The Healing Garden of the Archdiocese of Chicago, located on Roosevelt Road just west of Holy Family Catholic Church and St. Ignatius College Prep, has been a catalyst of hope for survivors of abuse, their family members, priests, vowed religious, the laity, and our neighbors and the larger civic community for over ten years. It is open at all times, with free parking available and access to public transportation.
Please make a visit, alone or with others and pray for forgiveness, peace, justice, and reconciliation for anyone suffering from the effects of sin. We urge you to read, reflect upon, and discuss with others what we have learned, what we have done, and what is still left to do to help make all children and adults in Illinois and throughout the world safe and whole.
This booklet is dedicated to healing:
- All Victim-Survivors of Abuse.
- Our Entire Church and Community.
- All Clergy and Other Ministers.
- All Catholics.
- All Christians.
- All People.
From the Introduction
Healing is a personal journey that cannot be programmed. It is a natural process, aided and strengthened by God’s grace. A garden is a place where physical nature provides the context for grace to work. It is my prayer that our new healing garden will be such a place for everyone, but especially for those whose lives have been hurt by sexual abuse on the part of those who abused their own office in the Church.
When a hurt person is healing, he or she becomes free to help others. Not trapped in the terrible crime once done to them, not exhausted by personal struggle, a victim of sexual abuse is free and strong when able to help those whom God gives them to love.
That’s how, with God’s providential help, this Healing Garden entered into the lives of survivors of abuse and into the very life of the Church herself.
From the one of the reflections
The way forward must come from the heart, from hearts that are broken by the voice of victim-survivors. That is the first step out of the Healing Garden, but it is also the one that forces us always to return to it. — Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago