“Do you love me?” This is the question Jesus asked Peter three times. It’s the question he asks us again and again. Like Peter it may remind us of the times we have failed to love. Like Peter we are asked to love again. Peter was the first pope of our church. Jesus reminds him that his authority is built on love.
As we are painfully aware our church has not always lived up to that command to love. We have experienced that lack of love in the ways the church has failed to deal with child sexual abuse. One of the ways our diocese is trying to love again is by offering workshops to promote healing. Below is a description of that workshop.
Helping those in need:
Statistics show that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the time they are 18 years old. Directly or indirectly, child sexual abuse will touch most of us during our lifetime.
Breaking the Silence:
Fear, guilt and shame keep many child victims silent; less than 1 in 10 will tell.
The OCYP (Office of Child & Youth Protection) is sponsoring healing workshops “The Struggles around Sexual Abuse in our Church Today”, led by Sr. Esther Fangman, Ed.D. in the month of April. The workshops include a two-part series of 90 minute sessions at each location. In the first week, attendees will learn traits and behaviors of those who sexually abuse children and how that abuse affects their victims emotionally – forever changing their life and relationships. In the second week, Sr. Esther speaks about the conflicting emotions sparked by the sexual abuse crisis in our Church. Attendees will have an opportunity to share their feelings about the church’s management of this crisis and explore ways to consider working towards forgiveness.
All are encouraged to attend. The workshop will be offered here at Holy Spirit Parish – April 29 and May 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Childcare is available. Please let the parish office know if you need childcare (537-6990).
Sr. Esther is a Benedictine sister from Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas. She holds a doctorate in Counseling and Counselor Education. She has worked with numerous victims of trauma and sexual abuse. She is a skilled facilitator and has presented talks on this issue in the diocese to various parish staffs and parishioners this past year.
Our church needs healing. Once again our church is called to love.
Thanks to everyone who came last Saturday to work on the grounds of the church. Your hard work is much appreciated.