We Invite You to Pray with the Voices of Survivors This Holy Week

Last Wednesday, Awake offered our first online prayer service, Walking the Way of the Cross with Survivors. It was an incredibly moving event, thanks to the good work of Awake Leadership Team members Sara Knutson and Elizabeth Brick, who put together the service, and especially thanks to the survivors who helped us plan and wrote reflections to be incorporated into this prayer.

I know I'm slightly biased, but I'm not the only one who found this event so moving. Here are words from one participant who sent us an email the next day:

"Wow. Really powerful. So many things from the survivors will stick with me... Thank you to Awake for giving a space for these voices! I appreciated this opportunity to just listen. And what a truly meaningful way to think through the stations. Thank you!"

And from Deborah, one of the survivors who contributed reflections:

"Last night, for the first time I felt supported and validated. It was so powerful and encouraging to read the comments from others.  And I again am so blessed to hear from other survivors. What a beautiful gift you gave me! Thank you and God bless you all."

If you weren't able to attend the service live, I hope you will set aside some time this week to pray with the video recording or the text of the service, which you can find below. 

As we journey through this Holy Week, may we walk closely with all who are suffering and keep our eyes on the hope of resurrection.

In His love,

Sara Larson
Executive Director, Awake Milwaukee



Blog Post and Prayer Resource - Awake’s Way of the Cross Centers Survivor Voices 


To mark Holy Week, the Awake Blog shares the text of our recent Walking the Way of the Cross with Survivors prayer service. It includes moving reflections about Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection written by sexual abuse survivors. We invite you to use the text and/or event recording in your own prayer in the days ahead. 

"The Stations of the Cross are a traditional Catholic devotion during the season of Lent, and we felt that praying both with and for survivors, while centering survivor reflections, would be a powerful way to pray as a community," says Sara Knutson, a member of the Awake Leadership Team who led the prayer service with Elizabeth Brick, also on the leadership team.

"Many survivors experience comfort and reassurance knowing that they—and all of us—are infinitely loved by a God who knows and understands suffering, and relate elements of Jesus' story to their own," Knutson added. "As a result, the reflections are moving, and allow the wider church a glimpse of both Jesus' suffering and that of survivors of abuse."

Pray with the Event Recording 

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As we move through this Holy Week, please pray for all who suffer as a result of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church - victims, survivors, their family members and friends, and the entire Catholic community. May we know the loving presence of the suffering Christ, walking with us towards resurrection.
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