To provide pastoral care, support and resources to victims-survivors of clerical sexual abuse and their loved ones in their efforts to achieve psychological, emotional and spiritual healing.
The Office of Assistance Ministry was first established by the Archdiocese in 1992 to respond to the sexual abuse of minors by Archdiocesan clergy. Joseph Cardinal Bernardin was instrumental in establishing Assistance Ministry following the recommendations of the first-ever Cardinal’s Commission on Clerical Misconduct. Francis Cardinal George has carried on with his commitment and support to this important ministry. Over the years, we have accompanied many victims-survivors of clerical sexual abuse on their healing journeys.
As we have learned more about the extent of childhood sexual abuse in our society, we have widened the scope of some Assistance Ministry services to include support and healing such as support groups, counseling, family support, prayer and reflection for all victims-survivors of childhood sexual abuse, regardless of who the perpetrators may have been.
The Office of Assistance Ministry and its professional staff recognize that for many victims-survivors it is difficult to imagine finding the courage to let officials of the Catholic Church know that they were sexually abused by a priest or church personnel. Therefore after a formal allegation is made, the office offers a variety of services to assist victims-survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones in their effort to achieve psychological, emotional, and spiritual healing. Some of these services include counseling, spiritual direction, support groups and other social services agreed upon by the victim and the Office of Assistance Ministry. Since its creation as one of the first victim assistance ministries in the United States, it has provided services and support to over 400 victims-survivors and their family members.
Thomas P. Tharayil, LCSW, BCD, Director
Ruth Robinson, BSW, Assistant Director
The Office of Assistance Ministry offers the following programs to honor its mission to victims-survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones. We have coordinated with other professionals to provide psychological, emotional, and spiritual healing. Due to space limitations, first priority will be given to those who have not participated in past programs offered through Assistance Ministry in the past. For more detailed information, call (312) 534-8256.
The Archdiocesan Office of Assistance Ministry offers half-day workshop for family members of victims-survivors of childhood sexual abuse. For more information and to register, call (312) 534-8256.
If you're hurting inside, or your life doesn't seem to be working, Holbrook Counseling Center of Catholic Charities has been providing compassionate counseling and other related services for more than 50 years to the residents of Cook and Lake Counties. Holbrook Counseling Center provides professional counseling for individuals, couples and families with emotional, behavioral and relationship/family problems. They also provide assessments, psycho-education groups, classes and presentations as well as consultations. Fees are based on income and ability to pay, which range from $20 to $120. For more information or to schedule an initial appointment, call (312) 655-7725.
Do you know someone who could use affordable counseling for problems related to alcohol and/or substance abuse? The ACES program of Catholic Charities provides professional outpatient counseling to adults 18 or older struggling with a variety of problems primarily related to alcohol and/or substance abuse or dependence. Their professional licensed staff provides information and referrals to appropriate resources; outpatient counseling for recovering addicts and alcoholics and/or their families: and educational/informational community presentations. Fees are based on a sliding scale adjusted for both income and family size. Services are available in Spanish. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (312) 655-7453 or (312) 655-7459