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Voices Online Edition
Vol. XVIII No. 4
Christmastide 2003 - Epiphany 2004

Inside Voices

Dear Voices Readers,

I am departing from my usual column on these pages for an important reason:
This copy of Voices that you hold in your hands almost never happened.

As you see, it is not the scheduled "Advent-Christmas 2003" issue. We had to postpone publication for financial reasons. Providentially, we recently received just enough to publish this issue, and we have worked very hard (and late hours) to get this issue into print. We did not want to disappoint so many who count on us.

Since 1984, Women for Faith & Family has been providing a public voice for Catholic women who truly understand and value the authentic role of women in our culture and in the Church. We have done this "in season and out of season", in secular settings and in mainstream media; we have done this within the Church setting at meetings, at bishops' conferences, and in the Catholic media.

We have read reams of documents and reported on them; and published public statements in order to keep women abreast of the important issues and challenges that affect our lives as women of both faith and family -- and in the best way we can, on your behalf, we represent the real concerns of Catholic women. When we began, no other organization was doing this consistently: We have publicly defended -- and promoted -- the real dignity of women and the deeply important truths connected with faith and family.

We are exceptionally pleased with this issue of Voices, and we think you will be, too -- it includes our unique coverage from the November bishops' meeting on issues of vital interest to women and families (Susan Benofy and Helen Hull Hitchcock attended), an inspiring essay on women by an archbishop, and other excellent contributions by new and regular writers.

In addition to Voices, which we send to all who request it, to the bishops, and many libraries, WFF maintains an extensive and ever-expanding web site (, which provides not only timely articles and columns on topics of most concern to Catholic women and families, but also a useful "interactive" Calendar of the Liturgical Year, many Church documents, prayers and devotional pages, and an online magazine on bioethics, "About Medicine and Morality", that is constantly updated. (Recently the sad case of Terri Schiavo has focused attention on grave issues on the care of vulnerable people with serious disabilities.) Our monthly "hits" during 2003 averaged over 163,000 -- more than twice as many as in 2002. We do not charge for anything on our web site. Our aim is to be of use to as many people as possible. (We wish we had space to tell you some stories of people who have told us that information they happened to find our web site had a profound effect on their faith!)

We have supplied many materials -- also without charge -- including hundreds of free "welcome packets". Last year we gave away 20,000 "Family Prayers for Advent" folders. We have shipped materials to be given away at religious conferences, and to our troops in Iraq. We know from your many letters, phone calls, requests, and prayers that you have looked to us for leadership, information, and practical help concerning so many of the issues of our times; and we also know that you have found this helpful.

WFF pays no staff -- and relies on the generosity of faithful volunteers. Your donations are used directly for the work we do to bring the teachings of Christ and His Church to as many people as we can reach. We have no source of funding other than your gifts (which are tax-deductible). And we make your dollars stretch to the limit. (We are including this letter in Voices to save the expense of a separate mailing.)

Alas, we have learned by experience that many of the best things in life are NOT free. They often require a great deal of time, labor, prayer for guidance -- and active financial support. In fact, we truly need this support; we need your ongoing and immediate financial help to keep this unique and necessary voice alive. Our survival plan for Women for Faith & Family is very simple and straightforward, and we hope that you will be able to help us in one or all of the following ways:

Until now, it has been our practice not to remove anyone from our mailing list unless they request it. And we do not want to cut anybody off now -- for we know that many who count on Voices have limited means (including women religious and seminarians). We know that some of you would help provide for those who cannot afford the suggested annual donation of $25, if you knew about the need. But there may also be some who really do not want to continue to receive Voices -- and we need to know about that, too.

So now we are asking that you complete the form enclosed and return it in the enclosed envelope right away. Please do consider sending a donation, too -- even if it is a small one -- so that we can continue our work for you and for the Church. This is important, so please don't delay. God willing, we will be able to continue to send Voices to everyone who wishes to receive it.

To show our appreciation for your response to this urgent appeal, we want to send you a token of our gratitude. For any donation of $50.00 or more we offer a choice of books listed on the enclosed form. Please be sure to request these items (and let us know, too, if you prefer not to receive a gift.)

We are especially grateful to those of you who have made a recent donation. This issue of Voices would not have been possible without you! And please, please don't forget to complete and return the enclosed form!

May the Lord richly bless you and yours during this holy season of Christmas and the Epiphany.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Helen Hull Hitchcock
for the entire WFF staff and editorial board of Voices

**Women for Faith & Family operates solely on your generous donations!

WFF is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

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