Mass for Hope and Healing

By Mike Hoffman, Founder

As chairman of the Hope and Healing Committee of the Archdiocese of Chicago and a childhood sexual abuse survivor, it means a lot to me to be able to write about this Healing Mass. Here in the Archdiocese of Chicago, each year we have gathered together at this Mass to promote healing for victims-survivors of child and youth sexual abuse, their families and our larger church family. It also serves as a reminder to the Catholic community to honor Christ’s mandate to protect the dignity and sanctity of all of God’s children and young people. There are licensed clinic social workers available at Healing Masses for anyone to speak privately. Survivors of abuse are also present, encouraging others who are just beginning. Every year it is a Mass with more and more hope to share.

Recently, Pope Francis approved a Universal Day of Prayer for survivors of abuse. The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said in a statement: “Prayer is one part of the healing process for the community of believers, and public gatherings for prayer also help raise awareness about the issue.” I agree with this statement from the commission and I am pleased the Holy Father has taken this step. On October 29, 2016 abuse survivors, family members, priests and all concerned with the protection of children gathered together to celebrate the 5th annual Mass of Hope and Healing at Holy Family church in Chicago to do just that—to pray for hope and healing.

I attended this Mass. I am grateful for the opportunity to share something in common with other abuse survivors in this heartfelt and prayerful Liturgy. It simply felt healing to me. I hope the others who attended felt the same way.

3 thoughts on “Mass for Hope and Healing

  1. I had NO IDEA this was going on in the Church. Every time I turn around I feel like there’s another case of abuse, but there’s a lot of hope in what you guys are writing about. I hope it’s all true. I’ll keep coming back to read more and see. Thank you for being so brave to share all this with us!

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  2. S. Dempsey, I hope you will join us next year for the 6th annual Mass for Hope and Healing. Also please consider attending the 5th annual Child Abuse Prevention Service in the Healing Garden in April. Between the children, and the emerging flowers, hope for at least that one day, is all around us. For more information about the Healing Garden, please visit the web page. http://www.healinggardenchicago.org/

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  3. I am so happy that you support the Day of Prayer for Clergy abuse survivors. I brought this request to Marie Collins and the Pontifcal Commission for Protection of Minors because they were not remembering Abuse survivors in the Prayer intentions at mass in my diocese. It made me feel sad and forgotten as an abuse survivor so I kept writing letters and asking for this Day of Prayer so clergy abuse survivors would always receive prayers and be remembered. It meant so much to me that the Pope granted my request. I know some people may not think it is important but I believe prayer changes things especially hearts and attitudes. Prayer is so powerful and healing because we are communicating with God and asking Him to help us. It also helps people in the Catholic Church understand how much pain clergy abuse survivors have endured because of the effects on their Spirituality and being separated from the Eucharist, depression, mistrust, and so much irreparable damage to their spirit. We need to pray together and for people to hear us and remember us and be compassionate.

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