- Why is the Archdiocese of Chicago involved in the creation of a healing garden?
Recognizing the harm that some in the Church have participated in, the Church must claim its role in faithfulness to the healing mission of Jesus Christ, becoming a means for both reaching out to those adults who were victims of child/youth sexual abuse, specifically the victims of clergy abuse, and protecting children. Our collective voice will speak to the continued need for healing of so many in our society who have suffered and continue to suffer from the tragic consequences of childhood sexual abuse.
- Why are clergy abuse survivors leading this effort?
Many survivors of clergy sexual abuse have found healing through the Church, through counseling, and through their own determination to reclaim their dignity as children of God. Many also believe very strongly in the power of the Risen Christ to bring reconciliation, healing, and freedom to victims, clergy, and the Church as a whole.
- Where will the Healing Garden be located?
The Healing Garden will be located at Holy Family Parish on Roosevelt Road in Chicago, which is centrally located and easily accessible by all forms of transportation. Many consider Holy Family to be a survivor parish – being one of two parishes that survived the Great Chicago Fire. It also serves as the site of a memorial for the victims of the Our Lady of Angels School fire. This location recalls the history of great loss, but also of survival from tragic events and terrible personal loss. It is a very appropriate location for our Healing Garden.
The Healing Garden is intended to be a symbol that invites reconciliation, healing, and eventual freedom for not only the survivors and their families, but also for the larger family, our Church.