Archdiocese of Chicago to Celebrate the Fifth Annual Mass for Victims of Domestic Violence
Chicago - (Oct. 14, 2020) – The Archdiocese of Chicago will celebrate the fifth annual Mass for victims of domestic violence on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020 in-person at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State St., Chicago, and livestreamed simultaneously at 10 a.m. Rev. Charles W. Dahm, O.P., director of the Archdiocese of Chicago Domestic Violence Outreach (ACDVO) Office, will preside and preach at the Mass. All are welcome to attend, especially victims of domestic violence, their children and families. Due to COVID-19, in-person Mass attendance is limited to 200 and reservations are encouraged to expedite check-in.
“Domestic violence is in direct opposition to Catholic Social Teaching as it strips away the inherent human dignity and endangers the life of the victim,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “Violence against another person in any form is never justified and the Church can play an important role in breaking the cycle of domestic abuse. Pastors, parish personnel, and educators are often the first responders for victims and can offer them comfort, healing and assistance.”
October is recognized as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in four women and nearly one in 10 men suffer sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime. About 11 million women and five million men who reported such abuse said they first experienced these forms of violence before the age of 18. Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse; it is any behavior used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner through use of physical, emotional, sexual or financial mistreatment, coercion, intimidation or deprivation.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, parish-based ministries, and other organizations also provide aid to victims of domestic violence. For those in at-risk situations, support for those endangered is available through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.7233 (SAFE).
Among the 194 Catholic dioceses in the United States, the Archdiocese of Chicago has the most developed domestic violence outreach program. The ACDVO Office has preached on domestic violence at Masses in 175 parishes throughout the Chicago area since 2008. ACDVO has developed local ministries serving victims of domestic violence in more than 100 parishes.
“The plague of COVID-19 has pummeled victims of domestic violence harder than most,” said Dahm. “They are now often more confined at home than before and with financial and other pressures in their homes, their abusive partners are frequently even more violent. Thanks to the generosity of donors to the archdiocese’s COVID-19 emergency fund, we have been able to reach out to victims now more than ever.”
More information about domestic violence and the work of ACDVO is available on the Archdiocese of Chicago’s website, www.domesticviolenceoutreach.org. There are videos, testimonies, homilies, prayers, and a manual on setting up a parish domestic violence ministry.
The link to the Mass for victims of domestic violence is available here: youtu.be/Vmsgy2hQWCI