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Bishop Libasci to Celebrate Mass for Healing and Those Affected by Abuse

Mass to be held Thursday, April 27, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Concord

(MANCHESTER, NH) –The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, and the Diocese of Manchester will mark Child Abuse Prevention Month by offering Mass to pray for victims of abuse and their families, and by providing to the public resources and information about ways to keep children and young people safe.

On Thursday, April 27, 2017, Bishop Libasci will celebrate a Mass for the Healing of Those Affected by Abuse at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 180 Loudon Road, Concord at 6:30 p.m. A brief reception will follow in the church hall. The public is invited to attend this special liturgy.

“Through the suffering and mercy of Jesus, every Mass is a healing Mass, since God wants us to be healed through the gift of His Son in the Sacrament of the Eucharist,” said Bishop Libasci. “But on this occasion, we come together specifically to ask our Lord for the healing of those affected by child abuse.”

As part of its commitment to the safety of children and young people, the Diocese has posted to its website information about training programs for adults and children, articles about online safety, special activities for April, and printable family discussion cards. Resources can be found at: www.catholicnh.org/safety.

The Diocese of Manchester established an Office for Healing and Pastoral Care in 2001. The purpose of this office is to provide outreach to victims of sexual abuse and their families. Anyone who was abused by a representative of the Catholic Church is urged to contact Joe Naff, MSW, Director of the Office for Healing and Pastoral Care, at 669-3100 x 110 or jnaff@rcbm.org.

“The Diocese of Manchester works hard to protect children all throughout the year,” said Mary Ellen D’Intino, Delegate for Ministerial Conduct, Compliance Officer and Director of the Safe Environment Office. “Since 2001, more than 37,000 people have undergone child abuse awareness training, and we’ve completed more than 30,000 criminal records checks, which are mandatory for all adults who regularly work with minors. Every diocesan parish, school, and camp has a safe environment coordinator who assists in these efforts.”
Statistics:

  • All priests and deacons who minister in the Diocese of Manchester, all Catholic school teachers and staff, all adult camp staff, and all adult volunteers who work with minors are required to complete child abuse awareness training and to undergo background checks.
  • More than 37,000 people have completed child abuse awareness training in the Diocese since 2001. Training is required every 3 years.
  • Approximately 30,500 people have undergone criminal records checks.
  • All students in parish religious education classes and diocesan Catholic schools receive annual lessons about personal safety. Last year, almost 15,000 students participated.
  • Nationally, the Catholic Church has provided training and conducted background checks for more than 2,400,000 adults who work with minors.
  • The Diocese reports to the public authorities all allegations of sexual abuse of a minor, regardless of when the abuse took place.
  • Every parish, school, and camp in the state has a Safe Environment Coordinator whose job it is to assist the pastor/principal/director in ensuring that the policies are followed and that all adults who work with minors attend training and undergo background checks.
  • The Diocese has a compliance officer who works with and regularly visits all parishes, schools, and camps to make sure that child safety protocols are being adhered to.

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The Diocese of Manchester is the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire, serving the needs of 255,000 Catholics. For more information, please visit www.catholicnh.org/about/overview.