Four Courageous Conversations

Dear Parishioners,

The Catholic Church Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis has been on my mind since the beginning of August and I think often of you and how you are doing knowing of this crisis. I am sorry to say that I couldn’t find an appropriate opportunity sooner to provide a time to gather as “church” to hear you speak, reflect on this issue, and to pray over this important realization about the church crisis.

Now, I have found a time and ask for your presence on Sunday, October 28th at 11:00am (after the 10:00am Mass) in the All Purpose Room. This would be a time to embrace your reactions about the recent and ongoing revelations of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in a program that I will facilitate. It will be called:


The program will invite you to reflect and articulate your thoughts and feelings on four different questions and to hear those of one another without judgement, without feedback, and without comment after each speaks. It will be a safe setting for each who gathers at this program to speak. There will be silence after each one speaks so that all can digest what has been expressed and how it relates to one’s own thoughts and feelings. Here are the questions:

  • What are your feelings regarding the Catholic Church Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis?
  • What are two or three most important factors that you identify as the root causes of the Catholic Church Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis?
  • What are the two or three most important things that you want church leadership (any level) to be aware of as they and we consider how to respond to the Catholic Church Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis?
  • All of this says to me……… ?

This will not be a program to solve or resolve anything. We will not discuss or critique anyone’s thoughts and responses. We will come together to reflect, listen, speak, and pray. I will take notes because of the importance of what each will say, but, I will not record any names of who said what. There will be a bishops meeting in February on this topic and the comments of the church faithful in our diocese may be asked for from our Bishop to take to that meeting.

In the meantime, I request your prayers for the victims of clergy sexual abuse and prayers to the Holy Spirit to guide the Holy Father and the Bishops who attend the February meeting.

I look forward to this opportunity. There will be coffee and donuts!

Many blessings,
Father Jim

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