Chicago parish addresses domestic violence
After learning that many members of our faith community, St. Pius V Parish, were victims of domestic violence, we decided to take action to address this serious issue. Through Sunday homilies, our pastor raised awareness on this issue, and many victims came to our parish counselor for help. We formed a domestic violence ministry, HOPE Family Services, which offered individual counseling and support groups for victims and their children as well as for men who cause harm. We educated younger members of our parish community about the elements of healthy and unhealthy relationships. Our domestic violence ministry expanded throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago, which now has a Domestic Violence Outreach Ministry active in nearly 100 parishes. The ministry raises awareness about domestic violence, connects victims to services and promotes prevention, principally through a CDC-developed curriculum on healthy relationships in elementary schools. In 2017, The Resurrection Project, a community organization and economic development organization founded by the parish, took on the program which continues working in the archdiocese. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development was key in the early stages of HOPE’s development.