A Small But Important Step

I haven’t yet been to the newly dedicated cathedral in Oakland (I’ll be going there next weekend when some Jesuit classmates of mine are ordained deacons), but when I do go I’m planning to visit the healing garden.
clipped from www.sfgate.com
Some three years after Jennifer Chapin first proposed that a memorial to victims of clergy abuse be included in Oakland’s new Christ the Light Cathedral, a healing garden she helped plan was dedicated Saturday afternoon in the cathedral’s shadow.
The new garden in Oakland is a subtle place, tucked away behind the soaring cathedral. Unless you look for it, you won’t find it.
That location was carefully chosen, said Chapin, with the awareness that some victims still cannot bear to go inside a church or to face religious symbols – also missing from the spare garden area.
“I have a hard time still going into churches,” Chapin said. “I go in for funerals and weddings, but some people won’t even go in for that … this is outside, in case that feels safer.”

I think the horrible history of clergy sexual abuse is something we Catholics are all, to some degree, still in need of healing from. We also need to continue to support survivors in every step of their healing. I’m glad the garden was planted, but gardens need cultivation and the labor of caring hands.


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