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Archdiocesan Office of Assistance Ministry to Sponsor Program

Chicago, IL (September 2, 2008) - The Archdiocese of Chicago and the Office of Assistance Ministry will sponsor a new program for family members of those who have been sexually abused as children by priests or deacons of the Catholic Church. The four-session program that begins the first week in September, will be conducted by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at no cost to the participants. The Archdiocesan Office of Assistance Ministry’s mission is t o provide pastoral care, support, and resources to victims-survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones in their efforts to achieve psychological, emotional and spiritual healing.

The two and one-half hour sessions will include open discussion and sharing among participants and information about topics including how the abuse affects the family, the healing process, long-term effects of sexual abuse on victims and their families and reestablishing trust, communication, affection and hope.

"The Office of Assistance Ministry provides services to victims of clerical sexual abuse and their families,” said Matthew Hunnicutt, Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Assistance Ministry . “Over the years, our services have expanded to include the changing needs of those we serve. It is with a sense of hopefulness that we have developed this new educational program with the wish that through open dialogue this will be a beginning of positive change for these family members."

Those interested in attending the sessions are asked to contact Kathleen Leggdas at 312--5268 or email her at

For information about the Office of Assistance Ministry visit the Department’s page on the Archdiocesan web site at

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