Healing, Reconciliation and Hope Task Force, Fall 2019

    September 9, 2019

    Members of the University Community:

    In October 2018 Fr. Pilarz created a Task Force on Healing, Reconciliation, and Hope in response to revelations of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church. He asked the members of the taskforce to “harness the full range of resources that the University of Scranton, as a Catholic and Jesuit university, can offer the Church in this painful but pivotal moment.” It is a difficult and uncomfortable topic, but it provides an opportunity—through learning, reflection, and prayer—to exercise solidarity with survivors of clergy sexual abuse and to imagine a way forward for the Church. With that in mind, we draw your attention to key academic and pastoral opportunities for engagement during the Fall 2019 semester. We will send reminders as each event approaches.

    Public Presentations

    Monday, September 16, 7PM, Leahy Hall #235
    Clergy Sexual Abuse: Insights from History and Theology
    Massimo Faggioli, Ph.D.
    Rita Ferrone, M.Div.

    Thursday, October 3, 7PM, Leahy Hall #235
    Clergy Sexual Abuse: Prevention, Healing, and Reconciliation
    Fr. Thomas Berg
    Michael Vanderburgh

    Film and Discussion Series

    Led by Drs. Teresa Grettano and Stephen Whittaker of the English and Theatre Department

    Monday, September 23, 7PM, DeNaples 401 (Moskovitz Theater)
    Philomena (2013)
    Directed by Stephen Frears
    Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

    Monday, November 4, 7PM, DeNaples 401 (Moskovitz Theater)
    Secrets of the Vatican (2014)
    From PBS and Frontline
    Directed by Antony Thomas

    Monthly Reflections

    Borrowing from the Jesuit Center’s model for Advent and Lenten reflections, the taskforce will publish thoughts, feelings, and experiences from different members of the University of Scranton community in relation to the abuse crisis. Expect the first reflection later this month.


    The University community will continue to pray for the healing of victims of clergy sexual abuse, for their advocates, and for our wounded Church. A prayer intention will be offered at our Sunday liturgies as part of the Universal Prayer. The community will also be invited to gather at a Mass during Advent and Lent – the two seasons in our Church year that emphasize a call to reconciliation – to pray for the Lord's healing, mercy, and justice.

    Thank you for your consideration and support. For past and upcoming events, support resources, official documents, and other important information, please visit the taskforce website:

    The Healing, Reconciliation and Hope Task Force
    Christian Krokus, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Department Chair of Theology
    Patricia Tetreault, Vice President for Human Resources 
    Gerianne Barber, Director of the Counseling Training Center
    Julie Schumacher Cohen, Director of Community and Government Relations
    Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D, Dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies
    Lauren Rivera, Assistant Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students
    James Roberts, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair of Sociology/Criminal Justice
    Patrick Rogers, S.J., Executive Director of the Jesuit Center
    Rose Sebastianelli, Ph.D, Professor of Operations and Information Management
    Patrick Tully, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair of Philosophy
    Helen Wolf, Ph.D., Director of Campus Ministries
    Steven Browning, Graduate Student
    Julia Betti, Undergraduate Student
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