Upcoming Liturgies
November 20, 2022
4:30 PM on Zoom
Community Liturgy

Nov. 24, 2022
10:00 AM on Zoom
Presider: Mike Corso

December 4, 2022
4:30 PM on Zoom
Community Liturgy
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"
 St. Francis’ Journey as a Peacemaker

November 13, 2022
4:30 PM
Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi proclaimed with their lives the Good News of Gospel nonviolence, challenging the violence and injustice of their times. In light of their journey from the violence of war to the vision of universal communion, we will explore stories from the lives of these founders of the Franciscan tradition that dramatize the healing power of conflict transformation and peacemaking. Eight centuries on, we have much to learn from these spiritual giants about the nonviolent life as we confront violence and injustice today.
KEN BUTIGAN is a peace and justice worker, Pace e Bene workshop facilitator, and writer for two decades. Ken joined the Pace e Bene staff in 1990. He developed and for several years directed Pace e Bene’s “From Violence To Wholeness” program, and was actively involved in creating Pace e Bene’s Engage: Exploring Nonviolent Living program. Ken has published six books, including Nonviolent Lives: People and Movements Changing the World Through the Power of Active Nonviolence, Pilgrimage through a Burning World: Spiritual Practice, and Nonviolent Protest at the Nevada Test Site. Ken teaches at DePaul University in Chicago, where he also lives with his spouse Cynthia Okayama Dopke and their daughter.
Save the date, Sunday, January 22, 2023, for Jesus Christ, Peacemaker: a New Theology of Peace, with Terrence J. Rynne, professor of Peace Studies at Marquette University.

A new theology of peace that 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. RYNNE is co-President of the Sally and Terry Rynne Foundation which is dedicated to peacemaking and the empowerment of women, and is the founder of Marquette University’s Center for Peacemaking. 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 mourn the passing on Oct. 14 of Gerry Gannon's sister, Margaret Gannon, IHM. Sr. Margaret advocated for social justice issues throughout her life and career, stopping short of nothing when it came to fighting for a cause.

We share the sadness of Carol and Leo Rogers for the passing of their friend and neighbor, Claude Johnson. 

We pray for Ted Bustany's brother, Rafic, who has been diagnosed with Mastocytosis, a rare and serious buildup of abnormal mast cells that can attack organs.

We hold Bob Hoatson's brother in our hearts and prayers as he undergoes surgery. We pray for the safety of Bob Hoatson himself, as he continues to put himself in harm's way by conducting protests against clergy abuse.

We rejoice that Mark DeStephano has completely recovered from a stroke.

From Mike Corso and the Sophia Community:
"Nancy has been ministering to her husband Roy. As you know taking care of a loved one requires great love and devotion as well as a great amount of time. Please send your positive energy to Nancy and Roy as they travel this road together."

"One of our founding members, Bernie Boyle, is having a difficult time breathing. Bernie has been using oxygen to supplement his breathing for several months. Please keep Bernie and Bobbi in your prayers as we send our positive energy and healing love."

"We have been praying for Joe Pilewski's brother, Tim. We just found out that Joe's other brother, Bill, had a massive GI bleed. Please keep Bill and his immediate family and Joe and his family in prayer as we send positive energy and healing love their way."
Celebrating Together...
The Ordination of the Danube Seven in 2002
From Mike Corso and the Sophia Inclusive Community:

20th Anniversary Celebration 

Nov 12, 2022
12:45 PM EST (US and Canada)

VOTFNJ Coordinating Team member, Bob Hoatson, a former priest turned Whistleblower, tells his private experience of Clergy Abuse and Cover-Up, what he witnessed on the inside, and what he's doing about it now in The Sacrifice of the Masses A book launch and singing will be on Dec.6 at a local Barnes & Noble. Stay tuned for more info.

Sharing Together...

Bernice Anglin suggests this special event as a follow-up to Kathleen Deignan's presentation this past Oct. 23. "Partners in the General Dance of the Spirit: Thomas Merton and Ilia Delio Evolving into Grandeur of God." November 8, 2022, at 8:00 pm EST
Peg Pipchick recommends the "Tuesday with Merton" webinar series presented by the International Thomas Merton Society and the Center for Spirituality at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame on the second Tuesday of each month. Free and open to the public. Registration required.

Peg also calls our attention to "The DREAM of the EARTH" offered by Kathleen Deignan highlighted in this month's "Illuminations." Sister Kathleen invites us to contact her at Iona.
VOTFNJ Coordinating Committee member, Carol Jenkins, works for NJ Child Assault Prevention (NJCAP), a statewide community-based prevention program. With the motto “All Children Deserve to be Safe, Strong and Free,” the CAP program seeks to reduce children’s vulnerability to abuse, neglect, and bullying by providing comprehensive prevention workshops for children, parents, and school staff.
Bob Hoatson shares Thomas Doyle's book recommendations supporting survivors of clergy abuse: Titley, Brian. Predatory Nuns: Sexual Abuse in North American Catholic Sisterhoods. "This book is an important corrective to any such exculpatory tendencies. It demonstrates that enforced celibacy, compounded with an inflated sense of holiness, is every bit as corrosive in women as in men, and that nuns are capable of being every bit as monstrous as the clergy, perhaps even more so." ~Dyan Elliott
Robinson, Geoffrey. TOWARDS THE END OF MY DAYS: THEOLOGICAL AND SPIRITUAL REFLECTIONS. "It’s a brilliant read and a powerful testament. Geoff’s observations of a secret meeting held at the Vatican in 2000 attended by several bishops from around the world….the topic of which was to solve the clergy abuse debacle! Read Geoff’s paper…brilliant, for some not surprising, for many, enraging."
Turpin, Hugh. UNHOLYCATHOLIC IRELAND. "Profoundly impressive and very disturbing. It’s a very insightful study of how Ireland went from being the most Catholic country in the solar system to a very secular state…..and the plague to sexual abuse and the almost unbelievable mishandling by the bishops."
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!
VOTF and the Synod
Confronting Systemic Racism
The perspectives of Native, Latino, and Black Catholics can strengthen our understanding of how clergy abuse and its cover-up happens, and how we can work together more effectively to strengthen protections for vulnerable people and communities and take steps toward justice and healing.
Celebrating Black History Month
Founded in 1990 by the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, Black Catholic History Month runs throughout November each year as an opportunity to highlight the heritage, patrimony, and witness of Black Catholics.

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.

"[T]he new financial system installed by Community Fund of NJ is up and running, and the Donate button on the RAMP website for online donations is running smoothly." ~ David Sullivan
USA for UNHCR Launches Refugee Voices in Your Community This map is a collection of stories that highlights the journeys refugees are forced to take to find safety. Refugees are our neighbors, our friends and their voices matter and deserve to be heard.
Haya and Ghena Al Nuwab are twin sisters who were born as refugees in Jordan after their parents and older siblings fled threats of kidnapping and persecution in Iraq. When the sisters were just three years old, the family was welcomed to the U.S. for resettlement. As the featured storytellers for USA for UNHCR’s Storyteller Celebration this year, Haya and Ghena shared their story to build more empathy and understanding for what refugees overcome.
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
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
Supporting Priests of Integrity
Structural Change in the Church
Segment 2 of interview from the American Catholic Council, June 2011. Anthony Padovano interviews Hans Küng: "where did the reform succeed and fail?"
Women in the Church
Living Laudato Si'