Frequently Asked Questions...
What groups/population does this program serve?
This program is meant to serve all adults and teens who have suffered from the scourge of abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, as well as abandonment or neglect. This includes, but is not limited to individuals who have been abused by family members, relatives and others. Grief to Grace addresses the resulting psychological, emotional and spiritual trauma.
Do I have to be a Christian or practicing Catholic to come on a retreat?
No, definitely not. The Grief to Grace program retreat is designed to bring healing to all the wounds of trauma, including the spiritual wounds. Although the Grief to Grace retreat was written from a Judeo/Christian point of view we welcome people of any or no religious practice. No one is ever pressured or expected to change their practice or adopt a new one.
What about the 'Catholic' Part?
The retreat includes some elements to meet the particular needs of Catholics on retreat, such as daily mass and availability of the sacraments. These activities are not part of the retreat exercises, and participation is entirely voluntary.
How Can I Trust You? The Church Really Hurt Me!
Grief to Grace is a lay ministry serving the wounded Body of Christ. We are not a campaign group attacking the Church, but we do not in any way defend using the Church, priesthood or religious life as a cover for abuse. If you were abused by someone in authority in the Church we share your outrage. We will invite you to express your anger about what happened to you because it is a righteous anger and we will witness it. But we will also lend support as you work through that anger to lay bare the grief it covers, so that it no longer holds you captive. If your relationship with the Church was damaged by a wolf in sheep's clothing, our hope is that you will rediscover the authentic face of Christ the Good Shepherd, a fellow victim who suffered as one who was innocent.
What is the benefit of mixing survivors of clergy abuse with other survivors who have been abused in family systems or other institutional settings?
Those who have suffered abuse by members of the clergy have reported that it was extremely helpful for them to hear the many stories of those who were abused by family members and others. They claim it was very powerful in expanding their notion of who is a “victim” and helped them move from rage and anger into their own grief and healing.
Why do you include both men and women on the retreat? Don’t they each need their own retreat? This doesn’t feel safe to me.
We take great care to provide an environment that is safe and supportive for everyone who attends our retreat seeking the same thing – healing from the wounds of abuse. By going through the retreat process together women and men recognize that, as survivors of abuse, they share many of the same wounds and same desire for freedom. Along the way a great deal of fear, shame and blame falls away, replaced by greater appreciation and respect for one another.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of the 5-night program in the United States is $1,500.00. This includes accommodation in a private room, full board, and all program costs and after-care materials.
That's Expensive Isn't It?
Grief to Grace is a private lay ministry that relies on charitable donations and makes no profit. We offer the retreat at or below the actual cost. The largest portion goes directly to the retreat center to pay for their facilities, for your accommodation and meals. The balance goes towards program materials and administration. Our teams are comprised of credentialed therapists and specially trained priests and lay team members who volunteer their time to staff our retreats. By attending the retreat you will receive about 40 hours of specialized attention to the trauma inflicted by abuse in your life. Compare the $1500.00 price of the retreat with the average cost of psychotherapy that starts at around $100 to $200 per 50-minute session.