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WATCh (We Are the Church) originated as an outgrowth of the JustFaith program at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC. The class participants shared a deep love for their Catholic faith yet were appalled by the crimes and failures of the Church. They saw the need to voice their concerns and support the victims of abuse through prayer. These actions led to the group's formation in 2018.  They envisioned and longed for a transparent, just, and inclusive Church.


Guided by the Holy Spirit, they named the group “WATCh - We Are The Church” and advocated to address the crisis from four pillars: Prayer, Healing, Education, and Dialogue.

Fast forward to 2021, the group is no longer associated with St. Gabriel Catholic Church, operates under an affiliation with VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL and goes by the name VOTF / WATCh CLT. 



Mission Statement: To provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.


  • To support survivors of clergy sex abuse

  • To support priests of integrity

  • To help shape structural change within the Church

Actions Taken:





Leader: Jane Francisco

Associate Leader: Rosemarie Tong, PhD

Treasurer: Don Garbison
Secretary: Janet Garbison

Spiritual Director: Fr. John Vianney Hoover


People Hands Cupping Plant Nurture Envir


Baptism, says Lakeland, not priestly ordination, is the basis for all mission and ministry, and the mission of those baptized into Christ is to be the sacrament of God's love in a world rife with violence and brutal inequity. The specific mission of the laity is to the world, whereas the mission of the clergy is to the household of the faith. Yet lay people can't leave "church business" exclusively to the clergy, and the clergy can't leave the church's "worldly mission" exclusively to the laity. The key to resolving these overlapping responsibilities is by becoming an adult church, an open church in an open society. In pursuing this goal, Lakeland develops "ten steps toward a more adult church."




Bishop Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, explains why this is not the time to leave the Catholic Church, but the time to stay and fight. Bishop Barron shows that we have faced such egregious scandals before; that the spiritual treasures of the Church were preserved by holy men and women who recommitted themselves to fighting evil; and that there is a clear path forward for us today. For Catholics questioning their faith, searching desperately for encouragement and hope, this book will offer reasons to stay and fight for the Body of Christ.

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