Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ Sheet for the Voices For Renewal Organization:
Ø When did the group begin to meet? The idea sparked 11/8/03 with some residents of Tarrant County on their return from an Open Window seminar in Dallas. The guest speaker, Anthony Padovano, encouraged the participants to “Do Something!” to bring alive the message of joy and hope of Vatican Council II. Our first regular meeting was held at Pat LeBlanc’s home in Arlington, TX, 12/6/03, with 12 people attending. The group determined we would be incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in the State of Texas.
Ø How often and where does the VFR group meet? The VFR group meets the second Sunday of the month, from 2:00 through 4:00 p.m. Our new location is ”The Convent,” 3233 College Ave, FW, 76110. For meeting details, please contact Kathy Brouillette, 817-861-9311.
Ø How does the group operate, what rules guide activities? Members must subscribe to the mission statement. Objectives and guiding principles are stated in our brochure and at voicesforrenewal.org. Meetings are conducted with Robert’s Rules. An attempt is made to act with group consensus. A two-thirds majority is needed for major decisions. Case-by-case flexibility determines signatories to an action or letter on VFR stationary.
Ø What are some examples of actions taken by the group? Correspondence with our bishops to draw attention to the lack of a two-way communication outlet within the diocese; protesting the handling of the Cardinal Law promotion to Rome; a controlled survey of diocesan clergy RE optional celibacy taken and results shared with bishop; local issues studied and letter writing campaigns initiated; a “Healing Conversation” approach developed for folks alienated by institutional religion; cosponsorship with Dallas partners of the First, Second, & Third DFW Lay Councils, 2007 through 2009, and subsequent annual guest speakers though 2015.
Ø What is the connection (not affiliation) of Voices For Renewal to other groups like Call To Action or Voices of the Faithful or The Open Window? We have no legal affiliation with any other group. We are an independent legal entity under the rules of our tax free 501(c)(3) status as a not-for-profit in the State of Texas. We are in communication with other groups insofar as we are a church reform group guided by the spirit and documents of Vatican Council II. We are open to collaboration with other groups that share our goals to build up the People of God. For example, our membership actively participated in the American Catholic Council at Detroit, June 2011, to establish An American Catholic Bill of Rights.
Ø Why does the group call itself a Vatican III community? Is that a misprint? It is our gesture to mystical hope. We share the conviction that the task of Church renewal, Pope John XXIII’s aggiornamento, was begun, not completed, 50 years ago. Also it has been said Vatican II was a council of the bishops and theologians, and we can hope that Vatican III will be a council of the bishops with the laity.
Ø What is meant by the eucharist with small “e” liturgy that is part of each meeting? We gather in Jesus’ name. So we break bread, pray, and support one another in a spirituality that author Miriam Therese Winter says we are all ordained for by our Baptism, namely the celebration of the liturgy of life. Winter’s book is titled eucharist with a small “e.” (Orbis, 2005) Our eucharist with a small “e” is a ritual interlude that situates whatever we do together—our conversation, our action—on holy ground.