You Have Set Us Free helps survivors of trauma, and their family and friends, to understand the deep and long-lasting effects of their trauma. It also helps them to correlate their experiences of suffering and healing in the light of the paschal mystery of Christ. This book combines Stations of the Cross with therapeutic information for survivors of abuse and neglect.
While reflecting upon the experience of Jesus during Holy Week, You Have Set Us Free addresses the healing of trauma survivors in a prayerful context and offers hope that can assist survivors as they engage in their process of healing.
Fr. Kenneth Schmidt is the pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Portage, Michigan, after having served as pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Student Parish in Kalamazoo, Michigan for 21 years. He is a canonist and the diocesan director of Priestly Life and Ministry. He is also a licensed professional counselor and in 2002 co-founded the Trauma Recovery Program in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. In the past ten years, he has worked with individuals and small groups of survivors, as well as canonists, formators for religious communities, dioceses, and congregations, and the public. He now serves as executive director of Trauma Recovery Associates, which trains mental health professionals and spiritual caregivers in the US and several other nations.
This is a valuable resource not only for professionals trained in this area of human experience but for anyone in a pastoral role who is asked to accompany someone with a great burden of suffering.
The Bible Today
I found You Have Set Us Free: Scriptural Reflections for Trauma Survivors to be an excellent compilation of Scripture, reflections and prayer that will be helpful to survivors struggling to find healing. I especially found the explanation of trauma, and how it couples with vulnerability, to be valuable in explaining the many faces of trauma. The prayers are powerful, and the connectivity of the Scripture to the lives and struggles of trauma victims is especially poignant. May God use these reflections to heal the hearts and souls of hurting innocent victims.
Teresa Morris Kettelkamp, Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors
I found the Trauma Model very useful in helping people come in touch with their trauma by naming the trauma, processing and integrating their emotions, thoughts and behavior. The reflections are very inspiring and touching.
Sr. Tecla Chepng'eno, FMSJ, Section Manager, International Missionary Benefits Society (IMS), East Africa Section
I was honored to read this copy of the book, You Have Set Us Free: Scriptural Reflections for Trauma Survivors. It makes a profound connection between scripture, the suffering of Jesus, and the pain of trauma survivors. The associated prayers add further meaning and may help survivors find a path for healing and perhaps a way to God. The description of trauma is very helpful for laypersons or professionals working in trauma recovery.
Mary Jane Doerr, Director, Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, Archdiocese of Chicago
I heartily endorse Father Schmidt's reflection and encourage anyone who has experienced a major traumatic event in their life to see in this book a pathway to unite oneself with the traumatic events of Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection. It was by those saving actions that Jesus was able to free us from the debilitating effects of traumatic, sinful and evil actions in the world. It is my hope and prayer that by a prayerful reading of this book, trauma survivors truly will be set free to live with the joy of Jesus' life within them.
Bishop Paul J. Bradley, Bishop of Kalamazoo