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Archdiocese hosts healing services for those who’ve been harmed, abused


by Joe Bollig

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Are you hurting? Jesus offers his healing and compassion to you.

As he did in the Gospels, Jesus continues to heal through his church.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann has invited anyone who has been affected by any sort of abuse or harm — by representatives of the church or others — to take part in one or more of three healing services scheduled at different times and locations here in the archdiocese.

The first healing service is at 7 p.m. on April 12 at Good Shepherd Parish, 12800 W. 75th, Shawnee.

“This isn’t just for those who have been abused by representatives of the church,” said Father John Riley, archdiocesan chancellor. “This is intended for other victims of abuse as well, whether it be in their family, workplace or other ecclesial communities.”

A healing service can be an important step for someone who has been abused.

“For me, having attended a healing service in another [diocese], I was very appreciative of what would take place during this hourlong service,” said an abuse survivor. “With many people in attendance, the apprehension faded quickly with the low-key and quiet approach. I was not once made to be uncomfortable or angry while attending.”

“The archbishop will be present at all to preach, pray and shepherd,” said Father Riley. “We’ll have intercessory prayer as well.”

The healing service is for any victim of any kind of abuse — physical, mental, sexual — and those who want to pray for them.

“I saw the title ‘Healing Service’ and I think we all know that healing is not a magical, one-time event,” said another abuse victim. “For myself — and perhaps many of us who were wounded in our early Catholic school days — healing has been an ongoing journey, and we experience painful hills and valleys.”

“As I am learning to trade isolation, guilt and shame — and yes, anger — for a way back to my childhood faith community, I truly see these services as a way for people of the church to take that one small step also.”

Other healing services will be held at 7 p.m. on July 12 at Sacred Heart Parish, 101 Cottonwood, Emporia; and 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 at Christ the King Parish, 5973 S.W. 25th, Topeka.

“It is our fervent hope and prayer the healing services will, for many people, bring some form or beginning of healing, wholeness and peace in their lives through Christ and his church,” said Father Riley.

For information or questions, contact Maura Dodson at (913) 647-0367 or send an email to: mdodson@archkck.org.

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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