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Office for Healing and Pastoral Care

Caring for the Sexually Abused

The Office for Healing and Pastoral Care provides support to those who report having been sexually abused by Church personnel--priests, deacons, members of a religious institute, employees and volunteers in diocesan or parish ministry--and to the families of those who have been sexually abused by Church personnel.

About the Office for Healing and Pastoral Care

The Office for Healing and Pastoral Care was established in the Diocese of Manchester by Bishop John McCormack to provide pastoral outreach, timely assistance, support and resources to those individuals and families who have been affected by the sexual abuse of a minor by a priest, deacon, or others who minister, work, or volunteer for the Church in the Diocese of Manchester. This Office has also assisted persons who report being harmed by Church personnel in other places but who currently reside in New Hampshire.

Through this office, the Diocese offers assistance to persons who seek healing as adult survivors of child sexual abuse by helping to establish and maintain effective relationships with counseling professionals and persons who can provide pastoral care in the Church. Services and assistance are provided in an accepting, caring and compassionate manner, and respect for the privacy of those who seek assistance is always maintained.

The pastoral support offered by the Office of Healing and Pastoral Care includes

  • Providing prompt, compassionate, professional response and follow-up to persons who make reports and to their family and friends
  • Offering referrals for counseling services and pastoral care
  • Coordinating support groups for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Facilitating pastoral interviews with the Bishop of Manchester
  • Coordinating appropriate pastoral responses to parishes affected by reports of sexual misconduct by a priest, deacon, or other minister from their community
  • Annual Masses for the healing of those affected by abuse
  • Prayer for victims through the Cry to Heaven program in parishes

Counseling services, provided by a therapist of a complainant’s own choice, are funded by the Diocese on a time limited basis with the goal of providing therapeutic support to complement other efforts toward healing and wholeness. A set reimbursement rate has been established for funding these services. When requested, individuals are offered assistance in their search for a licensed mental health professional and/or for a qualified person who can provide pastoral and spiritual care.

In summary, the primary goals of the Office of Healing and Pastoral Care are to provide services and support, promote healing, and support the emotional and spiritual well-being of adult survivors of child sexual abuse in the Church. The Office also seeks to be a source of comfort and support for anyone who is an adult survivor of child sexual abuse in any walk of life.

Diocese of Manchester Cry to Heaven Prayer Program 

Christ calls each of us to reach out to victims of abuse in their time of need. Sometimes it is difficult to know how to help, but one effective way of reaching out is through prayer. It is comforting to those who report abuse to know that others in the community have been praying for them. The Cry to Heaven prayer program is a simple way of integrating prayer for victims and survivors of abuse into prayer groups that already exist at your parish or school.

The Diocese will provide you with the materials you need. If your parish or school prayer group or Eucharistic Adoration ministry is interested in participating in the Cry to Heaven prayer program, please contact Joseph Naff, LICSW, Director of the Office for Healing and Pastoral Care at jnaff@rcbm.org 669-3100 x 110 for further information.

Cry to Heaven materials:

Contact Us

To contact the Office of Healing and Pastoral Care

Joseph P. Naff, LICSW, Director

(603) 663-0110 (leave a message for Joe Naff)

Office of Healing and Pastoral Care
Diocese of Manchester
153 Ash St. P.O. Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310


Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire

153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
(603) 669-3100
Fax: (603) 669-0377

© Diocese of Manchester