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History of Diocesan Assistance to Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Clergy

1974 - Diocese of Arlington is established

1974 - 2002 - Calls regarding victim/survivors directed to Arlington Diocese officials for response

2002 - Bishops of Catholic Church meets in Dallas & approve Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People 

  • The Charter calls for a commitment to creating a safe environment for children and youth within the Catholic Church.
  • The Charter requires each diocese to reach out to victim/survivors of sexual abuse by clergy and their families to provide a program for their healing.
  • As a Church, we must apologize for the pain and harm caused by the Church and offer help for the future.
  • In the Diocese of Arlington, we decided that our priorities should be prayer, spiritual guidance, emotional healing, and support for those who have been abused and their families.

As bishops, we have acknowledged our mistakes and our roles in that suffering, and we apologize and take responsibility again for too often failing victims and the Catholic people in the past. From the depths of our hearts, we bishops express great sorrow and profound regret for what the Catholic people have endured.

2002 - Bishop Emeritus Loverde and Fr. Mark Mealey, O.S.F.S., former Vicar General, establish the Victim Assistance office with a focus on emotional healing & support for those who have been abused and their families.

2004 - June 30th First Mass of Healing for Victim Survivors of Sexual Abuse is held at St. Thomas More Cathedral.

2005 - Prayer Services are added to the program as a way to invite those who struggle to participate in the Mass.

2006 - Support Groups Evenings begin to meet three times a year

2010 - At the request of the victim/survivors an annual retreat is added to the program

2017 - Patricia Mudd retires as Director of the Victim Assistance Office

Events History

Our events began in 2004 with a Mass of Healing.  At that Mass Bishop Emeritus Loverde said "We so desire that you will experience healing and a new beginning,". "We carry you in our prayers to the Lord and ask Him to heal you as He alone can.” That year he launched a series of diocesan-sponsored Masses to pray for the healing of sexual abuse victims and survivors.

The program has grown to offer 3 support group meetings, 1 Mass of Healing and 1 annual retreat.

We welcome you to join us when you are ready to explore different opportunities for prayer and fellowship.

In case of inclement weather, cancellations for any of these services or meetings will be announced on the victim assistance voicemail, the phone numbers are listed below.