BOSTON — Members of the archdiocesan office of Pastoral Support and Outreach gathered earlier this month with spiritual directors of St. Anthony Shrine to share learnings, provide mutual support, and plan for future collaboration. Participants from the Franciscan Center for Spiritual Direction (FCSD) included Raymond Mann, Gene Pistacchio, JohnMaganzini, John Hogan, Sr.Linda Greenwood, OSF, and Sr. Margretta Flanagan, MFIC.
This office has referred survivors of clergy sexual abuse to FCSD over the years, according to Sr. Margretta who said that the widespread devastation extends well beyond the victim. The ripple effect of trauma for both the people who come for help and the many who do not come forth was discussed. Together we will continue to explore ways of providing service to our people in need, she added.
The gathering ended with a quote from a person receiving spiritual direction. It captured the basic assumption, held by the social workers and spiritual directors present, that spiritual healing is possible, Sr. Margretta said.
“Someone hurt me but many healed me,” the participant said.
Another recent program at the FCSD — a mediation workshop titled “Looking for God in All the Right Places” — was held earlier this month at the center as a way to provide a place to step aside from the busyness of life with the intention of being open to the presence of God, said John Maganzini, shown in photo.
Attendees from varied backgrounds gathered with FCSD staff and Ethel Fraga, a prayer leader from Contemplative Outreach, to be refreshed in the practices of sacred reading, centering prayer, compassion for others, compassion for our bodies and the compassion walk, John said.
The prayer practices were practical, and everyone left with a favorite. The day ended with requests for another meditation workshop.
According to John, one participant’s response was especially memorable: “I experienced respect, quiet, softness and peace.”