Thanksgiving Celebration
Thursday November 25, 2021

Presider: Mike Corso

Registration is no longer required. Click on the link to join the Zoom meeting directly on that day. Please join at 9:45 AM to allow us to start on time. Sometimes Zoom will ask you for the Meeting ID and Passcode. They are provided for each of the upcoming liturgies and presentations.

Thanksgiving Meeting ID: 847 6378 5748
Passcode: 019366

Please email if you would like to be reader for one of the beautiful reflections Carole Rogers has created for the liturgy or one of the Scripture readings.
If you have any difficulty joining please email or call 862-377-9914.
America's Real Sister Act: The Untold Stories of Black Catholic Nuns in the United States
Sunday, November 21, 2021

Please join at 4:15 PM to allow us to start on time.

Presentation Meeting ID: 856 3416 6296
Passcode: 666042

Dr. Shannen Dee Williams is Associate Professor of History at the University of Dayton. A historian of the African American experience with research and teaching specializations in women’s, religious and Black freedom movement history, Williams is the author of the forthcoming book, Subversive Habits: Black Catholic Nuns in the Long African American Freedom Struggle (Duke University Press, 2022).
Dr. Williams’s research been supported by a host of fellowships, grants and awards, including a Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, the Postdoctoral Fellowship in African American Studies at Case Western Reserve University, a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Fellowship in Religion and Ethics from the Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, an Albert J. Beveridge Grant from the American Historical Association and the John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award from the American Catholic Historical Association. Her work has been published in the Journal of African American History, American Catholic Studies, the Washington Post, America Magazine, and the National Catholic Reporter.

A Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and newly elected member of the Executive Council of the American Catholic Historical Association, Dr. Williams also authors the award-winning column, “The Griot’s Cross,” published by the Catholic News Service.
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.
December Events
Virtual Liturgy

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Please join at 4:15 PM to allow us to start on time.
December 5 Meeting ID: 844 0170
Passcode: 099177

Presider: Mike Corso
Advent Reflection with Ken Lasch

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Please join at 4:15 PM to allow us to start on time.

Advent Reflection Meeting ID: 844 0170 2688
Passcode: 099177

Laudato Si and Social Justice

Sunday, January 9, 2022

4:30 PM via Zoom
(link to come in a future email)

Presenter: Father Terrence J. Moran
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.
VOTF Family on the Web
November is the month of Remembrance. Mike Corso posted this prayer on his blog.

Prayer for All Souls
God of Love,
Inspire us with the lives of those before us,
those ancient ones who have lived here in faith
and opened up and given away your love to all those who needed it.
May you change us with a vision to continue here
as a constant presence for those who travel through life,
a community of welcome that cares for all, believing into what is still yet to be.
VOTFNJ Family News
Journeying together as family though sadness and joy...

We pray for Tish Dickinson’s youngest son, Paul, as he bravely continues treatment for stage 4 cancer. We pray for his wife and children, and Tish and the entire Dickinson family as they support and accompany him.

We hold the son of Mike and Teri Corso in our hearts and prayers as he continues his battle with cancer and we look to a bright future of health for him.

Mike Corso has asked us to continue to pray for Dianna Morrison's granddaughter, Bella, who has medical issues and is recovering from laparoscopic surgery.

We send loving condolences to Theresa Padovano and her family on the passing of her brother, Marvin but know that he now at peace and at rest in the Divine Presence. Theresa states: "As you may have heard, my brother has been ill for some time but has now entered the "mansion" of the Loving God. Thank God his pain is over and he can be Marvin again. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers."

We hold Gerry Gannon in our hearts and prayers as he continues is recuperation.

We send continued prayers and positive energy to Juanita Saco's brother, Greg, as he continues his struggle with cancer.

We pray for Bunny Mondare who is now in hospice and Pat Franks who is in palliative care at home.

Edwina Gaiser-Marchev asks us to pray for the family of Hannah Pasternack, wife of Willie Pasternack, Edwina's step-grandson, and mother of 4-year-old Beckett, who entered eternal life after suffering a series of strokes. We hold the Pasternacks and all of Edwina's family in our hearts in this tragic time.
We congratulate Tish Dickinson on her induction into the Wall of Distinction of the Canastota (NY) Central School District on October 16, 2021. Tish states: "I was was recognized for my nontraditional work with libraries and liturgical efforts. I was a Public Library consultant for nearly 40 years building libraries and developing programs for large library systems with a focus on the underserved and special needs populations in New York and Texas. I began working on Vatican II liturgical implementation in late 1960s and worked on Diocesan Worship Commissions in Buffalo and Dallas. It was a heady time of anticipation and anxiety on both sides of the altar. It was exciting to expand the role of laity and help build new churches to accommodate the changes. I was part of a four-person team that designed a new sanctuary for my own Jesuit St. Rita parish in Dallas. I have continued ministerial work with an effort to expand leadership roles for women."
Robert Hoatson has signed a contract with Diamond Publishing Company to publish a book related to "the exciting and not so exciting aspects" of his life. He states: "It has been quite a ride!  Look for further information in the near future. I took time during the pandemic to finally put into print topics that are important to me and, hopefully, to many others. Thanks for your past support and I ask for your good wishes as we continue the publishing process!
We congratulates VOTFNJ and Sophia member, Louise Murray, on her election as President of our sister faith community, Sophia. Mike Corso states: "Louise brings to this position a lifetime of leadership in Higher Education and local politics." Louise is the Director of Institutional Research and Assistant Professor, Chair, Social Work Program at the College of Saint Elizabeth, She served as the former President, Board of Trustees of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) of New Jersey as well as being a Trustee, and former Vice President of the League of Women Voters in NJ.
Need a lift in your spirits? Mary and Gerry Gannon suggest watching Bill Lynch's inspirational videos on YouTube.

Please email if you have good news to share or need community support and prayers. We are here for each other!
Thank you for being part of our family!
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!
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. Scroll down to "Structural Change in the Church" to learn more about the Synod. Read Ken Lasch's suggestions here.
VOTF National Conference
Videos of the presentations with Q&As and resources from the national conference can be accessed here. VOTFNJ members Carol and Leo Rogers and Mary Murphy suggest viewing the following videos:
"Re-membering the Church and Synodality: The Law and the Gospel in Ecclesial Crisis" with Massimo Faggioli

The Q&A following his talk can be found here.
Carol Zinn, SSJ: “Gospel Eyes: A Long, Loving, Look”

Q&A with Sister Carol can be found 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). Read the IRC article: "Afghans arriving in the U.S. look to the future." RAMP continues to work with IRC in its current mission of refugee resettlement and has welcomed a new family from Afghanistan to New Jersey.

If you would like to join this multi-faith and civic effort, go to the RAMP website and check for all the opportunities available. Contact: for more information and updates.

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.

"God of love and compassion, may we always recognize your spirit: in the refugee family, seeking safety from violence; in the migrant worker, bringing food to our tables; in the asylum-seekers, seeking justice for their families; in the unaccompanied child, traveling in a dangerous world. Give us hearts that break open whenever our brothers and sisters turn to us. Give us hearts that no longer turn deaf to their voices in times of need. Give us eyes to recognize a moment for grace instead of a threat. Give us voices that fail to remain silent but which decide to instead to advocate prophetically. Give us hands that reach out in welcome, but also in work, for a world of justice until all homelands are safe and secure. Bless us, O Creative Spirit." -- Prayerist
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

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
Remembering John Shelby Spong
Financial Accountability
Structural Change in the Church
VOTFNJ member, Bernice Anglin, suggests viewing "James Carroll - The Future Church is a Choice" video above

All the Bristol UK, "Root and Branch" Synod 2021 talks can be accessed here.
Women in the Church
"I do call my church structurally misogynist. It’s not just a couple of priests here and there or a particular bunch of cardinals. The whole structure needs to be undone. Fully. Because it’s based on clericalism, and clericalism is based on ordination, and only males can be ordained and access the places where decisions are made. I find this completely sinful." ~ Sister Teresa Forcades, OSB
Feminist Liberation Theologians’ Network meeting will be on Friday, November 12, 2021, 4:00-5:30 PM ET via Zoom.
Living Laudato Si
We hope you have a Blessed Thanksgiving with your family and friends!