News and Events

Child Abuse Prevention Month

2020 Events

How We Heal: An In-Depth Look at How the Archdiocese Empowers us to Protect God’s Children and Respond with Compassion to Victim-Survivors of Sexual Abuse
March 30 at 7 p.m.
St. Mary of the Woods Parish
7033 N. Moselle Avenue, Chicago

Mary Jane Doerr, director of our Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, and Fr. Larry Dowling, pastor of St. Agatha Parish, will discuss how the archdiocese—that’s all of us!—empowers us to protect God’s precious children and to respond with accompaniment to victim-survivors of child and youth sexual abuse. Parking is available on site.

Flyer (PDF)

2nd Annual Child Safeguarding Liturgy
Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 5:15 p.m.
Holy Name Cathedral
735 North State Street, Chicago

Michael Hoffman, chairman of the Hope and Healing Committee of the archdiocese, a survivor of child sexual abuse and an advocate for abuse prevention, will offer insights to families, and to all who care for children. Rev. Greg Sakowicz, rector of Holy Name Cathedral, will preside at Mass. After Mass, all parishioners are invited to plant pinwheels (national symbol of child abuse prevention efforts) throughout the grounds of the cathedral.

9th Annual Prayer Service for Child Abuse Prevention and Pinwheel Planting
Friday, May 1, 2020, at 11 a.m.
Healing Garden of the Archdiocese of Chicago
1080 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago

Additional details on the Pinwheel for Prevention prayer service will be available soon.

About the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Healing Garden

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 which is observed as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

 

"Yes, ours is a Church of many nations and many cultures, a diversity that we must respect, but zero tolerance when it comes to harming children and full accountability are non-negotiable. These are not values to be held in the abstract, or simply codified as a list of procedures to be ticked off as a matter of routine. No, they must be lived values. They must be values that permeate the very air we breathe as a Church—so that everyone from the volunteer tutor to the bishop knows that building a culture of accountability, justice and healing is essential to what it means to be church, to follow Christ’s call.”

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, Remarks from Nov. 2018.

 

How to Get Involved

If you are unable to attend our events, there are simple ways to have your 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. Send a photo to the Office for the Protection of Children & Youth: we will display images of your projects on our webpage and on the Archdiocese of Chicago social media pages.
  • 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 (USCCB) has developed resources to be used during the month of April: 

  • Liturgy Resource Guide
  • Prayer Service for Healing
  • Child Abuse Prevention Blessing

The USCCB website offers opportunities to participate, and some resources that can be used in your own local diocese, parish, and/or school: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/child-abuse-prevention-month.cfm

For dioceses/eparchies and parishes: Please find image, document and video resources at the following USCCB link: http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/bishops-resources/index.cfm

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.