• Sara Larson

Milwaukee Friends, Please Join Me For These Upcoming Events - April 1, 2, and 8!

After months of very limited opportunities for public conversation about the abuse crisis, I am happy to share several upcoming events focused on bringing this issue into the light. I wish these three opportunities weren’t all scheduled so close together, but I hope you will consider joining me for at least one! I think you might find each of these events valuable in a different way, and please also remember that just showing up to an event like this communicates to church leaders that there is still ongoing interest and concern about these issues.

If you plan to come to any of these events, please let me know and we can meet up!

Pray: Archdiocesan Mass of Atonement

Monday, April 1, 6:00pm at Immaculate Conception Church in Bay View

Please join the In Spirit and Truth community at the annual Archdiocesan Mass of Atonement for clergy sexual abuse. This mass takes place every year, but I know that attendance is often very low. Let’s show up to pray for survivors and to communicate to Archbishop Listecki that there are many faithful Catholics who care deeply about the Church’s pastoral response to survivors of abuse. Reply to the Facebook event here, and invite others to join you!

Learn: Janine Geske’s Presentation, “The Spirituality of Restorative Justice: Addressing the Abuse Crisis”

Tuesday, April 2, 7:00pm at Lumen Christi Parish in Mequon (St. Cecilia Hall)

This is part of Lumen Christi’s Lenten “Soup and Substance” series, which includes a simple supper that begins at 6:15pm. Janine Geske is a retired justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court who has been a longtime leader in using restorative justice practices to address the wounds of clergy sexual abuse. You can read a bit more about this in her article Restorative Justice and Clergy Abuse. Geske’s work is truly groundbreaking, and I know this will be a very informative and hopeful presentation.

Discuss: Listening Session with Bishop Jeff Haines

Monday, April 8, 7:00pm at St. Robert Parish in Shorewood (Reilly Hall)

This will be an opportunity to gather with other interested Catholics to share your thoughts, feelings, and concerns about the clergy abuse crisis. The format that has been used for these listening sessions in the past is very good - prayer, facilitated small group conversation, and sharing with the whole group towards the end of the night. I think you will find it to be a very positive experience. The In Spirit and Truth small group is already scheduled to meet that evening, so I will only be able to attend the first 30 minutes of the listening session, but I invite other interested Catholics to take advantage of this opportunity to gather, discuss, and make your voice heard.

I would love to see you at any or all of these events. Also, if you hear about other opportunities at your parish or elsewhere in the Milwaukee area, please let me know so that I can add them to my list!

PS: If this is the first you are hearing about these events from me, that must mean you’re not following In Spirit and Truth’s Facebook page yet! Blog posts come less frequently because they take more time and care, but I’m posting invitations, news, and helpful resources on the Facebook page daily, so please take a moment today to not only like the FB page but also hit the “follow” button to select “see first" and turn notifications on. That way you won’t miss a thing!


Also, before I go, one more invitation for everyone!

Share: In Spirit and Truth Small Group

Next group beginning in early May

If you are interested in an opportunity for a more personal, prayerful conversation about how the clergy abuse and cover up scandal has affected your own faith, I would love to invite you to the next In Spirit and Truth small group. Our first group is underway, and the opening session was so, so good. Six people gathered at a home in Milwaukee to build community, pray, reflect on Scripture, and share our thoughts, experiences, and feelings about the abuse crisis. It was a powerful experience for me, and the comments of others in the circle reaffirmed to me that this is a great spiritual need among the people of God. If you or someone you know might benefit from participating in a group like this, I would be happy to include you in our next small group, which I'll be organizing in April and will begin after Easter. Please get in touch now if you are interested.


“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

- Matthew 18:20

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