What’s up with the diocesan Vision? Part 4: Journey to Bethany

Diocese conducting survey

Megan Marley

What can be done to help those suffering with interior wounds, including persons harmed by abuse in the Church?

Journey to Bethany hopes to respond as a source of healing within the diocese to address a variety of wounds and broaden awareness of resources.

“Bethany was a place of rest for Jesus, and Bethany was also a place of resurrection—it was where Lazarus was raised from the dead,” said Fr. Joe Cisetti, a member of the vision implementation team on the Journey to Bethany working group.

“The initial goal of this is to establish this healing center to address a variety of wounds, but the first wound to tackle is sexual abuse and the long-term goal is to go beyond that,” said Carrie Cooper, director of the office of Child and Youth Protection who is also in the working group.

This goal under the Vision priority of ‘Healing Our Family’ is slated to begin rollout in March 2020, but groundwork ideas for it have existed as early as 2016 within the office of Child and Youth Protection (OCYP). The working group in charge of this goal includes persons with backgrounds in the medical field, restorative practices, counseling, advocacy and some who have understanding and experience of what the office of Child and Youth Protection does to help.

“We have such a committed group of lay people who have cared about this issue for such a long time,” Cooper said.

A survey will be sent out across the diocese this month to more specifically evaluate what areas of healing Journey to Bethany should focus upon. The working group has contracted an outside statistics and surveying company to make sure all demographics are represented within the survey.

“They have a statistical formula to get input from everyone across the diocese,” said Cooper. “I really want people to know that this is coming in the mail.”

Once they have survey results, the group will see where to go forward with resources and personnel. They will start with outreach for survivors of abuse in the Church, as a desire for response to the abuse scandal was heard throughout the Summer 2018 listening sessions.

“We know there is a great need to offer healing for survivors of clergy sexual abuse,” said Fr. Cisetti.

But Journey to Bethany is meant to be more than a ‘top-down’ initiative from the diocese—laity will be key in volunteering and in leading the healing processes.

“If people want to help the Church respond, this is the way,” Cooper said.

For more information on the diocesan Vision, visit kcsjcatholic.org/our-vision.


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October 29, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph