Day of Healing
On Sunday, December 16th at 2:00pm, five parishioners of St. Mary's in Hamilton gathered in the church and offered their unique perspectives as to how a Catholic parish could respond to the sexual abuse scandal occurring in the Church at large. Below you will find the introduction provided by the Pastor of St. Mary's that was given at the beginning of this solemn occasion. You will also find below the names of and the information on each panelist as well as their individual talks delivered on this solemn occasion.
Introduction: "My name is Fr Jason Hage and I would like to give all present a warm welcome to St. Mary’s Church in Hamilton. I would also like to acknowledge that some here have traveled from distant places to join us for this special day. I would especially like to welcome the editor of the Catholic Sun, Katherine Long. Today marks a solemn and sacred occasion upon which we will have the opportunity to engage in a formal dialogue about what we, as a Catholic parish, can do on the parish level in response to the scandal in the Church at large. We will begin with a colloquium of different speakers from the parish who will offer brief statements on concrete steps they think can be taken in response to the scandal. Following the colloquium, we will then engage in a panel discussion with the speakers. Following the panel discussion, we will conclude with a prayer service for victims of clergy sexual assault. Today’s event is being audio recorded and will be made available online. We ask that all participants remain respectful to the sensitivity of what is being spoken to today. I am humbled that God has brought us together in this way at this time. To all of the victims of clergy sexual assault in our midst, we organized this event to demonstrate that we feel called as a Catholic parish to stand with you. We pray that today will be only a source of healing and strength as you continue to take steps toward greater healing and wholeness. May the Lord be with us all."