Support Groups, Therapy Added to Serve Sex Abuse Victims

Catholic Herald [Arlington VA]
August 24, 2006

Support groups for victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, coordinated by Pat Mudd, victim assistance coordinator for the diocese, will be offered this fall. Beginning in September, these groups will meet on the first Monday of the month, unless that day falls on a holiday, and be offered in addition to the previously offered Masses and prayer services.

The schedule for the fall support groups is as follows:

Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m. De Sales Hall, Lower Level, Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 8601 Wolftrap Rd., Vienna.

Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m. St. Ann Church, Lower Level, 5300 N. 10th St., Arlington.

Nov. 6, 6 p.m. Dominican Retreat House, 7103 Old Dominion Dr., McLean. Bishop Loverde to attend. Reservations required.

Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. De Sales Hall, Lower Level, Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 8601 Wolftrap Rd., Vienna.

On Nov. 6 reservations will be required four days prior to the support group meeting as a light meal will be served. Bishop Loverde will attend this meeting, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m.

The diocesan-sponsored Masses and prayer services for healing, which began last fall, will also continue to be offered for victims of sexual abuse and their families. The Masses are an opportunity for the community of faith to come together to pray for victims and survivors of abuse, their families and the entire Catholic community. The prayer services include a survivor's sharing of their sexual abuse and efforts to heal. Both the Masses and prayer services will be followed by a reception.

The schedule for the fall Masses and prayer services is as follows:

Sept. 30, 10 a.m. St. Thomas à Becket Church, 1421 Wiehle Ave., Reston. Prayer Service — Rev. Mark Mealey, O.S.F.S., to preside. Victim Testimony.

Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m. St. John the Apostle Church, 231 North King St., Leesburg. Mass — Bishop Loverde to preside.

Nov. 4, 10 a.m. St. Patrick Church, 9149 Elys Ford Rd., Fredericksburg. Prayer Service — Rev. Mark S. Mealey, O.S.F.S., to preside. Victim Testimony.

The diocese will also offer a 10-week psychotherapy group for victims/survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Arlington and Fredericksburg. The groups are open to all victim/survivors of sexual abuse. Mudd also maintains a list of social workers and counselors, as well as local clergy available for counseling of victims. The office also facilitates counseling for any victims/survivors abused in other dioceses, but currently living in the Arlington diocese.

For more information or reservations call Pat Mudd at 703/841-2530.


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