Mayra E. Flores, the Safe Environment Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Chicago, had some inspiring words for Catholics, in particular diocesan ministries, considering whether and how to offer healing prayer services locally for survivors, their families, parishes, and the Church.
Maya participated in the Archdiocese’s prayer service, which was offered last week virtually. The service was in lieu of the Annual Mass for Hope and Healing, now in its ninth year. Along with Mayra and others with the archdiocese, many survivors from many parts of the country shared a role, too, some from as far as Australia.
I have been graced by so many people in this Ministry who have shared their stories with me, and in the process, strengthened my commitment to hopefully help in whatever way I can towards individual healing and healing of the Church. I am always grateful for, and honored by, the invitation to participate which is extended each year Tom Tharayil and Mike Hoffman. I get such a sense of gratitude and feel humble to be included.
The virtual prayer service is available online now here. You’ll find poignant and inspiring prayer poem’s from Sooz Elizabeth and friends in Australia, as well as a powerful introduction by Mike Hoffman, reflection by Deacon Glenn Vaneck, and a wee video of yours truly from the banks of the Potomac–survivors all.
To identify some of those mentioned above: Sooz Elizabeth, Spirit Fire survivor, is a Founder of The Healing Voices and a writer of prayer poems who advocates for trauma-informed pastoral care. Tom is Thomas P. Tharayil, LCSW, BCD, Director, Office of Assistance Ministry, who is a great friend to survivors in Chicago and elsewhere and a great friend of Spirit Fire. Mike Hoffman, Spirit Fire survivor, is a Founder of The Healing Voices, Chair of the Mass for Hope and Healing Committee as well as the Healing Garden Committee. Mike speaks and is a leading advocate for child-abuse prevention. He has written many articles publishing in The Healing Voices on the ways the Mass for Hope and Healing and related pinwheel/prayer events have been offered over the past decade.