Recommended Reading Book stack

Recommended Reading List

Restoring Sanctuary

By T. Pitt Green

This book written by one of our veteran survivors is a reflection on her faith journey in healing from abuse from a predator priest.  It is instructive and helpful.  Other survivors of abuse tell us it has been helpful to their journey.  This also may be helpful for priests or others who serve the Church and in helping professions to better understand the experience of abuse survivors.

Veronica's Veil: Spiritual Companionship for Survivors of Abuse

By T. Pitt Green and Rev. Lewis S. Fiorelli, OSFS

Veronica's Veil is a watershed in offering spiritual support to a growing number of adults who wish to integrate their Christian faith into the arduous psychological recovery from child abuse by clergy and other persons in authority.  Veronica's Veil can help transform encounters with survivors of this trauma into turning points in healing.  This is an essential guide for priests, sisters, deacons, other ordained and lay ministers, and therapists-as well as families and friends of abuse survivors.

The Way: Stations of the Cross for Survivors of Abuse

By Sue Stubbs, MS, NCC

Sue Stubbs is the director of the Archdiocese of Atlanta's Victim Assistance Program.  She leads “The Way” retreats for victims/survivors of abuse.  This book outlines the Stations of the Cross, the devotion to Jesus' Passion, with prayers and reflections written specifically for survivors of abuse. 

Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics

By Fr. Thomas Berg

Fr. Berg tells his own story and the stories of other Catholics who have been wounded in the Church and found healing in Jesus.  Fr. Berg reflects on different types of wounds that are inflicted on those in the Church and ways to move towards healing.

My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints

By Dawn Eden

Originally from a Jewish family, Dawn Eden became agnostic and eventually experienced a conversion Christianity that ultimately led her to the Catholic Church.  Eden shares stories of wounded saints transformed by the grace of God. She explains how those sexually wounded in childhood can come to understand their identity in the love of Christ.

Acts of Recovery: The Story of One Man's Ongoing Healing from Sexual Abuse by a Priest 

By Michael D. Hoffman

Michael Hoffman tells his story of how a newspaper article triggered his memory of child sexual abuse by a priest.  Michael does not go into much detail about his abuse and instead focuses on his journey from the first time he spoke about his abuse to his current work for victims/survivors of abuse.  Each chapter focuses on one of his twelve "acts of recovery," sharing the people and events that help him personally move towards healing.  At 96 pages, this book is a quick read. 

Glimmers of Grace: Moments of Peace and Healing Following Sexual Abuse 

By Faith Hakesley

Faith Hakesley, a victim/survivor of clergy sexual abuse, shares what she has learned about the gifts God wants to give victims/survivors throughout their journey of healing.  Practical, personal, and versatile, this book accompanies readers step by step from acceptance to true freedom. 

Interior Freedom

By Fr. Jacques Philippe

Fr. Jacques Philippe develops a simple but important theme: we gain possession of our interior freedom in exact proportion to our growth in faith, hope, and love.  This book leads us to discover that even in the most difficult circumstances we possess within ourselves a space of freedom that nobody can take away, because God is its source and guarantee.

Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart

By Fr. Jacques Philippe

What must we do to overcome the moments of fear and distress which assail us?  How can we learn to place all our confidence in God and abandon ourselves into his loving care?  This is what is taught in this simple, yet profound little treatise on peace of heart.  Taking concrete examples from our everyday life, Fr. Jacques Philippe invites us to respond in a Gospel fashion to the upsetting situations we must all confront. 

The Book of Job  - Translation 

By Stephen Mitchell

There are three Scripture lines worth holding in heart when reading Job. One is from Jeremiah 29:11, where the Lord promises He will hear us when we call from our exile and abject aloneness.  He will listen, and He will lead us back to the happiness from where we have been exiled. Another is Isaiah 30:15-18, where He comforts us, promising us our strength can lie in quiet even in the presence of evil, and that He is waiting to be gracious to us; it is a meditation on the meditative and quiet ways of God in the face of suffering.  Job can have little to do with forgiveness toward evil or even understanding of God until through our surrender to what is real leads us to pray for friends who could not help us in our suffering.

Making Sense Out of Suffering

By Peter Kreeft

Peter Kreeft is a bestselling Catholic writer who lays out in a light-hearted way the basics of suffering, including what the Church teaches about it, but more so what our Church experience through the ages has drawn upon as the faith whose image of God Triumphant is that of a human man hanging broken on a cross.  That really is something important for survivors to remember, that image, and how incomprehensible the triumph of suffering still remains in every life.

The Wounded Healer: In Our Own Woundedness, We Can Become a Source of Life for Others

By Henri J. M. Nouwen

This book has an answer to the “What Now” question victims may have after they stop resisting their experiences.  This book explains why volunteer work grounds otherwise lost people and why thousands every year forgo their high-level career paths to serve.  It is a short book because this is also classic Nouwen, pensive in a lovely way but dense in a pensive way, alas Nouwen through and through.