Tragedy to Hope: A Panel Discussion

In response to recent headlines concerning the clergy abuse crisis, many parishes in the Richmond area have hosted 'listening sessions' so that parishioners can express their concerns and ask important questions. Here at St. Mary's, we hosted 6 listening sessions which were facilitated by professionals. Fr. Renninger was present at each session to listen to the questions which were raised.

As a next step in this process, St. Mary parish is collaborating with St. Bridget parish to host a panel discussion. This panel will seek to address many of the questions which have been asked in our recent listening sessions. The panelists will also address information provided by Bishop Knestout in his pastoral letter, Tragedy to Hope, which was published in September. Read the pastoral letter and more about the diocesan response here.


This presentation will take place on December 6 at 7 pm in the Saint Bridget Parish Hall and it will be repeated on December 11 at 10 am at Saint Mary Church. Parishioners from St. Mary's may attend either presentation. Panelists will include Fr. Michael Renninger, Pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church, Ms. Maryjane Fuller, Director of the Child Protection/Safe Environment Program for the Diocese of Richmond, and Deacon Mel Dowdy, who has a Masters in Clinical Ethics, and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. The session will be approximately 2 hours including time for questions from the audience and answers from our panelists. For additional information, contact Fr. Renninger at the parish office.