A 3-day guided meditation and prayer program for men whose abuse by another has deeply affected their heart, mind, body and soul.
Have you experienced or are you experiencing dread, confusion, deep hurt, betrayal or anger when you think of the abuse you have suffered? Or maybe you are feeling nothing at all. You have every right to these feelings…they are natural reactions to the trauma you have survived.
You may be asking yourself:
- What do I do with all of this?
- How will confronting my abuse experience affect my life?
- How will I ever recover my trust in people, God, my Church again?
- Does it really matter?
- Do I matter?
The Way is the path to take to find answers to these and many other questions for which your heart, mind, body, and soul have been searching. This is where your healing journey begins. These three days of guided meditations and prayer crafted around the Stations of the Cross will show you the steps Christ took to overcome dread, confusion, deep hurt, betrayal and anger not only for his experience of abuse – which culminated in his death on the cross and new life in the Resurrection – but for your abuse as well. You can choose to walk The Way with him, learn his ways, transform your pain and suffering into a new life, the life God has always wanted for you but that the sins of another has disfigured in countless ways.
You do matter…
to your Church,
to your loved ones,
to the world.
Let Christ show you The Way to peace in heart, mind, body and soul. Take your first voluntary steps on The Way to new life.
This retreat is Christian-based.
Men of all faiths and traditions are invited and welcomed.
All Truth is God’s Truth.
If you are not Catholic yourself, the steps you take during this retreat will help you to move you forward in Truth on your journey to peace.
Your Retreat Leader is Sue Stubbs MS, NCC. Sue has a Masters in Community Counseling from Georgia State University (1993); she is a Nationally Certified Counselor with over 14 years treating survivors of abuse – sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual. She is currently Director of the Victim Assistance Program in the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Sue went in search of an existing retreat experience that would meet the unique needs of the victims/survivors she had met in her role as Victim Assistance Coordinator. She found many excellent programs but they were not quite suited to what the Archdiocese of Atlanta was looking for in providing healing for individuals who had experienced abuse. Thus, Sue set out to create one. Through much prayer and openness to the Holy Spirit, The Way is the result. “Writing this retreat was one of the most rewarding endeavors I have ever undertaken; only topped by actually giving the retreat and seeing the healing work of the Spirit move throughout the weekend.”
Your retreat team consists of professional counselors in private practice in the Archdiocese of Atlanta and a priest of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. The team is experienced working with survivors of abuse and well-formed and grounded in the Truth of the Catholic faith.
To request an application to attend a retreat:
Sue Stubbs MS, NCC
Director, Victim Assistance Program
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the format of the retreat weekend?
The retreat is formatted around the 15 Stations of the Cross. Most have been broken into groupings of three or four stations each. For each grouping there will be:
- An Introduction including clips from The Passion of the Christ and a guided meditation which will parallel the abuse Christ suffered on The Way to the abuse you survived.
- Then you will move into a Work time where you take what has been shared and engage in a creative activity to express your response to those stations – getting what is going on inside of you on the outside of you. You will choose to either paint, draw, write, sculpt, collage, journal, etc.
- Then you will move into a Prayer time where you take all you have done with these stations and talk with Christ about them. This is where the most powerful part of your retreat experience will take pla
Scattered throughout the weekend in between the groupings of the Stations of the Cross, there will also be Conferences that are psycho-educational or personal experience sharing by the Retreat Team on these topics:
- God’s Original Plan for You
- Abused 101
- The Experience of Prayer
- The Sacraments and Healing
- Continued Healing
Throughout the weekend will also be opportunities for one-on-one time with a therapist, Spiritual Direction, Reconciliation, Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary, and the Sacrament of Healing.
Will I have to talk about the details of my abuse in a group setting?
Only if you choose to. The retreat is not based on a group discussion dynamic. There will be times during the weekend where you have the opportunity to talk to others and share your experiences if you choose to do so…this is not required. You will also have an opportunity to meet one-one-one with the counselors on the weekend as well, but you are not expected to share your abuse history unless you want to do so.
If I am not a victim of clergy sexual abuse, can I still come on the retreat?
Yes! This retreat is for anyone who has been abused in any way by anyone. We have had participants who were abused by family members, spouses, boy/girlfriends, clergy, religious, doctors, coaches, family friends…the list is endless. You will not be taking a spot from someone else who needs it…YOU need it…we are here for you.
If I am not a victim of sexual abuse or cannot remember my abuse, can I still come on the retreat?
Yes! The retreat is written from the perspective of sexual abuse but will help with any kind of abuse. The application you will complete gives the Retreat Team the information we need to make your experience of abuse is addressed in a way that will be of help to your healing.
What is the cost/fee for the weekend? Is there financial assistance available?
The retreat fee is $250 and includes a private room, all meals, retreat program and retreat materials. We do have limited scholarships available upon request.
|3:00||Arrival & Check-in|
|4:00||Mass (encouraged but not required) / Settling-in|
|6:45||Conference: God’s Original Plan for You|
|8:00||AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME – Stations 1-3Jesus prays in the Garden
|11:00||Lights Out (encouraged but not required)|
Voluntary opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation available throughout the day.
|8:45||Conference: Abused 101|
|9:20||Conference: The Experience of Prayer|
|10:00||HUMILIATION / SUFFERING INTENSIFIES – Stations 4-7
|12:30||Rosary (encouraged but not required) or Free Time|
|1:00||Conference: Sacraments & Healing|
|2:00||INTERCESSION & HELP OF OTHERS – Stations 8-11
|4:15||Preparation for Silence – Language of God|
|4:30||Mass with voluntary opportunity for Sacrament of Healing (encouraged but not required) or Free Time|
*Silence is God’s language. Refraining from talking amongst ourselves during this portion of the retreat will
|6:30||WATERSHED MOMENT – Station 12
|7:30||Work/Pray – Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (encouraged but not required)|
|8:45||Foot of the Cross Ritual|
|11:30||Lights Out (encouraged but not required)|
|9:00||Conference: On Being Men|
|10:15||LIMBO – Stations 13 –14
|11:15||Prayer – Way of the Cross|
|12:15||Lunch – Cookout!|
|1:15||NEW LIFE – Station 15|
|1:30||Conference: Continued Healing|