Bishop Saltarelli has dedicated this year’s Advent season to victims of clergy sexual abuse and their families, asking that they be remembered in prayers, Masses and other observances.
The bishop’s action comes on the heels of his release Nov. 16 of the names of 20 priests found
to have sexually abused minors.
Advent begins Sunday, Dec. 3, and ends Christmas Eve. The bishop has asked pastors to celebrate a special Advent prayer service or Mass dedicated to the healing of victims and their
families and to include the victims in a petition in the prayer of the faithful at every Mass in Advent. “The Advent season, where we remember Our Lord’s Incarnation and anticipate the second coming of Christ, is a time of hope,” the bishop said in a statement. “This season of
hope and expectation is an ideal time for us to intensify our prayers together for the healing of victims of clergy sexual abuse and victims of sexual abuse in general.
We also pray for parents, spouses, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, extended family and friends of victims who have carried a variety of painful crosses that are connected to their
loved one’s experience of sexual abuse.” The bishop acknowledged the publicizing of the priests’
names in a letter Monday to all priests of the diocese. “The release of names as well as all of our many efforts to protect God’s children,” he wrote, “must be complemented by these spiritual
efforts on behalf of victims and their families.”