The Voice of the Faithful® successful 2014 Assembly: Turning Talk into Action, this past Saturday, April 5, in Hartford, Connecticut, generated tremendous enthusiasm that is permeating the entire organization. We'll post resulting papers and initiatives, as well as photos and videos, soon, but here is a preview.
The morning's first guest speaker was John L. Allen, Jr. (right), Associate Editor for Catholic News at The Boston Globe. Allen founded the Vatican beat for National Catholic Reporter and has been a long-time Vatican correspondent for CNN. He presented his insider's view of Pope Francis and his papacy in a talk called "Perspectives on Pope Francis & A Climate of Change." Click here to watch Allen's answer to the last question during his Q&A session.
Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ (left), followed Allen as the 2014 Assembly's second guest speaker. Fr. Reese's "Jesuit Spirituality" talk enlightened participants on the particularly Jesuit aspects of Francis' papacy. Fr. Reese is another Vatican "watcher," as a Senior Editor at National Catholic Reporter and former Associate Editor at America magazine.
In the afternoon, 2014 Assembly participants heard a panel discussion led by three experts in applying the principles of restorative justice. They considered options for applying such principles to healing the wounds the clergy sexual abuse scandal has caused. Panelists were, left to right, William Casey, former VOTF board chair, Fr. James Connell, who was instrumental in founding the Catholic Whistleblowers organization, and Prof. Thomas Porter, a Boston University theology teacher with a concentration in religion and conflict resolution.
Two people familiar to many VOTF members, Jayne O'Donnell, former trustee, development coordinator and 2014 Assembly chair, and Mark Mullaney, VOTF board chair and president, were highly visible in Hartford, Jayne as chief-of-the-works and Mark as MC.
Former VOTF president Jim Post, left, and his wife Jeannette join VOTF member Joe Finn at the 2014 Assembly.
The 2014 Assembly certainly would not have been successful without the Spirit whom the orgainization calls on to provide its prayerful voice, and you can click here to read the opening and closing prayers.