Events

Child-Abuse Prevention Month

7th Annual Child-Abuse Prevention Mass

Saturday, April 7, 2018
4:30 p.m.

St. Mary of the Woods Parish
7033 North Moselle Avenue, Chicago

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich will preside at Mass.

Annual Prayer Service for Child Abuse Prevention

The Archdiocese of Chicago will celebrate the 7th Annual Prayer Service for Child Abuse Prevention and Pinwheel Planting at 11:30 a.m. on May 4, 2018, at the Healing Garden adjacent to Holy Family Parish in Chicago.

The Healing Garden of the Archdiocese of Chicago is a place dedicated to the healing, recovery and reconciliation of child abuse victims and their families, a place where the community comes together each year during the month of April observed as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Please find details on the Pinwheel for Prevention prayer service here.

As part of the prayer service, Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools’ students will plant pinwheels in the Healing Garden to raise awareness for all the efforts that archdiocesan principals, priests, teachers, staff and volunteers make to support and protect all children in our schools, parishes, and communities. We use the pinwheel as the national symbol of child abuse prevention efforts.

“Prayer is one part of the healing process for survivors and the community of believers. Public prayer is also an important way of consciousness-raising in the Church.” – Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in a press release for the Day of Prayer for survivors and victims of sexual abuse.

"As the wind causes the pinwheels to turn in the Healing Garden, may the winds of change bring an end to all child abuse." – Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, 2017

If you are unable to attend the event, there are simple ways to have your community at the parish or school commemorate that April is National Child-Abuse Prevention Month:

  • Hold your own prayer service at your parish and/or school. The Child-Abuse Prevention Prayer Service Worship Guide is posted online to use at your site.

  • Create a banner, pinwheel, poem or other creative display about child-abuse prevention and send a photo to the Office for the Protection of Children & Youth: we will display images of your projects on our webpage.

  • Consider creating your own pinwheel garden and hanging blue ribbons (around trees, on fences/gates, etc.) at your parish/school. 

  • Dedicate a moment during Mass or school assembly to child-abuse prevention: make an announcement, say a prayer, read a poem, or have a moment of silence.

  • Visit the Healing Garden website for more information.

Resources to Use throughout April:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has developed resources to be used during the month of April: 

  • Liturgy Resource Guide

  • Prayer Service for Healing

  • Child Abuse Prevention Blessing

Pinwheels for Prevention

Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is part of a national movement by Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA) to not only raise awareness to child abuse, but also to promote supporting positive practices to allow healthy child development. 

The Archdiocese of Chicago joins PCA America in planting pinwheel gardens throughout the archdiocese to remind each of us of the important role we play in children’s and young people’s daily lives.