ST. VINCENT’S AD HOC COMMITTEE ON CHURCH REFORM 2018
Amber Hendricks, Chairperson
Al Reichelt, Colleen McCahill, Howdy Burns, Maureen Daly, Pat Ball, Ray Heil, Pastor Ray Chase, Geri Fialkowski, Jim Casey, and Mike Jacko (ex officio member as President of Parish Council)
HISTORICAL RECORD OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY ST VINCENT DE PAUL PARISH IN RESPONSE TO THE RECENT REVELATIONS OF ABUSE AND COVERUP BY CLERGY AND BISHOPS.
A) PARISH SURVEY AND RESPONSES REGARDING ABUSES BY CHURCH OFFICIALS AND THE COMMUNICATION OF THOSE RESPONSES TO THE BISHOPS OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BALTIMORE AND CARDINAL DANIEL DI NARDO, PRESIDENT, USCCB.
The Parish of St Vincent de Paul takes seriously the need of our parishioners and the Parish itself to respond to the sexual abuse of minors and others by clergy and bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States of America (and in Catholic dioceses throughout the world). The Parish Council and subsequently the Ad Hoc Committee on Church Reform began a process which included the sharing of important articles on the topic now available here in Church Reform, Primary Source Documents. The aim was to provide a broad understanding of the situation of the Church today and then be able to design a plan for appropriate action by the parish itself and individuals themselves.
A methodology for the solicitation of feedback from parishioners (click here) was established in which parishioners were invited to two town meetings and there to voice their concerns both orally and in written form. The written comments made by parishioners at those sessions are here , with additional written comments, sent to the parish at a later date, here.
Three summaries of those parishioners’ written responses were prepared for the Council’s review by three separate persons from slightly different perspectives. They are shared here.
1) First Summary 2) Second Summary 3) Third Summary
Based on the discussions of these summaries the Council prepared a survey as a means to assess the strongest passions of the Parish community and to give guidance to the Council regarding its next steps in response to this crisis. The survey requested prioritization by parishioners in two (2) categories:
1) Overarching Goals for the Church as a whole and
2) Specific Actions to be undertaken by our Parish or its members.
Read the Parish Survey Sept 2018 and the Survey Results Sept 2018.
COMMUNICATION OF PARISH RESPONSES
On Sunday, October 21, 2018, the Parish sent packets to the pastoral leaders of our Archdiocese of Baltimore: Archbishop Lori, Bishop Denis Madden, Bishop Mark Brennan, Bishop Adam Parker, and Msgr. James Hannon, as well as to Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo, President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
These packets contained the materials and responses of the Parish of St Vincent de Paul (linked to in the above documentation) along with a cover letter written by Parish Council Vice-President Amber Hendricks, on behalf of the Parish Council and parishioners of St. Vincent’s. Here is a list of what we sent:
1) A Cover Letter, written by Parish Council Vice-President Amber Hendricks, on behalf of the Parish Council and parishioners of St. Vincent’s.
2) Supporting Document A: A description of the activities the parish has engaged in to listen to parishioners around this issue (see above “methodology for solicitation of feedback from parishioners”):
a) Town Hall meetings
c) Parish Council reflections and discussions
3) Supporting Document B: Copies of all parishioners’ personal written responses to the town meetings.
4) Supporting Document C: Two written analyses of the parishioners’ town hall meeting responses (submitted to and reviewed by the Parish Council in open meeting – see above “three summaries of parishioner response” — one of these was not included in the packets sent).
5) Supporting Document D: Additional parishioner communications and correspondence, shared with the Parish Council and the Ad Hoc Committee on Church Reform 2018.
B) ST. VINCENT DE PAUL PARISH PREPARATIONS AND ACTIONS FOR THE BISHOPS’ ANNUAL MEETING IN BALTIMORE.
U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS ANNUAL MEETING
MARRIOTT HOTEL WATERFRONT
700 ALICEANNA ST, BALTIMORE, 21202
NOVEMBER 12 – 13, 2018
U.S. Bishops Assembly to be Live Streamed, Live Tweeted, Carried Via Satellite
Public sessions of general assembly discussions and votes as well as portions of the day of spiritual discernment will be available via livestream at: http://www.usccb.org/live
News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to this page: www.usccb.org/meetings as soon as possible.Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB18 and follow on Twitter (@USCCB) as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usccb) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/usccb).
The schedule for open sessions of the Bishops’ Conference:
Monday, November 12 General Sessions 10:30 am – 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Tuesday, November 13 General Sessions 9:00 am – 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The first step in preparation for this meeting was to provide opportunities for parishioners to personally write Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo, President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, concerning what the parishioners believed individually should be addressed at the Bishop’s meeting. They have been and will continue to have provided at church after every Mass stamped envelopes addressed to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, blank paper and pens and a paper containing some thoughts that might be considered in their writing. Participants could leave their sealed envelopes in baskets for the Parish to mail or take them home to allow more time for thoughtful consideration.
The second step is for the Parish Council President and Vice President, the Pastoral Associate, and the Pastor to send a letter on behalf of the parish to Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop Lori and Bishop Denis Madden, regarding what should be included in the discussions and actions at the Bishops’ meetings. That letter was drafted and underwent several revisions by the Ad Hoc Committee. The Parish Council reviewed the letter and submitted suggestions for clarity. Read the letter here.
POSSIBLE FUTURE ACTIONS
We were tasked by the Parish Council to make recommendations that could be considered for future actions that would take advantage of the bishops meeting in November. These proposed actions have been forwarded to the Parish Council for their review. Some are already being addressed. The viability of these actions needs further investigation for feasibility as well as the needed participation of parishioners, some with specific expertise to implement. Some has already been implemented.
ACTIONS TAKEN FOR THE BISHOP’S MEETING NOVEMBER 12-14, 2018
BEFORE SUNDAY, Nov. 11:
Complete your letter to Cardinal DiNardo. If you have not mailed it, bring it to St. Vincent’s on Saturday evening or Sunday morning and we will hand-deliver it.
MONDAY, Nov. 12
Gather in the morning at St. Vincent’s to watch (via live stream) USCCB President, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, and the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, deliver their opening addresses to the assembly of U.S. bishops. Afterwards, walk from St. Vincent’s to the Marriott hotel in Harbor East (where the USCCB is convening) to pray with those gathered there. For Monday only, St. Vincent’s is reserving our near-side (south) parking lot for any who wish to walk from here to the Marriott.
MONDAY – WEDNESDAY, Nov. 12- 14
Commit to watching a portion (or all) of the proceedings of the bishops’ assembly via live stream. You can watch on your computer, using this link:
USCCB General Assembly Live Stream Or bring a friend and watch in St. V’s double classroom!
OUR SISTER PARISHES
We are in the early stages of communications with other parishes with regard to their actions and some coordination of activities might be possible. You can click on the parish name to see information about that parish’s endeavors Communications have been made with:
St Ignatius Catholic Community.