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Reaching Out to Victims Through Prayer: A Prayer Card Inspired by a Victim-Survivor
Dear Pastors and Parish Leaders,
Several months ago, Archbishop Gomez and I met with a victim-survivor who had been abused by a diocesan priest, decades ago. This meeting with Archbishop was a pivotal moment in that victim-survivor’s healing journey. Archbishop Gomez invited the victim-survivor to help the Archdiocese respond even more effectively to the needs of those harmed by clergy sexual abuse. The prayer and information card contained herein is but one manifestation of that victim-survivor’s insight as to how to best reach those impacted by such abuse. Recognizing that while a victim-survivor might not be sitting in church, a family member or friend may well be, we created this card in hopes of reaching those harmed with prayer and practical information, too.
These cards are being sent to you for distribution to your parishioners – please consider having your ushers pass them out at masses over the September 7th-8th weekend, and place remainders in the pews. Please also consider speaking directly to the purpose of the cards. It is our hope, that in conjunction with the Independent Compensation Program launch, these cards will invite a prayerful response by many, and make possible a specific response for those harmed by providing contact information for resources and support.
Building on the beautiful story of the single set of footsteps in the sand, in which Jesus is said to be carrying the person who feels so alone in their struggle, we chose this image of many sets of footsteps hoping to convey that even when someone feels as if they are isolated in their painful journey, that there are many people close by, reaching out to accompany and support. Our hope is that this card, and the prayers and intentions behind it, will make such accompaniment and support more tangible to those who need it most.
If you have any questions about these prayer cards, or the services available for clergy-abuse victim-survivors please contact Victims Assistance Ministry at 213-637-7650.
For more information on the Independent Compensation Program please refer to the April 14, 2019 article in the Angelus: archla.org/caprogram. Additional prayer cards are available for download below.
On behalf of all those who have been harmed, and all those seeking to support healing for those harmed and for our church, we thank you in advance for your assistance with this outreach effort.
Heather T. Banis, Ph.D.
Victims Assistance Ministry Coordinator
Click here to download the flyer and prayer cards.