Fr. Deacon Timothy and Matushka Beatrice Jones of St Cyril and Methodius parish in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, lead the retreat. Deacon Timothy and Matushka Beatrice received their training from the Centralized Training Institute of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network. Fr. Thomas Mueller, Dean of the Chicago Deanery said, “the workshop is needed and very important so that Deanery churches could be informed and encouraged to recognize and actively respond to domestic violence in their parish communities.
Participants heard the stories of five women who are domestic violence survivors and learned how the responses they received from their faith communities helped or hindered their journey and recovery. They learned to identify who is at risk, who is affected, what theological challenges the Church faces, how to respond in a supportive manner, and who can serve as advocates and resource persons to assist the Church and persons who seek help. Each participant received a comprehensive resource manual, shared in group discussion and activities, and grew in awareness of this widespread problem that threatens so many women, as well as children and men, each year. The participants were challenged to consider and develop ways in which their churches could educate the parish and community about domestic violence and foster healthy attitudes toward positive and enriching personal relationships with intimate partners.
Father Alexander Kuchta and the parsihoners of Holy Resurrection parish warmly welcomed the attendees with breakfast treats and a delicious lunch.