Mass held to remember victims of child abuse

A Mass was celebrated on behalf of the victims of child abuse – the innocent and defenseless who have suffered a most terrifying violence to their body and soul.

This Mass on April 20, 2022, the Wednesday within the Octave of Easter, was celebrated by Msgr. Patrick Dubois at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. This was the 15th year the Diocese has held a Mass to pray for the victims of abuse, which takes place in April to coincide with National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Msgr. Dubois cited the Gospel Reading of the day of the two Disciples, who were weighed down by the terrible crucifixion of Christ, as they journey on the road to Emmaus in hope that Jesus’ Resurrection triumphed over evil.

“Just as the Disciples became witnesses to Jesus’ suffering, let us implore His Grace to weep with them; to make at least some amends for all victims of child abuse,” Msgr. Dubois said. “We recall with sadness how their precious dignity was violated much as Christ was also pierced because of our sins.”

Msgr. Dubois added that we must also weep for the heinous and terrible harm caused by the Church’s own sons and daughters, betraying their sacred mission only to abuse children who had been placed under their care and trust.

“The hurt of all of these innocent victims, that should never have happened, weighs heavy upon our hearts and upon the conscience of the entire Church,” he continued. “To these children, to all adults who lost their sacred innocence as minors violated by people who they trusted, we express another year of heartfelt sorrow and shame.”

Citing Pope Francis, who said the sins of clerical abuse of minors has a toxic effect on Faith and hope in God, Msgr. Dubois said some have maintained their Faith “while for others the experience of betrayal and abandonment has led to a weakening of Faith in God. It is the great miracle of hope which prevails against the deepest darkness that can be present in our lives. Our loving Lord is forever on the side of all who suffer, of all the victims – particularly the defenseless and abused child – bringing healing to so much pain and hurt.”

Msgr. Dubois concluded in prayer calling “upon the Lord to rebuild the broken lives and hearts; giving hope to all those who mourn a lost innocence; to all who suffered so terribly; to all who today so rightly hunger and thirst for justice and may they soon feel God’s miraculous and restorative grace. In this way, may they, like the Disciples on the road to Emmaus, deeply feel Christ’s blessing and Real Presence.”

In speaking on this topic, Bishop Frank J. Dewane has repeatedly stated that the Diocese of Venice, and its entities, take very seriously the safety of all young people and vulnerable adults. In fact, the Diocese has a zero-tolerance policy, and works to prevent any instances of abuse, particularly against minors and vulnerable adults.

“The Diocese of Venice is steadfast in its commitment to providing a comprehensive program to protect the most vulnerable from all types of abuse while raising awareness to prevent abuse from happening in the first place,” Bishop Dewane further stated.

The Diocese of Venice Safe Environment Program works to provide education for all employees (clergy, religious and laity), those volunteers and others regularly working with minors, and parents. The program provides information on the issue of abuse of children, including the detection, prevention and reporting of child abuse. Thousands participate in this program each year. In addition, the Safe Environment Program has a component which includes training sessions for children and young people in Catholic schools.

The Diocese of Venice annually undergoes a comprehensive audit by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection to ensure that the Diocese is in compliance with current directives.

For more detailed information about what the Diocese of Venice does to prevent abuse or how to sign up for a Safe Environment class, please visit

Report any abuse against minors to the Florida Department of Children and Families at 800-962-2873. Further, if Diocesan personnel or volunteers are involved, also notify the Diocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator, Susan Benton, at 941-416-6114.


During April, the Secretariat of the USCCB encourages the faithful to recite the Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse.

God of endless love, ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just:

You gave your only Son to save us by his blood on the cross.

Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace, join to your own suffering the pain of all who have been hurt in body, mind, and spirit by those who betrayed the trust placed in them.

Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters who have been gravely harmed, and the cries of those who love them. Soothe their restless hearts with hope, steady their shaken spirits with faith. Grant them justice for their cause, enlightened by your truth.

Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds and transform brokenness into wholeness. Grant us the courage and wisdom, humility and grace, to act with justice. Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors. Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace in justice.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Courtesy of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States

Conference of Catholic Bishops


Dios del amor infinito, Siempre presente, siempre justo;

Tú nos cuidas y nos proteges Y nos diste a tu único Hijo Para salvarnos con su sangre en la cruz.

Jesús manso, pastor de la paz, Dígnate unir a tu propio sufrimiento

El dolor de todos los que han sido heridos De cuerpo, mente y espíritu

Por parte de aquellos que traicionaron la confianza puesta en ellos.

Escucha el clamor de nuestros hermanos y hermanas Que han sido lastimados gravemente, Así como el clamor de aquellos que los aman. Dales la esperanza que mitigue el desosiego de sus corazones, Dales la fe que calme sus espíritus perturbados. Concédeles justicia para su causa, Ilumínalos con tu verdad.

Espíritu Santo, consolador de corazones, Cura las heridas de tus hijos e hijas

Y devuelve la integridad a lo que ha sido quebrantado. Concédenos el valor y la sabiduría, La humildad y la gracia, para actuar con justicia. Sopla tu sabiduría en nuestras oraciones y empeños. Que todos los que han sido heridos por el abuso encuentren paz y justicia.

Te lo pedimos por Cristo, nuestro Señor. Amén.

Courtesy of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States

Conference of Catholic Bishops.