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 and other misconduct 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, and to the families of those who were abused.
Through this office, the Diocese offers assistance to persons who seek healing as survivors of 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (603) 663-0125 for further information.
Cry to Heaven Materials:
Overview and Sample Bulletin Announcements
A Rosary for Healing:
Download a printable rosary guide, which includes special intentions for victims and their families, to pray for those who have suffered from abuse.
Bishop Libasci's 2015 Message:
Read Bishop Libasci's 2015 message regarding the film Spotlight here.