Fr John Hollowell, was so moved by the suffering of victims of clergy sex abuse that he offered himself in prayer as a living holocaust, sin sacrifice of sorts, for the victims of clergy sex abuse. Two years later, he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor which he believes is an answer to that prayer.
“I prayed in 2018 that if there was some suffering I could undertake on behalf of all the victims, some cross I could carry, I would welcome that. I feel that his is that cross, and I embrace it willingly,” he said.
He plans to offer up the suffering he will endure during the surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy for victims of clergy abuse. He is asking for lists of names of victims that he can pray for as he goes through his treatment.
Based on my own experience of offering up suffering for people in Purgatory, I believe that Father Hollowell will find that what he is doing will do more than help the people he is praying for. It will help him as well.
The pain eases when it has the purpose of saving someone else. Redemptive suffering is both a profound reality and a great gift. Like all great gifts, it blesses both those who receive, and those who give.
From Catholic News Agency:
.- When Fr. John Hollowell went to Mayo Clinic for brain scans after what doctors thought was a stroke, he received a shocking diagnosis. The scans revealed that instead of stroke, he had a brain tumor.
While it is a serious diagnosis, Hollowell, a priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, said he believes the tumor was an answer to prayer.
“When the scandals of 2018 broke out, most of you know that they have affected me deeply, as they have most of the Church,” he wrote in his blog, On This Rock.
“I prayed in 2018 that if there was some suffering I could undertake on behalf of all the victims, some cross I could carry, I would welcome that. I feel like this is that cross, and I embrace it willingly.”
Hollowell was ordained in 2009 and serves as pastor of St. Paul the Apostle parish in Greencastle as well as pastor of Annunciation parish in Brazil, Indiana. He is also the Catholic chaplain at DePauw University and Putnamville Correctional Facility.
The plan for Hollowell’s treatment involves the removal of the tumor via brain surgery, and then both radiation and chemotherapy.
Hollowell said that while his treatments will not be as harsh as those for some other kinds of cancer, he still wants to offer up each day of his recovery, chemotherapy, and radiation for victims of clergy abuse.
“I would love to have a list of victims of priestly abuse that I could pray for each day. I would like to dedicate each day of this recovery/chemo/radiation to 5-10 victims, and I would like, if possible, to even write them a note letting them know of my prayers for them,” he said.
He encouraged victims, or those who know of a victim, to write to him with the victim’s name (with their permission) and with an address where he could send them a note when he prays for them.