Local survivors of clergy abuse attend special mass in Little Italy

October 19, 2019

[with video]

At one of the few structures to survive the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, survivors of a different kind arrived Saturday.

Many local survivors of clergy abuse showed up Saturday to Holy Family Church in Little Italy.

“To know we’re not alone and that there are other people who believe you,” Jim Hoffman said. “That’s the ultimate goal of today’s liturgy.”

This is the eight year the Chicago Archdiocese has held a special mass for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

One supporter even came from Milwaukee.

“We’ve heard really beautiful things about that happens here in Chicago,” said Sara Larson. “So we wanted to see it and be apart of it.”

Jim Richter’s journey started as a victim himself as a teenager. For years, he’s organized the mass to help others along their own journey to heal.

“That was something I lived with for a long time before I was able to talk about it, see a counselor, meet other victim-survivors,” Richter said. “ And ultimately be involved with advocacy work which is what I’m involved with today.”

The personal stories shared Saturday helped many people on their own recovery journeys.


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