Safe Environment Training, 8/23 & 8/24, 7-9 pm

Foolish. Tonto.

That is the word. Last Sunday’s scriptures warned against foolish behavior. Watch carefully how you live. Forsake foolishness.

That there are people in the church, even in the leadership, who make foolish decisions, is abundantly clear. Fr. Armando addressed the foolishness of the church hierarchy head-on in this, his first homily to highlight a vice, rather than a virtue. All over the country bishops, priests and laity groaned in collective anguish that the scandal of sexual abuse in the Church is not yet over. That the sin of those who perpetrated evil in the name of God threatens to take our Church into the abyss.

About 800 years ago, in a dusty church on the edge of Assisi, St. Francis heard the command to “rebuild my Church, which is in ruins.” I don’t know that the Church is in ruins, but the present situation feels more like it than anything I have experienced.

John Garvey, President, Catholic University of America

More than fifteen years ago at what one might have hoped was the nadir of this long nightmare, I remember how difficult I found it to appear in public wearing my clerical collar…I am sure many of you find yourselves at a loss for words as you interact with family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, many of whom are not Catholic and who are appalled and simply don’t get it. I wish I had words to reassure you, words you could use to reassure them. I do not. And I wish I could take away the sense of powerlessness that comes from the fact that the channels open to you for speaking out and effecting change in the Church are few. I cannot.

Father Michael Ryan, St. James Cathedral

And yet as laity, there is at the very least one thing we can do. We can be watchful. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking there is any human endeavor without the taint of sin, even an endeavor instituted by God Himself. To that end, St. Mary’s is sponsoring a Virtus Safe Environment training for parents and guardians of children August 23rd, from 7 to 9 pm at the parish center, in English, and August 24th, from 7 to 9 pm at the parish center, in Spanish. We urge you to take the time to educate yourselves about how to recognize and prevent abuse before it happens, and how to strengthen communication with your children around these topics in order to empower them to speak for themselves.