Those who attended the AGM last Autumn, or read the text of the talk given by Marie Keenan, will know that she suggested it might be a good idea for the ACP to offer some Healing Circles to priests.
In her talk she suggested that our generation of priests have lived through difficult times, and have experienced a fair deal of trauma, both in our professional and in our personal lives. Not least of these traumas was the revelations about clerical sexual abuse, even for those of us who were not directly involved. She used the phrase “our bodies keep the score”, in other words we priests carry a fair big of hurt or other damaging effects of what we have lived through. It was in this context that she suggested Healing Circles, and that she, and some others, would help with the facilitation.
The ACP Leadership has decided to offer this service to priests who may be interested. We will introduce the idea at the two open meetings planned in the next few weeks in Claremorris, Co. Mayo and Ovens, Co. Cork. We would hope to extend it to other areas, if there is interest.
Choosing to be a part of one of these Circles is not a big commitment. Those who put their names forward will first be contacted by one of the facilitators for a brief one-to-one discussion. This can either be face to face or over the phone. The Circle itself will be one three hour group session, conducted by two facilitators, during which each person will have the opportunity to speak about the “scores” that the body is keeping, and to do so in a free and a safe environment.
If any priest, either a member of the ACP or not doesn’t matter, wishes to partake in one of these circles, please give your name to any of the Leadership Team, or to Mattie Long (Tuam diocese) – email@example.com