Grief to Grace

Christmas

At all Sunday Masses on 22nd September, Fr Dominic Allain will make an appeal on behalf of Grief to Graceof which he is the International Pastoral Director.

Grief to Grace is a psychological and spiritual programme for anyone who has suffered degradation or violation through physical, sexual, emotional or spiritual abuse.  It is appropriate for those who have endured sexual abuse, rape, incest or other forms of traumatic violation in childhood, adolescence or as an adult, including those who have suffered abuse by a member of the clergy. Grief to Grace invites the healing ministry of Jesus Christ through prayer and sacraments, and by providing skilled behavioural health services for victims of abuse, with professional excellence, Christian integrity and compassion. Our five-day residential programmes provide a process for helping victims of abuse to discover spiritual healing and transformation. Grief to Grace was created to end the isolation and secrets of abuse within a healing process that is fully centered on the person and presence of Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician.  For more details see:  www.grieftograce.org Today’s appeal raises awareness and seeks Grief to Grace “Co-operators” to support and enable this apostolate in various small but significant ways.

Some Testimonies:

Once I arrived, with much fear and trepidation, and began to enter into the process I cried tears from depths I didn’t know I possessed. Hearing the stories from others helped me to access deep emotions I was burying or trying to deny. The exercise of drawing a picture of ourselves as God created us, then depicting the damage from the abuse onto our image was very powerful. I didn’t realize how that distorted image of who I was had sent my life on a trajectory and formed patterns that were not God’s plan for me. Only by realizing that, could I begin to change my expectations and allow Him to rebuild my self image… Click to Read this Entire Testimony

In my deacon year, 2003, word of the Boston priest scandal spread across the country and the world. The seminary I attended, talked about this, taught about this, gave conferences and seminars about this ad nauseam. I had never revealed my own abuse at the hands of a priest that started with the grooming process in 1980 and culminated with the first physical, sexual contact in August 1982…Click to Read this Entire Testimony

Through this journey has always been a deep struggle within me regarding a feeling of shame and unworthiness. It was never the kind of thing that was overt but rather always an undercurrent running through my life. It created in me a deep sense of loneliness and isolation. I found it extremely difficult to develop deep and meaningful relationships with others, to share feelings, or be myself around others…Click to Read this Entire Testimony

I want to share with you the graces that I received and the depth of healing that occurred in my life in those three days of retreat. I grew up in a home that looked quite “normal” on the outside, but due to my father’s anger, rages, and abuse, my family suffered much on the inside. Throughout my childhood and most of my adult years, I lived in denial about what had happened in my family of origin. I was unable and unwilling to confront the abuse that my mother, my siblings, and I had endured. I wore ‘rose colored glasses’, so to speak… Click to Read this Entire Testimony

“Totally awesome! So Christ – centered and spiritual! It has been an incredible gift to go on this healing journey. There was so much love and acceptance radiated to each hurting man and woman.”

“I can’t believe how much better I feel. It seems like the Lord changes you more when you do really not want to be taught. I appreciated all the sharing. It was great to hear others responses. This experience was wonderful. Thank you.”

“Inspiring! It gave each of us a chance for new life. I loved the Living Scriptures!”

“Because of this retreat, I don’t hate God anymore.”

“Each and every one of the Living Scriptures was so anointed. I loved each of the activities/exercises that followed. A “hands-on” experience that penetrated to the soul – the water, the rocks, the pictures of our wounded selves we affixed to the cross– all so powerful. The journey through the Sorrowful mysteries and joining in the suffering of Jesus was very healing for me.”

“Incredible! Each session went deeper and pulled my emotions up and out of the darkness. I have never been on a retreat like this. Your insight and knowledge is amazing. You seemed to cover most areas in the lives of abused women. Only the spirit working in you could have created something such as this. Thank you!”

“This retreat was specific to my personal needs in woundedness – which nothing has ever touched so completely – even though I have worked for 18 years on inner healing issues through therapy, Al-anon, Life in the Spirit Seminars, contemplative prayer and journaling.”

“To be completely honest, I did not want to come to this retreat. I was hardened as I walked in. But this retreat really opened me up. The Holy Spirit spoke to me so clearly and beautifully. It really started the healing process and a new confidence in me. The only thing I wish was different is that the retreat was one day longer. This has truly changed my life.”

“It was more than I could imagine. The exercises made it so real.”

“The Living Scriptures were so moving and facilitated the work. I appreciated the liberating of my inner child and a chance to respond to the Holy Spirit. The Living Scriptures were incredible, especially the one where Jesus gave me Mary. The transformation! Wow!”

“It was very powerful in every respect. The multi dimensional aspects of this retreat provided so many ways in which God could touch our lives and speak his truth to us. As difficult as it was to hear some of the stories of participants, it was necessary and important part of the process.”

“From Grief to Grace is an amazingly spiritual experience. A journey involving safety, bonds, connection, merging of hearts, grieving together towards transformation. A wonderful instrument for healing of those with sexual abuse wounds! This is an extraordinary opportunity to live through Christ’s redemptive work.”