Pastoral Response Assistance Team, Inc.
9 Kinsman Place
Natick, Massachusetts  01760-2732
(508) 650-1811
Fax (508) 650-3621

Developing a
Pastoral Response to
Sexual Abuse in the Church

Merrimack College

Saturday, October 26, 2002
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets required

This day long program will assist Catholic clergy, pastoral ministers, educators, parish staff and administrators in developing their pastoral response to the crisis of sexual abuse in the church.  General and special topic sessions as well as common prayer will help participants identify and build skills that professionals and laity need to support those efforts.

This program is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Boston or its offices, but is offered to foster healing and reconciliation in the Church.
Topics Include:

* Why parishes and parishioners can't have healing until the wound is cleansed;

* Improving our understanding of sexual abuse and identifying some of the key concepts, including defining what is and is not pedophilia;

* Developing existing strengths, skills and talent within a parish to deal with the crisis and exploring the role of prayer, scripture and spirituality as important dimensions of a pastoral response;

* Recognizing how initial denial, betrayal, taking sides, heightened emotions, and disbelief impact on a parish, school or other ministry;

* Learning the legal complexities;

* Identifying the psycho/emotional issues of the abuse and how they differ from spiritual issues, and how both can be addressed on a pastoral level; the perception of responsibility, or sin, by the victims; issues of forgiveness, spiritual healing, the loss of faith, etc;

* Taking a historical perspective of sexual abuse in the church;

* Improving parish efforts to dissipate intense anger and other feelings, while coming to common ground from which to work together.

Co-sponsored by
Merrimack College and
The Pastoral Response Assistance Team Inc.

Merrimack College, founded in 1947 by the Order of St. Augustine, is a Catholic College of the Liberal Arts and the Professions.  As part of its mission as a Catholic and Augustinian College, Merrimack offers programs and the resources of its faculty and staff to local civic and Church communities.

As an independent, non-profit, multi-disciplinary group of professionals, the Pastoral Response Assistance Team, Inc. have for over ten years provided support, consultation, crisis intervention, educational programs, methods and materials for individuals, victims, families, dioceses, parishes and educational and religious institutions faced with allegations of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy or other authority figure.  Presenters for the Workshop are from the Pastoral Response Assistance Team and from Merrimack College:

Melvin F. Albert, J.D.
Thomas F. Carr, M.A., LMFT, LMHC
Katherine M. Donnelly, M.F.I.C., M.Ed.
Gerard Dugal, Ed.D.
John Hagenbuch, L.I.C.S.W.
Joseph T. Kelley, Ph.D., D.Min.
Robert Kinscherff, Ph.D., J.D.
Paula A. Mignone, S.C., M.Ed., M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.
Carol Mullin, J.D.
Timothy P. O'Connell, J.D.
Jane O'Conner, M.Ed.
Elsie E. Peck, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.