WESTFIELD, NJ — Television news vans waited outside of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in February, following the Archdiocese release of names of priests “credibly accused” of sexual abuse, information that came amid an Attorney General’s investigation into sex abuse by priests.
Among the 188 names released statewide, six previously served at Holy Trinity, one of whom later made headlines when he was shot dead in Nevada last month. On Wednesday night, parish members heard from their religious leaders at a healing service held for the survivors of the sexual abuse.
“We are about the power of healing prayer so that victims and survivors know that we are with them on their journey of healing,” said Pastor Anthony Randazzo, who serves at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Westfield.
The service, which was open the public, replicated one held at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark, Randazzo said.
“As we pray, we are changed, and we change directions, and we heal one another,” he told congregants, echoing a quote attributed to Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.
Raseann Pizzi, who has lived in Westfield for 20 years, was among the estimated 50 parish members to attend. Reconciling the history of the church, Pizzi said, is challenging, but it is something her fellow congregants help her with.
“The people that I’ve met through this parish are amazing people, who care about the community and who care about each other,” said Pizzi, shortly after the service. “And that helps me, even when the news is troubling about the history of our church.”
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh