Saint Mary's Listens

(Scroll down to see dates and times of listening sessions and to sign up)

We want to hear from you about the clergy abuse scandals that have been in the headlines. We want to hear how you and your loved ones have been impacted by these revelations. We want to understand what you are feeling, and hear your questions.

We want to listen.

Here at Saint Mary’s, we want to create a Christ-centered response to this crisis, so that we can participate in healing, conversion and the work of justice.

As a first step in this process, we invite you to participate in a series of listening sessions. These sessions are viewed as the first, crucial step in creating our overall response to what is happening in our church and world.

At these listening sessions, we want to create an atmosphere where people can speak honestly about what they are thinking and feeling. We want to hear the questions that parishioners are asking, and to take note of suggestions that parishioners have.

We are working with experts in the field of psychology and social work to create listening sessions where everyone can be heard in a respectful atmosphere. Each of our listening sessions will be facilitated by a professional psychologist who will work to insure that every participant has the chance to say what they need to say. We are grateful to these professionals who will assist us!

Our listening sessions will work in the following way:

  • each session will be facilitated by a professional
  • sessions are open to registered members of St. Mary’s parish who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation
  • each session will be limited to 20 participants. This will allow ample time for participants to share what they want to say. Those who wish to participate in a session must register for that session
  • sessions will last 75 minutes
  • unless noted otherwise, Fr. Renninger will be present at these sessions for the first 60 minutes. For the last 15 minutes, he will step out of the room to allow final comments from participants and facilitators
  • at these sessions, Fr. Renninger will be there to LISTEN. He will not be there to answer questions or offer specific observations or answers.
  • at each session, a parishioner will be present to take notes about the main themes that are discussed. These notes will not be used to record ‘who said what,’ but will rather help us to begin crafting the next steps in our parish response to these important topics.

Once we have had a chance to listen to parishioners, we will be in a position to formulate a plan about our next steps. For instance, we anticipate that people will raise specific questions during these sessions. Once we have heard these questions from you, we will create further opportunities for learning and growing together.

In addition, it is our hope that we will be able to identify how St. Mary’s can contribute to the work of healing anyone who has faced abuse in their lives, working for justice within the church and the world, and forming a community where human dignity is always respected.

Our listening sessions are scheduled to take place on the following dates in the Holy Family Room in the Parish Offices.  (Please register for only 1 session to allow others to participate as well.)  By clicking on the date, you will be taken to a registration form for that listening session.

November 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Bishop Sullivan Room

If additional listening sessions are needed, more will be added and announced.