September 30, 2019

Catholic University’s National Catholic School of Social Service hosts the national Catholic Domestic Violence Awareness Month Committee that will present a seminar from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Gowan Hall, Gowan Auditorium (126) followed by a vigil Mass at 5:15 p.m. in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Great Upper Church on Saturday, Oct. 5, in observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

As part of Catholics For Family Peace Education and Research Initiative, a free seminar will address "How to Help End Domestic Violence in Catholic Families.” The seminar will include an interactive presentation to increase the understanding of domestic violence, identify opportunities to address the issue in parishes and families, and learn ways to respond appropriately when someone reaches out for help. Presenters include, Rev. Patrick Besel, Archdiocese of Baltimore; Laura Yeomans, Catholic Charities DC; Lauri Przybysz, education director, Catholics For Family Peace. 

Following the seminar will be the organization’s third annual vigil Mass celebrated by Most Rev. John H. Ricard, S.S.J., bishop emeritus of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla.

Catholics For Family Peace (CFFP) provides education, resources, and research that help pastoral leaders recognize domestic abuse and respond with compassion. As part of their response, CFFP is releasing a new free educational print resource for use in marriage preparation programs titled, Peace and Respect in Your Marriage: Domestic Violence Awareness Module for Marriage Preparation. The organization invites everyone to join in a daily prayer at 3 p.m. for all harmed by domestic violence and those who offer hope, help, and healing. 

“We are a one-stop national resource where all can learn the many ways that Catholics offer hope, help, and healing for those harmed by violence,” says Sharon O'Brien, director of Catholics For Family Peace. 

To learn more about the seminar and to register, visit the event's website.

MEDIA: To attend the seminar and Mass or to schedule an interview, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at or 202-319-5600.