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Office for Healing and Pastoral Care

Caring for the Sexually Abused

The Office for Healing and Pastoral Care provides services and support, promotes healing, and supports the emotional and spiritual well-being of survivors of sexual abuse in the Church. The Office also seeks to be a source of comfort and support for anyone who is a survivor of sexual abuse in any walk of life.

Through this office, the Diocese offers assistance to persons who seek healing as 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 support offered by the Office for 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
  • 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.

Read Bishop Libasci’s Message

Bishop Libasci asks victims of past abuse to come forward so the Church can assist in their healing. He also shares what the Catholic Church in New Hampshire has done to protect children. To learn more about our child abuse protection programs, CLICK HERE.

Excerpt from Bishop Libasci’s Letter:

As you may be aware, “Spotlight,” a movie about the Boston Globe investigation into child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston, is set for release in November. For many people, this film will elicit feelings of sadness and anger and will serve as a painful reminder of the horrible abuse perpetrated by those whom others had every right to trust, members of the Catholic priesthood. I write this letter first to express my profound regret and to apologize for the grave harm endured by those who suffered as a result of the terrible crime of child sexual abuse in the Church. The pain, heartbreak, and shame that I feel are difficult for me to put into words. My hope and prayer is that the victims and survivors of sexual abuse and their families are acknowledged and able to find the healing they so richly deserve. READ MORE

Diocese of Manchester Prayer Resources

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. 

Cry to Heaven Prayer Program 

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, MSW, Director of the Office for Healing and Pastoral Care at jnaff@rcbm.org (603) 669-3100 x110 for further information.

Cry to Heaven materials:

A Rosary for Healing

CLICK HERE to download this printable rosary guide, which includes special intentions for victims and their families, to pray for those who have suffered from abuse.

Contact Us

To contact the Office for Healing and Pastoral Care:
Joseph P. Naff, MSW, Director
(603) 663-0110 (leave a message for Joe Naff)

Office for 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