An Easter Message For All Who Celebrate - And For All Who Mourn

For a long time, Easter has been my favorite holiday. I think this started when I assisted with my parish RCIA program, preparing adults to be welcomed into the Catholic Church. At the Easter Vigil, I was overwhelmed with joy to be celebrating the Resurrection of Christ along with women and men I had grown to love who were receiving the Eucharist for the first time. Add to that the profound spiritual experience of Holy Week, beautiful spring weather (at least sometimes!), and a delicious Easter brunch, and my heart was always full of Alleluias. 

In recent years, I have grown to love a new community of men and women, those whose experience of Easter is complicated by a history of abuse and betrayal in the Catholic Church. I now know that some survivors celebrate this holiday while struggling to keep painful memories at bay, while others can no longer enter a Catholic church - on this day, or any other.  And of course, there are many others in our Church and in our world who experience this Easter through a lens of suffering and grief. 

This year, I still celebrate Easter with hope and joy, but I also hold in love and prayer those who find hope and joy difficult to reach.

So, to all who celebrate, and all who mourn, and all who hold both celebration and mourning together in their hearts this Easter, I say -

Christ is risen, Alleluia.

Sara Larson
Executive Director, Awake Milwaukee


Awake in the News!


Awake's ministry is once again grabbing national attention, with writer Heather King interviewing Sara Larson for her column in the Catholic weekly magazine and website Angelus News. We are honored to have the opportunity to share our story and our heart with readers across the United States!

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Blog Post  - Understanding the Wounds
Caused by Clergy Sexual Abuse


This week on Awake’s Blog we share compelling insights from Catholic moral theologian Marcus Mescher, a Milwaukee native who is writing a book about the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis and cover-up. 

“'I am Catholic,' [Marcus] Mescher says. 'This is an institution that matters a lot to me.' He has long been aware of the ripples of pain that sexual abuse in the Church causes in the larger community. During Mescher’s childhood, his family belonged to a parish whose pastor was credibly accused of sexual abuse. One of Mescher’s siblings was baptized by the abusive priest, part of the reason she left the Church. And Mescher says he feels for one of his dearest friends, a priest, who is pained by the widespread distrust of priests as a result of the abuse crisis."


Please Join Us In Prayer

As we continue to celebrate the Easter Octave, we invite you to rejoice in the gift of new life and hope - and to also hold in prayer all those for whom religious holidays bring sadness and painful memories. 

May the gentle Lord be close to all people - both in joy and in sorrow.
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