Encountering Jesus

The Way retreat offers victims of abuse a path to healing

The three Catholic dioceses of Nebraska are once again coming together to provide victims of abuse the opportunity to find a path toward healing.

The Way retreat mirrors Jesus’ passion and death on the cross. It allows victims of any abuse the chance to heal the wounds of abuse and transform pain into new life, just as Jesus did.

This year’s retreats are at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat Center in Waverly. A men’s retreat is scheduled for August 16-18 and a women’s retreat is scheduled for August 23-25.

Mary Beth Hanus, director of the Archdiocese of Omaha’s Victim Outreach and Prevention Office, said that the decision by a person to make the retreat takes “great courage.”

“Even though you want to heal, it’s hard to face your wounds,” Hanus said. “You have to be ready. I think God allows wounds to surface so they can be healed.”

While seeking help can be hard, Hanus believes anyone who attends the retreat will find peace and comfort through Jesus because He is “the only one who heals those who have been hurt. He’s been there. He understands.”

Hanus said that others worry that they will have to “tell everyone what happened to me,” but this is not true. “It is a personal journey between them and Jesus, and it is their choice what they share or don’t share.”

The retreat is open to Catholics and non-Catholics. There are opportunities for joining in a Rosary, Mass, confession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which are encouraged but not required. The retreat is open to people of all faiths.

Applications for both retreats are due July 31, and space is limited. To request an application, contact Hanus at mbhanus@archomaha.org. More information on The Way retreats can be found here.

The Way is a Christian-based retreat developed by Sue Stubbs from the Archdiocese of Atlanta. In 2019, the Diocese of Grand Island, the Diocese of Lincoln and the Archdiocese of Omaha began hosting annual men’s and women’s retreats.


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