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The Stations of the Cross in Atonement for Abuse and for the Healing of All invites a wounded Church to contemplate the Passion and death of Jesus through the experience of clerical abuse survivors. This one-of-a-kind resource is written and illustrated by priests to foster healing amidst the destruction committed by their brothers. Award-winning author and acclaimed liturgist Paul Turner pairs each of the fourteen scripture-based Stations with powerful quotes from survivors of clerical sexual abuse, and responds to each with profound confessional prayer. Thought-provoking paintings by author, counselor, and liturgist Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, accompany each Station.
This resource will be cherished by parishes, faith-based organizations, retreat centers, prayer groups, youth groups, school and campus ministry programs, families, and individuals who yearn to honor survivors suffering with Christ, and who yearn to bring this too often ignored reality to lived prayer experiences.
Paul Turner is pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri and director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. He holds a doctorate in sacred theology from Sant' Anselmo in Rome. His publications include Glory in the Cross, Let Us Pray, Inseparable Love, One Love, Whose Mass Is It? Light in the Darkness, and When Other Christians Become Catholic, all published by Liturgical Press. He is a contributor to Give Us This Day.
Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, ministers among the vulnerable and marginalized of society and the Church. From his experiences in living the Gospel among the poor, he speaks and writes about prayer and service and knowing the love of God through our common poverty. He is active as a retreat director, blogger, award-winning author, and visual artist. Fr. Ron serves as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is a contributor to Give Us This Day.
In the traditional devotion of the Stations of the Cross, we are invited to contemplate and reflect on the suffering of Jesus in his journey towards death. Fr. Paul and Fr. Ron plunge us into a deeper and even more confronting experience of contemporary suffering—that of the victims of abuse in the wounded body of Christ, the Church. The unflinchingly honest words and searing images of this prayer experience will move the participant deeply, while offering a powerful and liberating pathway to healing and transformation. I highly recommend this book to all who have suffered, directly or indirectly, in this traumatic episode in the life of our Catholic community.
Rev. Jim Clarke, Ph.D., Director of New Evangelization, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
In the face of the horror of abuse—especially by trusted church leaders—many ask, "What can I do?" We are indeed the Body of Christ, and when one member has been hurt, we are all hurt. The Stations of the Cross in Atonement for Abuse and for the Healing of All provides the people of God with a way to join in a communion of prayer for our brothers and sisters who have been hurt and betrayed. At the same time, the prayers and reflections remind us that God is forever merciful and comes to all of us in our brokenness. Through the Passion and death of Jesus Christ may we be made whole.
Bishop William A. Wack, CSC, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida
This book is timely. It opens the possibility of a public ritual of sorrow for the enormity of the clerical sexual abuse of children and its cover up by Church leaders. It is a journey we take in sorrow and truth-telling. The paintings, juxtaposing Jesus’ face and children’s handprints, evoke the destruction of innocence—children’s lives and Jesus’s ministry. In both cases the destroyers were authorities standing for God. The prayers are short but the impact is strong. Ronald Raab’s vibrant art offers a meditative journey beyond the words. Every Catholic Bishops’ Conference could benefit from this book.
Dr. Ann Gilroy, RSJ, Editor of Tui Motu InterIslands, an independent Catholic monthly magazine in New Zealand
The Stations of the Cross have always had the power to help people find light and hope in the midst of suffering. Where we encounter the cross in life, we also find Jesus with us. This adaptation of the Stations to the suffering of those who have been sexually abused and betrayed, along with the grief and shame shared within the Body of Christ, is a much needed aid to encountering the redemptive grace of healing that can only be found in God.
Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr., Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Chair-elect, USCCB Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People
Seamlessly woven with Scripture, these Stations give voice to the anguish of the abused and abandoned, the confession of complicit clergy and the pleading of God’s people. Always straightforward and never piously self-indulgent, Paul Turner’s text unites us in a meditation on the Passion in atonement for sins associated with the sexual abuse of our children and with a heartfelt plea for mercy and healing. Even on their own, Ron Raab’s fourteen evocative illustrations would provide a rich resource for soul-searching prayer, each station offering the face of Jesus, inviting us to enter the savior’s heart directly through his eyes. With profound simplicity, children’s hand prints on each image keep us mindful that this wound in Christ’s body, the Church, is still in need of healing.
Rev. Austin Fleming blogs at ConcordPastor.blogspot.com