L.A. ARCHDIOCESE TO LEAD FAITHFUL IN NINE DAYS OF PRAYER FOR HEALING FROM SEXUAL ABUSE
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles will lead faithful in nine days of prayer and reflection for healing from sexual abuse beginning Saturday, April 18 until Sunday, April 26 leading up to the end of the national abuse prevention month this April. The novena, organized by the Archdiocese’s Victims Assistance Ministry, is offered in support of all sexual abuse survivors – those harmed in their families, or the church, or the community at large. As public gatherings and worship services have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, faithful are invited to join the novena daily at https://lacatholics.org/united-together/.
“My hope is that the novena will bring people across the Archdiocese into a place of collective prayer and reflection,” said Heather Banis, Victims Assistance Ministry Coordinator for
Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “This novena is offered for those directly harmed by sexual abuse, both in and outside the church. Together we will pray for healing of our church and communities, as we struggle to understand, atone, restore and re-imagine our church, our schools, and our neighborhoods, in the wake of the scandals that dominate the news, particularly as Catholics.”
The community joining in prayer at this time is especially meaningful in light of the COVID-19 pandemic as many sexual abuse survivors are victimized by a known and trusted adult and such betrayal is amplified when a shelter-at-home order confines a victim with their perpetrator.
Each day of the novena, a different parish in the tri-county Archdiocese (Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara counties) will host a prayer service or celebrate Mass livestreamed on https://lacatholics.org/united-together/ dedicated to healing from sexual abuse, especially the victim-survivors served by the Archdiocese’s Victims Assistance Ministry, their families and friends, and all those in the church who struggle with, and hope to heal, the wounds of sexual abuse in the church and our communities.
The nine days of prayer and reflection will begin on Saturday, April 18 at 5 p.m. at St. Didacus in Sylmar and on the following day St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo will host the novena at 2 p.m. Christ the King parish in Los Angeles will celebrate a bilingual (English/Spanish) Mass on Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. Full schedule is available at https://lacatholics.org/united-together/.
During the novena faithful are asked to decorate and light a candle at home for the healing of those who have suffered from sexual abuse.
Prayer intentions and intercessions during the novena include the protection of the most vulnerable in our communities, for the healing and comfort of those who have been sexually abused, and for all families strive to provide safe and nurturing environments for children and young people.
The remainder of the novena schedule is as follows: Tuesday, April 21, 5:15 p.m. at St. Mary Magdalene in Camarillo; Wednesday, April 22, 5:30 p.m. at Holy Family in Glendale; Thursday, April 23, 5:30 p.m. at St. Cyril of Jerusalem in Encino; Friday, April 24, 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at St. Pancratius Church in Lakewood; Saturday, April 25, 5 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Rowland Heights; and Sunday, April 26, 5:30 p.m. at St. Kateri in Santa Clarita.
Due to gathering and social distancing restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no media access at the Cathedral. A feed of all services and events from the Cathedral will be provided via livestream on the LA Catholics Facebook page and https://lacatholics.org/mass-for-the-homebound/. Masses are streamed live Monday through Friday at 7 a.m. in Spanish and 8 a.m. in English; and Sunday at 7 a.m. in Spanish and 10 a.m. in English. Latest video footage and photographs are available on Archdiocese social channels @lacatholics on Facebook, Instagram , Twitter and upon request. More on https://lacatholics.org/social-highlights/.