Welcome letter from director hero image

Welcome to the Office of Victim Assistance

 Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Victim Assistance Website for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.  We appreciate the time you are taking to learn about our program of help and healing for victims/survivors of sexual abuse.  The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has brought a deep sorrow to our diocese and our staff.  Our prayers for hope and healing go out to all victims/survivors of sexual abuse.

 In June 2002, the Bishops of the Catholic Church met in Dallas and approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  By this document, they pledged to address the issue of sexual abuse by clergy, lay employees and volunteers of the Catholic Church.  The Charter is a 35 page document that presented a great challenge to each individual diocese.  How do we ever repair the damage done by perpetrators of sexual abuse upon our children and adults?   What can we do to help victims that will restore their faith and trust in God and help them to reconnect with the Catholic Church that they once loved?    The answers were evasive but we had to try. 

 If you have come to our website because you are a victim of sexual abuse by clergy, lay employees or a volunteer of the Catholic Church, please know that we are deeply sorry for the pain and suffering that you have experienced.  As Victim Assistance Coordinators, we will try to do all that we can to assist you in your recovery.  We want you to know that we are very sorry for the pain you have suffered and will try to do everything we can to help you find reconciliation and healing from the ordeal you have under gone.  We have listened to many people suffering from the pain of abuse.  We will walk with you on this painful journey and hopefully help you to find healing through and with Jesus Christ. 

In 2002, our Bishop was Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde.  Bishop Loverde along with our Vicar General, Rev. Mark Mealey, O.S.F.S. began a search for ideas as to what might be most helpful to those who were abused.  They prayed about this and talked to experts in the area of sexual abuse.  With the help of some of the victims/survivors who called us during the early days, we developed a program to respond to their needs.  We called this early group the Survivors Planning Group.  They helped one another walk this lonely road to healing and recovery.  They helped us to develop a program to support them in their hope and healing.  To date, Bishop Loverde has offered 38 Masses to Pray for Healing for Victims/Survivors of Sexual Abuse with 3,209 people in attendance.  Rev. Mark Mealey and Rev. Thomas Ferguson, have together offered 34 Prayer Services for Victims/Survivors of Sexual Abuse with 595    people in attendance.  In addition, Bishop Loverde, Father Mealey and Father Ferguson have hosted 35 Support Groups with 719  people in attendance and 8 yearly Retreats with 189 people in attendance.   We have a number of counselors committed to help those in need of therapy and priests and sisters who have had special training in providing spiritual guidance.   We are waiting to help you if you call us.     

As of December 7, 2016, we have a new Bishop, Most Rev. Michael Burbidge, formerly of Raleigh, North Carolina.  Bishop Burbidge comes to us with a promise to help us continue to provide a program dedicated to your healing.

If you are requesting help or have any suggestions regarding counseling services or spiritual assistance, please phone us at 703-841-2530 (personal and confidential), send a letter to 200 N. Glebe Road, Suite 914, Arlington Virginia, 22203 or e-mail p.mudd@arlingtondiocese.orgr.colello@arlingtondiocese.org or  a.sipe@arlingtondiocese.org Please know that you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

We hope that you will take the first step and call our Victim Assistance Coordinators so that we can welcome you to our program.

 

Sincerely,

Patricia Mudd, M.S.W, A.C.S.W.

Diocese of Arlington

 

 

 


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