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Bishop LaValley writes of healing and mercy

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

April 7, 2021

Dear Friends in Christ:

The month of April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This provides us with an opportunity to highlight our awareness of child sexual abuse and to call attention to our ongoing responsibility to provide safe, healthy environments for our children and young people. It also affords me the opportunity to assure you that our diocese is continuing our strong efforts to create and maintain a climate of safety and of joy for all the youth entrusted to our pastoral care. It is also a time to express deep sorrow and regret to all those who have suffered sexual abuse by Church leaders.

I am very grateful to Mr. John Morrison, Diocesan Safe Environment Director and Charter Compliance Coordinator. He directs our efforts to ensure that the national and diocesan policies established to provide safe environments for our children are implemented fully. Since 2003, independent audits have been conducted in the Diocese of Ogdensburg to determine how well we comply with national and our own diocesan policies. We have been found to be compliant every year. The strong support and cooperation of our pastors and their pastoral staffs enable our Church to be a safe place in which we can all grow in love of God and neighbor.

On Sunday, April 11th, a Mass of Healing will take place at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 11:00 am. This Eucharist, held on Divine Mercy Sunday, is a fitting means to acknowledge the pain caused by some pastoral leaders or workers in the Church; seeking forgiveness for the wounds inflicted; and praying for the grace to be instruments of healing and reconciliation for those who suffer so deeply.

You are invited to join our family of faith in prayerful support and in humble supplication for forgiveness. We know that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, so tenderly loves and accompanies all those who are hurt in His Church. We are a Church of the hurting, indeed, as Pope Francis says, a field hospital that seeks to bring healing and wholeness through the grace of God. We remain vigilant in providing a safe environment for all within the Church and sorrowful when we have failed our sisters and brothers and caused such hurt and suffering.

With a Shepherd’s care and concern,


Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg

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