Programs and Events for Sexual Abuse Victim Survivors

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/survivors.

The program has grown to offer sharing groups, Healing  Masses and prayer services, an annual spiritual retreat, educational presentations, and referrals.  We welcome you to join us when you are ready to explore different opportunities for prayer and fellowship.

Click here to download our program brochure.

Click here to read "A Survivor's Perspective on Healing in the Church," an article written by the Victim Assistance Coordinator featuring a victim/survivor's experience with reaching out to our diocese. Published in the Arlington Catholic Herald in April 2021.

Click here to read notes from Fr. Denis Donahue's Survivor Seminar Series Presentation on Suffering, a talk for victims-survivors offered on December 2, 2023. Fr. Donahue shared about some of the people and things God has put into his life that have helped him not only endure sufferings, but also turn those great moments of pain into times of growth and greater closeness to God. Fr. Donahue spoke of things that are near at hand and readily available, the Scriptures, the Sacraments, the Saints, and God's creation, especially other people.

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Click here to view more Spiritual Reflections, including past retreat talks and presentations offered to members of our diocesan Victim Assistance program.

Rev. Stephen Schultz, Chaplain at St. Paul VI Catholic High School, offered a retreat for victim-survivors of sexual abuse at the Historic St. Mary of Sorrows Church in Fairfax VA on October 9, 2021.

CDA Live Stream Mass

Freedom in Faith and Love
October 12, 2021
Fr. Schultz invites us to consider how we are always free to embrace Faith in God and the Love of God, though this takes Trust that has for many been devastated by abuse, making the journey and one's place on it very individualized. Still, God awaits us, as Jesus through his Passion and in the gift of the Eucharist reveals our absolute worthiness [“We are each worth the whole life of God”]. We are challenged to see ourselves as God sees us, as being “enough for today”, and not to limit our self-worth by our circumstances and feelings in any given moment. Fr. Schultz concludes this talk by inviting use to imagine being seated with Jesus in a place of peace, gazing into His eyes: What do you see? 

CDA Live Stream Mass

Freedom in Hope and Redemption
October 12, 2021
Fr. Schultz shares how we always have reason to Hope for healing, in that God is forever faithful to His promises; the Cross is an anchor that holds us fast in times of trial, when we feel far from God's presence. At these times, God wants us to chase after Him, trusting that He knows and is accepting of where we are in times of struggle. Our imperfections are not a scandal, just as Christ's wounds show the perfection of His love for us, He desires the healing of our wounds which will then gleam forth at God's love will be manifest through us and our impact on others. Fr. Schultz concludes this talk by inviting us to again be with Jesus in a peaceful place; Jesus is looking at you with love, joy, and delight … What does He see?