Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Oct. 15, 2016
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
GALLUP — The Diocese of Gallup released a schedule of healing services to address the legacy of clergy sex abuse in the diocese, featuring 36 upcoming services that will take Bishop James S. Wall 15 months to complete.
The first service will be held at Gallup’s Sacred Heart Cathedral Nov. 19. The last scheduled service — in February 2018 — will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Gallup. The other 34 services will take the bishop to almost every currently operating parish across Arizona and New Mexico.
“Bishop James Wall and the Diocese of Gallup will unite in prayer for a series of healing services,” the news release stated. “We extend our invitation to attend these healing services to all who have been affected by physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in the Diocese, especially our brothers and sisters who have survived abuse by members of the Church.
“Families and friends of survivors, Catholics and community members who are struggling with forgiveness or who have been affected by the sin of abuse, and all people wishing to unite and seek healing; to them we extend the invitation to attend these services as well,” the statement continued.
The visits by the bishop were mandated as part of the Gallup Diocese’s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. In the plan’s non-monetary commitments, the bishop agreed to visit each operating Catholic parish or school in which abuse occurred or where identified abusers served. According to the court document, the bishop “shall provide a forum/discussion during his visit to address questions and comments.” The news release, however, did not indicate the healing services would include a forum/ discussion time for general attendees.
According to the announcement, “The healing services will consist of prayer, scripture reading, and a reflection from Bishop Wall. The Bishop will also be available after the service to privately meet with survivors.”
“To those survivors, I wish to express my sincere apologies, profound sorrow, and deepest gratitude,” Wall is quoted as saying in the news release. “I am sorry, first and foremost, that you were abused and betrayed by members of the Church, and that the Diocese betrayed your trust. I am also grateful to you, for your courage in coming forward, in continuing to seek justice, even when that justice was not given for many years.”
For clergy sex abuse survivors who do not want to attend the church services, diocesan officials suggested they contact Elizabeth Terrill, the victims assistance coordinator pro tem, for a meeting with the bishop in a different setting. Terrill can be contacted at 505-906-7357.
“We understand that for many, even the idea of stepping into a church may prove painful,” the statement said.
The following is the 15-month schedule of healing services:
Nov. 19: Gallup – Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Nov. 29: Fort Defiance, Arizona – Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.
Dec. 2: Holbrook, Arizona – Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Dec. 9: Show Low, Arizona – St. Rita.
Jan. 19: Lumberton – St. Francis of Assisi.
Jan. 20: Farmington – Sacred Heart Parish and School.
Jan. 27: Chinle, Arizona – Our Lady of Fatima.
Jan. 28: Page, Arizona – Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Jan. 29: Tuba City, Arizona – St. Jude.
Feb. 23: Grants – St. Teresa of Avila.
Feb. 24: Winslow, Arizona – Madre de Dios.
Feb. 25: St. Johns, Arizona – St. John the Baptist.
April 28: Flora Vista – Holy Trinity.
May 12: Seboyeta – Our Lady of Sorrows.
May 19: Springerville, Arizona – St. Peter.
May 20: McNary, Arizona – St. Anthony.
June 2: Bloomfield – St. Mary.
June 8: Thoreau – St. Bonaventure.
July 15: Winslow, Arizona – St. Joseph.
July 21: Overgaard, Arizona – Our Lady of the Assumption.
July 22: Snowflake, Arizona – Our Lady of the Snows.
Aug. 11: Concho, Arizona – San Rafael.
Aug. 18: St. Michaels, Arizona – St. Michael.
Aug. 27: Lukachukai, Arizona – St. Isabel.
Sept. 15: Blanco – St. Rose of Lima.
Sept. 29: Cibecue, Arizona – St. Catherine.
Sept. 30: Pinetop, Arizona – St. Mary of the Angels.
Oct. 6: San Rafael – San Rafael.
Oct. 19: Cubero – Our Lady of Light, St. Joseph and St. Joseph School.
Oct. 28: Crownpoint – St. Paul and Risen Savior.
Nov. 2: Vanderwagen – St. Patrick and Good Shepherd.
Dec. 1: Shiprock – Christ the King.
Jan. 19: Farmington – St. Mary.
Jan. 20: Cuba, New Mexico – Immaculate Conception.
Feb. 3: Aragon – Santo Nino de Atocha.
Feb. 9: Gallup – St. Francis.