As part of the Diocese of Tyler’s Safe Environment Program, Bishop Joseph Strickland has designated the week of January 10-16, 2015, as a “Week of Prayer for Those Affected by Abuse.”
During the week, every parish, mission and community has been asked by Bishop Strickland to offer prayers for the victims, families and others affected by abuse.
“During this week, we especially ask the intercession of St. Maria Goretti, the patroness of abused children,” said Fr. Gavin Vaverek, Promoter of Justice and coordinator of the Safe Environment Program for the diocese. “Maria Goretti found peace in the love of Jesus Christ.”
Continued Vaverek, “Many victims of abuse have difficulty finding such peace. Particularly for those who were abused by people in the church or by close family members, it is often very hard to be open to the healing love of Jesus Christ. Victims need help in their journey toward healing.”
The Diocese also supports the efforts of the Maria Goretti Network which provides support for those who have been abused.
Meetings of the Maria Goretti support group are open to anyone who has been abused, knows someone who has been abused or might be interested in being a support person for anyone who has been abused.
Meetings are held the third Saturday of every month at 7 p.m. in the office meeting room at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler. For more information contact Peggy Hammett at 903.592.1617 x19, or just come to the next meeting.
“Without hesitation, we remind everyone in the diocese to always report abuse immediately to the proper authorities,” Vaverek said.
For more information about the Safe Environment Program in the Diocese of Tyler, visit http://dioceseoftyler.org/pages/our-ministries/safe-environment-program.