Do You Want to Help Our Catholic Communities Be More Welcoming, Safe, and Supportive of Survivors?

If you're reading this email, I bet you do. However, if you don't have personal experience or professional expertise in this area, you may not be sure what Catholics can do to build trauma-sensitive communities. (Although advocating for the removal of David Haas's music from our churches is a start. If you haven't already written a letter to your bishops and parish music minister about this topic, please do so! A simple template is available here.)

This month's Courageous Conversation will help us all think about additional steps we can take, as we feature pyschologist Dr. Stephen Saunders speaking about the impact of trauma and how we can all work to build trauma-sensitive parishes.  We will also invite abuse survivors to anonymously share their own ideas for what parishes can do that is helpful. I hope you will make the time to participate on February 18 or to view the event recording after the fact.

While we always encourage you to share Awake resources with the leaders at your parish and other Catholic communities, this topic is particularly important for all Catholic leaders. We hope you will send the event information to any clergy and lay ministers you know and personally invite them to attend. 

If you're interested in another opportunity to connect with Awake and learn a little bit about what matters to us, I will also be giving a talk about our work for the local Eat, Drink, and Be Catholic @Home series. Public speaking makes me very nervous, but I would love to have you attend none the less! You can see the information below.

Let's learn and grow, together.

Sara Larson
Executive Director, Awake Milwaukee

PS: Make sure you check out Awake's most recent blog post for some insight about the reality of clergy abuse in Latinx communites. I am so grateful to Fordham's Taking Responsibility Project for launching this ongoing series addressing the abuse crisis in historically marginalized communities. This is a question Awake has been hoping to explore for quite some time, but we weren't sure where to begin. This online speaker series is a great start.
Sign Up for the Courageous Conversation Today!

Blog Post -  Understanding Clergy Abuse
in Latinx Communities

“Discomfort with discussing sexuality and a focus on the family over the individual are two cultural factors that affect how the clergy abuse crisis has unfolded in Latinx Catholic communities, according to expert panelists at a Fordham University event held virtually on January 28.

The conversation, moderated by J.D. Long-Garcia, senior editor for America magazine, was the first of a series of panels to consider the impact of clerical sexual abuse on historically marginalized communities. The panels are part of a Fordham initiative called Taking Responsibility: Jesuit Institutions Confront the Causes and Legacy of Clergy Sexual Abuse.

'Culture and immigration status, race, ethnicity, and class have all been largely neglected' in research and discussion of the sexual abuse crisis, explained panelist Dr. Susan Bigelow Reynolds, assistant professor of Catholic studies at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, who has done extensive research in Latino parishes. 'This really shapes perceptions of who survivors are, how justice occurs, what justice means, and what reform might entail.' Ignoring elements such as culture, immigration status, and race 'not only writes some victims out of the narrative of the crisis, but also excludes them from potential solutions,' she said."

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Please Join Us In Prayer

Thank you for your continued commitment to uniting with Awake through prayer.

Please join us today in praying for all survivors of sexual abuse, particularly those who feel alone. May God fill them with strength and peace and lead them to sources of compassionate support.
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