Upcoming Virtual Liturgies

Sunday, May 15, 2022
4:30 PM EDT

Presider: Mike Corso

Sunday, June 5, 2022
4:30 PM EDT
Via Zoom
(link will be sent in the invitation)

Community Celebration
VOTFNJ Needs to Hear from You!
Having been physically apart for over two years we are anxious to reconnect will ALL of our VOTFNJ family members. In planning for return to "in person" liturgies in the fall (health concerns permitting) we are considering several options. Please answer the questions on this survey and submit your responses by May 15, 2022 or if you prefer, fill out the survey on the VOTFNJ website. Thanks to Tina Genest for setting it up!
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 sadness and joy...
A celebration of Tom Hoffman's life will be held on Friday, June 3, 2022. A Memorial Mass will take place at St. Aiden's Church in Jersey City followed by a reception in Morristown. More details will follow in next month's newsletter. Tom's obituary can be found here.

We pray for Ken Lasch and Charlie and Juanita Saco who are recovering from COVID.

We continue to pray for Michael Corso (son of
Mike and Teri Corso) who continues to recover from surgery and pray for his complete remission.

We continue to pray for Tish Dickinson’s youngest son, Paul, in his fight against cancer. We pray for his wife and children, and Tish and the entire Dickinson family as they support and accompany him.

We send virtual hugs to Mary and Gerry Gannon as Gerry continues his recuperation.
On a joyous note: Carol Jenkins will be represented at two art shows this month:
We congratulate Ken Lasch on the 60th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. A Mass will be held in the Cedar Crest Interfaith Chapel in Pompton Plains where he lives, on Thursday, May 26th at 2 PM. There will also be a celebration at St. Joseph’s Church in Mendham on June 12th at 2 PM.

Ken is a great friend of VOTFNJ and dedicated to supporting survivors of clergy abuse.

We are blessed by his gentle presence in our lives.
VOTFNJ member Bernice Anglin supports Africa Surgery. Read its latest newsletter here.
Please email if you have news to share or need community support and prayers. We are here for each other!
Membership forms have been mailed.
Renewal forms have been mailed out. VOTFNJ is here for you and we can't be here without you!

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!
VOTFNJ is Here to Listen!
From Phyllis Zagano, re The Synod:
Excerpt from the last paragraph in the Vademecum
“Each diocese can choose to prepare the synthesis either before or after the Diocesan Pre-synodal Meeting, as long as the fruits of that meeting are also incorporated into the diocesan synthesis. As much as possible, everyone should feel that his or her voice has been represented in the synthesis. As a model of transparency, the members of the drafting team as well as the process of synthesizing the feedback be made public once it has been drafted, as a touchstone for the journey of the diocese along the path of synodality. As much as possible, opportunities can be given to the People of God to review and respond to the content of the diocesan synthesis before it is officially sent to the episcopal conference."

For Catholics in the Diocese of Paterson, Bernice Anglin recommends filling out the "Public Form" for online participation.

Several VOTFNJ members attended the VOTF National Synod on Synodality input sessions via Zoom. There's still time for your voice to be heard. VOTF National has published the dates and times for sessions which will continue through June.

Whether VOTFNJ is your "parish" or an additional supportive faith community, we invite you to share your thoughts on participation in the SYNOD. Please email and let us know your concerns about the mission and future of our Church.
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.

Dr. Shannen Dee Williams' book, Subversive Habits: Black Catholic Nuns in the Long African American Freedom Struggle is available through VOTFNJ. Please email if you would like to purchase a copy.

FutureChurch has promoted Dr. Williams' book: "We want to shout from the rooftop that Shannen Dee Williams's ground-breaking, first-of-its-kind research into the history of #blacknuns is available. Congratulations, Dr. Williams! And thank you for unearthing this invaluable record and bringing it to our collective conscience."

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.

The President is the head of the Board of Trustees of RAMP, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that welcomes, supports, and settles individuals and families from the war-torn Middle East and other troubled countries as they seek lives of safety, security, and prosperity in the Morris County area of New Jersey. Since 2016, RAMP has helped eight families from Syria and Afghanistan rebuild their lives in the United States and is poised to welcome others...The President of RAMP should have prior experience in a leadership position in a business, non-profit or volunteer organization, and sufficient time to devote to a worthwhile cause assisting refugees to rebuild their lives.
This is a volunteer position. Learn more.

RAMP is a Special Project Fund of the Community Foundation of New Jersey. CFNJ manages and administers RAMP funds, and donations made to RAMP through CFNJ qualify for 501(c)3 status. Donations can be made here.
Supporting Survivors
Surviving abuse in all its forms. 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 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 and Catholic Whistleblowers and US News
VOTFNJ has developed an Action Packet of useful steps you can take to confront the abuse crisis in our Church.
Priests of Integrity
Financial Accountability
Structural Change in the Church
Has Pope Francis Finally Reformed the Catholic Church? with Joshua McElwee
Living Laudato Si'
Happy Mother's Day!
To the Moms Who Are
To the Moms who are struggling, to those filled with incandescent joy.
To the Moms who are remembering children who have died, and pregnancies that miscarried.
To the Moms who decided other parents were the best choice for their babies, to the Moms who adopted those kids and loved them fierce.
To those experiencing frustration or desperation in infertility.
To those who knew they never wanted kids, and the ways they have contributed to our shared world.
To those who mothered colleagues, mentees, neighborhood kids, and anyone who needed it.
To those remembering Moms no longer with us.
To those moving forward from Moms who did not show love, or hurt those they should have cared for.
Today is a day to honor the unyielding love and care for others we call 'Motherhood,' wherever we have found it and in whatever ways we have found to cultivate it within ourselves.

~ Hannah Kardon, Pastor at Elston Avenue United Methodist Church