. Rynne’s MBA is from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. in theology is from Marquette. He is the author of Gandhi and Jesus: The Saving Power of Nonviolence and Jesus Christ, Peacemaker: A New Theology of Peace.
Other Virtual Liturgies
You can join Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community, the "sister" community of VOTFNJ, via Zoom for liturgies. Contact Mike Corso for more information.
VOTFNJ Family on the Web
VOTFNJ Family News
Journeying together as family though joy and sadness...
Praying Together...

We grieve the passing of Gerry Gannon who transitioned into his new life in the Divine Presence on Christmas Day. A 10 AM funeral Mass will be held at St Vincent Martyr, Madison on Saturday, Jan 7, 2023. To honor Gerry's life and his commitment to those in need, donations can be made to a charity of your choosing or one of Gerry’s favorites:
RAMP (Refugee Assistance -Morris Partners), PO Box1544, Morristown NJ 07960; St Vincent Academy, 228 West Market Street, Newark, NJ 07103;
Nourish NJ, 57 E Park Place, 2nd floor, Morristown, NJ 07960; The Migrant Center of the Church of St Francis of Assisi, 135 W 31st Street, New York, New York 10001.

From Terrence Moran: "[The above] photo is of Gerry and his wife Mary (on the right) at a concert at Convent Station given by Jan Novotka (center). Gerry and Mary were members of my Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity Committee and have always been great supporters and friends. They were involved in virtually every work for justice and peace in NJ and beyond. Gerry marched with MLK in Selma. He was one of the founders of RAMP (Refugee Assistance Morris Partners) that has settled many refugee families. Gerry had a serious stroke a few years ago that put an end to all his many good works. It’s fitting that he died on Christmas since he gave his life to honoring the Incarnation in the flesh of the poor, the homeless, the refugee. Gerry Gannon ¡presente!"

We also mourn the passing of Leo Rogers' sister, Barbara Sandler, who also entered Eternal Life on Christmas Day. As a memorial, donations can be sent to Good Shepherd Home in honor of Barbara's son (and Leo and Carol's nephew), Scott Sandler, who was a quadriplegic and lived at Good Shepherd for more than 30 years. He died nine years ago. Good Shepherd Home, 601 St.John Street, Allentown, PA. 18103

We hold Louise Murray in our hearts and in our prayers as she recovers from heart surgery.

We pray for Juanita Saco's brother, Greg, who will begin treatment on January 11 for cancer which has returned. Greg is in good spirits and has confidence in his physicians.

We continue to pray for Ted Bustany's brother, Rafic, as he lives with Mastocytosis, a rare and severe buildup of abnormal mast cells that can attack organs.

We are happy that Carol Jenkins' surgery was successful and she looks forward to a complete recovery.

From Mike Corso and the Sophia Community:

We pray for Diana, the daughter of a friend of Linda Kaul, who is battling an addiction problem and trying to ensure her SSI benefits in Florida.

We pray for George, whose surgery has been rescheduled for January 6.
Sharing Together...
Mike Corso recommends Matthew Fox's commentary on "The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI, Part I."

Mike also recommends Jamie Manson's article in NCR, Despite Benedict's many investigations into theologians, theology flourished
Please email if you have news to share or need community support and prayers. We are here for each other!
Thank You to all who renewed their membership in VOTFNJ, and Welcome to our new Family Members!

VOTFNJ is FAMILY even in social distancing! If you need anything at all, supplies, a ride somewhere (with safety precautions), or simply someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are here for each other!
The Synod
Catholic Church Reform International invites you to join a synodal gathering to discern updates or clarifications needed to the Document for the Continental Synod (DCS)

Read CCRI's Blessing for a New Year here. "May synodal gatherings fill every corner of the world in this New Year."

Confronting Systemic Racism

The VOTFNJ Coordinating Team has compiled a resource list on the subject of systemic racism, offering theological readings as well as historical and political perspectives. Download it here.
VOTFNJ is a founding member and supporter of Refugee Assistance Morris Partners. RAMP is proud of its work sponsoring refugee families from the Middle East since its founding in 2016 thanks to the ongoing support of its deeply dedicated volunteers, faith-based organizations, and generous donors. RAMP partners with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and has welcomed a new family from Afghanistan to New Jersey.

RAMP to become an independent charitable organization

[A]fter six years of operating under the auspices of the Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ), RAMP is well on the path to becoming an independent charitable organization. We’ve incorporated in New Jersey, created by-laws and formed an initial board (composed of most of RAMP’s prior Steering Committee members). Our last remaining step is to receive official IRS approval for status as a 501(c)(3) organization, which hopefully will occur in early January.
RAMP Remembers Gerry Gannon

It is with profound sadness that we share the news of the passing of Gerry Gannon, one of RAMP's co-founders. His work and compassion touched countless lives and his example and leadership has inspired many to serve others as he did. He will be greatly missed.
Supporting Survivors

Keep up with coverage in VOTF National, America, NCR, Commonweal, and Crux.

We recommend reading Fr. Ken Lasch's posts on his website; keeping up with all the news and events at Road to Recovery and Catholic Whistleblowers; and visiting the Catholics4Change website, the Bishop Accountability website; and the Catholic Church Reform International website.

NJ Clergy Abuse Hotline 855-363-6548

NY Victims and Anyone with Information are Encouraged to Call the Hotline at 
1-800-771-7755 or File Complaint Online at ag.ny.gov/ClergyAbuse

Keep up with the activities and outreach of Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA) and Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
Road to Recovery, Catholic Whistleblowers, and US News
Vatican and International News
VOTFNJ has developed an Action Packet of useful steps you can take to confront the abuse crisis in our Church.
Financial Accountability
Structural Change in the Church
Segment 4 of the interview of Hans Kung by Anthony Padovano from the American Catholic Council, in June 2011. This segment is part of a review of the interview which has been published on the Catholica website.

This final, very short section, is an addendum Dr Küng gave to a more lengthy discussion on the search for a new global ethic that might be embraced by all religions and all of humanity in ways that cross the usual religious and other divides in society. It is an excellent summation of the four core ethical/moral beliefs that the great majority of the people in the world would subscribe to.
Women in the Church
Living Laudato Si'
World Day of Peace
Epiphany Blessings!
Wise Women Also Came.

Wise women also came.
The fire burned in their wombs
long before they saw the flaming star in the sky.
They walked in shadows,
trusting the path would open under the light of the moon.

Wise women also came,
seeking no directions,
no permission from any king.
They came by their own authority,
their own desire,
their own longing.
They came in quiet,
spreading no rumours,
sparking no fears to lead to innocents’ slaughter,
to their sister Rachel’s
inconsolable lamentations.

Wise women also came,
and they brought useful gifts:
water for labour’s washing,
fire for warm illumination,
a blanket for swaddling.

Wise women also came,
at least three of them,
holding Mary in the labour,
crying out with her in the birth pangs,
breathing ancient blessings into her ear.

Wise women also came,
and they went,
as wise women always do,
home a different way.

~Jan Richardson.