There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.
– American Spiritual


Gilead Project sponsors the Uncommon Conversation to gather individuals, organizations and faith communities for healing sexual abuse and abuses of power that harm.  “In Our Voices: Bearing Witness” has completed filming our ambitious project, recording and preserving perspectives and experiences of those involved in the Catholic sex abuse crisis.  Our Uncommon Conversation is a process that models how members of the community can listen and speak of the pain and harm experienced due to clergy sexual abuse.  Uncommon Conversation is based in restorative justice principles of compassion, respect and accountability. The goal is to restore right relationship and build trust.

Linked here is the In Our Voices: Bearing Witness film trailer, giving a glimpse into our process called Uncommon Conversation.  This segment shows the panel with Luke, SJ priest and journalist; Chris, Restorative Justice program director (ret.); Shari, survivor, parish leader and trustee; Gil, offender priest removed from ministry;  Phil, survivor, activist and whistleblower featured in the movie “Spotlight”; Susan, survivor, founder Gilead Project;  Catherine, PhD therapist; John, diocesan priest and leader.  We are fundraising to produce our instructional video of the panel from November 2019 through January 2020.  Our financial need  to produce and edit instructional material is $60,000.00.  We invite you to participate in this project through your donations.


Sexual abuse is a systemic social ill requiring a systemic solution. We need everyone in the room: victims (primary and secondary); offenders; persons who provide healing services to victims and offenders; community resources for accountability (e.g. courts and corrections); community leaders both secular and religious; members of religious communities and society at large.

An adequate systemic solution will address multiple aspects including: awareness of and intervention on the social and cultural factors that undergird sexual abuse and the misuse of power; prevention of abuse by individuals; accountability for offenders; effective healing services for victims of abuse; effective healing services for offenders; restoration of all persons affected by sexual abuse (victims, offenders and community) to right relationship.



  1. Be a locus for multiple programs and organizations engaged in various aspects of the sexual abuse issue.
  2. Provide educational programs and conferences to address prevention, healing and restoration.
  3. Support and engage in models of restorative justice that seek to hold offenders accountable; promote healing for victims and offenders; and create possibilities for reconciliation.
  4. Sponsor regular Uncommon Conversations.
  5. Provide gathering/meeting opportunities for individuals harmed by abuse who seek healing.
  6. Create opportunities for persons to participate with their resources and involvement in a positive and hope-filled effort that responds to the crisis of sexual abuse and fosters systemic change.