For Immediate Release

By Joe O'Callaghan and Mary Jane Range
VOTF Reaches Funding Threshold
May 3, 2003

Some 42 members cheered Treasurer Mary Jane Range as she announced attainment of the $10,000 threshold for the Voice of Compassion - Bridgeport Fund at the monthly meeting of Voice of the Faithful in the Diocese of Bridgeport (VOTF). The meeting was held on May 1 at the First Congregational Church on the Green in Norwalk.

The National Catholic Community Foundation (www. located in Annapolis, MD. will administer the Voice of Compassion - Bridgeport Fund and disburse monies directly to Catholic charities and other diocesan agencies designated by VOTF. No money will be used for the settlement of clergy abuse claims. Additional tax-deductible contributions to this growing fund may be directed to: VOTF, PMB104, 2513 Old Kings Highway, No., Darien, CT 06820.

Members present represented a wide range of Catholic parishes including Stratford, Stamford, Fairfield, Greenwich, Trumbull, Meriden, Wilton, Weston, Norwalk, Bedford Hills, and Purchase. Fr. Chris Walsh, Diocesan Director of Vocations, attended at Bishop William E. Lori's request. Bishop Lori is one of seven U.S. bishops who do not allow VOTF gatherings on church premises.

Bishop Thomas Daily of Brooklyn announced on April 29 that he has rescinded his ban on VOTF. He stated that he found VOTF documents " to be in accord with the teachings of the Church." The Brooklyn Vote's press release is available at www.

The remainder of the meeting focused on an appraisal of VOTF's first year and plans for the future. After vigorous and forthright discussion the gathering divided into three areas to discuss the formation of sub-committees concerning program development, membership, liturgy, finance, fund raising and related areas.

The following officers were elected: Joseph O'Callaghan, Chair; James Butler, Vice-Chair; Mary Jane Range, Treasurer; Marge Hickey, Corresponding Secretary; and Gloria Seymour, Recording Secretary. Also elected were these additional members of the Board of Directors: James Alvord, Joanne Bray, James Ebzery, Richard Maiberger, Thomas Malarkey, Margaret Mooney, Robert Mulligan, Sheila Rietano, Gilbert Vincent, and Anthony Wiggins.

The national VOTF was organized in 2002 in Boston in response to the Catholic hierarchy's mishandling and cover-up of numerous clergy abuse issues. An international organization, it now numbers 40,000 members in 40 dioceses and 21 countries.

The Greenwich /Westchester VOTF meets Tuesday, May 20 at 7:15 PM at Christ Episcopal Church, 264 E. Putnam Avenue, Greenwich. A Fairfield County attorney and Westchester County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Hynes will address the primary VOTF legislative objective: - the elimination or extension of statutes of limitations in cases of sexual abuse of children. For further information contact Tom Malarkey at 914-946-7315, email:

VOTF in the Diocese of Bridgeport meets Thursday, June 5 at the First Congregational Church on the Green in Norwalk. Contact Jim Alvord at 203-847-4145, email: for further information.

Contacts: Joe O'Callaghan, 203-853-9578; Mary Jane Range, 203-854-6683


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