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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: March 10, 2020
Last fall, the Diocese of Little Rock started a chapter of the Maria Goretti Network (MGN) for those who have been affected by any type of abuse and need love and support. It doesn’t matter if the abuse was physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual or mental.
Support group meetings are held at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month at the St. Joseph Spiritan Center in Conway. The next meeting will be April 4. See complete schedule.
This ministry is named after St. Maria Goretti, the patron saint of abused children and rape victims. Alessandro Serenelli tried to rape her when she was 11 years old. He then stabbed her 14 times and fled. Before she died from her injuries in 1902, she forgave him. While he was in prison, Maria appeared to him in a dream, which led to his conversion. St. Maria was canonized in 1950.
Miguel Prats, an abuse survivor, and Father Gavin Vaverek, JCL, founded MGN in 2004 to help offer healing within the Catholic Church for anyone who has been abused. Although the ministry is Catholic, it is open to anyone who has been abused. Read Arkansas Catholic to learn more.
MGN meetings, which are led by two lay leaders who have suffered past abuse, last 90 minutes and include time for prayer, introductions, personal sharing among men’s and women’s small groups and group discussion on healing and forgiveness. To learn more about the meetings, principles and ground rules, visit the website. For more information about the Arkansas chapter, please e-mail email@example.com.