I Have a Job For You

If you're reading this email, I know you want to work for transformation and healing in our Church. Fair warning: I'm about to ask you to take a small action to move towards that goal. But first, a little context:

Awake's Courageous Conversation on January 21 will feature the voices of three strong women - Margaret Hillman, Laurie Delgatto-Whitten, and Stephanie Krehbiel - who have had an important role in bringing abuse by Catholic composer David Haas to light. I am so grateful and honored they have agreed to speak with us.

While many dioceses, parishes, and music ministries have made public statements expressing solidarity with survivors and discontinuing the use of Haas's music, others continue to play these songs, perhaps unaware of the painful effects this can have on abuse survivors. While many local music ministers have made survivor-sensitive decisions, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has chosen not to provide any guidance about the use of Haas's music. Awake's request for comment from the Archdiocese was met with this response: “It doesn’t appear to be of concern to parish staff or Catholics in the pew. I would guess the vast majority of Catholics have no idea who David Haas is. This is not his diocese.” 

I truly believe that most Catholics want to build a Church that is safe for survivors, but sometimes we don't take the time to consider how our choices can impact those who have been harmed.

It helps to begin with listening.

So, I have a job for you: I am asking you to help spread the word about January's Courageous Conversation. After you sign yourself up to attend, please pass the information along to others through social media, email, text, and personal conversations.

In particular, I invite you to send the flyer and website to your pastor, music minister, and anyone you know in music ministry (cantors, choir members, instrumentalists, etc). Tell them why you care about this issue and specifically ask that they sign up to attend the event or receive the recording via email. Then follow up with them in about a week to check in and see if they plan to attend. (I'm also going to ask you to follow up with them after the event to continue the conversation.)

Sometimes, it's easy to feel like like there is nothing the average Catholic can do to address the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Well, this is something we can all do. I hope you will take a few minutes and act.

Let's help our Church do the right thing, together.

Sara Larson
Executive Director, Awake Milwaukee

PS: With everything going on in the United States this week, we decided to delay this newsletter from our usual Wednesday afternoon send time. As we pray for our country, Awake continues to remain focused on our mission to awaken our community to the full reality of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and work for transformation and healing. We hope you will make space for this mission in your own life and heart as well.


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To Celebrate the Awake Blog’s First Birthday,
Here Are Our 8 Most-Read Posts of 2020

“This week we’re happy to mark the first anniversary of the Awake Blog. Since our very first post in January 2020, we’ve published 49 posts exploring different elements of the twin crises of sexual abuse and leadership failures in the Catholic Church.

The goal of the blog has been to provide Catholics in Milwaukee a way to learn more about the twin crises. An essential part of that is learning from victim-survivors, and we’re truly honored by the survivors who have trusted us to tell their stories over the last year. Readers are responding; people from all over the world have visited more than 15,000 times over the last 12 months, a fact that feels hopeful to all of us at Awake. In the midst of a challenging pandemic year, people still took time to learn more about the crises, to read about survivors’ journeys, and to contemplate ideas for healing our Church.

We’re already working hard on new and important stories to share with you in 2021. So we invite you to keep reading."

 Please Join Us In Prayer

Thank you for your continued commitment to uniting with Awake through prayer.
We always have many requests and petitions, but as we start this new year, we'd like to begin by simply thanking God for bringing us to where we are today. 

Thank you Lord for your guidance, comfort, and constant faithfulness.
We love you. 

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