Bishop Mark Seitz will celebrate the fourth annual Mass of Atonement and Hope on Saturday, March 17 at 10 am in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Mass of Atonement and Hope was initially offered for all the victims of sexual abuse by clergy. It was an acknowledgement that in the past the Church’s response to reports of sexual abuse by members of the clergy and other religious communities was often lacking, inappropriate, or nonexistent. As a result, there was a failure to respond appropriately to the needs of victims. Recognizing that sexual abuse exists in all areas of society and that there are other victims of sexual harassment, physical, domestic, and emotional abuse, Bishop Seitz has chosen to offer this mass for all victims.
It is hoped that the Mass of Atonement and Hope will be a source of healing for the victims and will demonstrate the Church’s concern for their well-being. The members of the Church, especially pastors and other leaders, recommit themselves to assisting in the healing process for victims. .
At times, experiencing sexual abuse may cause the victims to become separated from their faith in God and their Church, which could provide them with comfort and solace. The Mass will provide a reminder to the victims that they have a place where they belong and where they can experience God’s love and mercy.
All victims, family members, those who provide assistance and support to victims and all others are invited to attend the Mass of Atonement and Hope. We hope to see you there.
If you have been a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, please contact Susan Martinez, Victims Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of El Paso, at 872-8465
If you wish to participate in ministry or as a volunteer in your parish, please contact your parish Safe Environment Coordinator or Diana Bulko, Safe Environment Coordinator for the Diocese of El Paso, at 872-8427.