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JVC Northwest Response to Sexual Abuse Report

September 2018

Dear JVC Northwest Community,

In light of the deeply distressing, extensive sexual abuse report from the Pennsylvania Grand Jury, the board and staff of JVC Northwest express our great pain and empathy for the victims and survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of priests, their superiors and other representatives of the Church who chose not to protect the children. This is a time of questioning, sadness, and anger. The betrayal by these abusers who were supposed to be spiritual guides and religious leaders is difficult to comprehend.

We are devastated to learn of the Pennsylvania state report which only compounds the countless experiences of children in our Northwest region and around the globe. We also recognize our own sins, and our role in this painful history. We acknowledge the history of JVC Northwest in unwittingly sending JVs to serve with Jesuits, some of whom were later accused and confirmed to be child sex abusers. We are truly sorry for these actions.

It would be good for us to recognize the church in the vision of Vatican Council II, the priesthood of the laity. Fr. Jack Morris, SJ, co-founder of Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest believed the JVC movement was exactly that! The church is made up of all the people of God, we are a community – not a hierarchy. The church are those who struggle every day to do the right thing, to serve their neighbor, to stand for justice.

This is a time for prayer and for action on behalf of those victimized and abused. If you wish to speak on behalf of justice, it is important to let Church leaders hear our concerns. Contact your bishop with your concerns. Below are names and addresses of the papal nuncio and the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Most Reverend Christophe Pierre
Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
3339 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
President of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops
1700 San Jacinto St.

Houston, TX 77002

The Jesuit USA West Province has offered both spiritual and legal thoughts on the matter. Specifically, Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, Provincial of the USA West Province, has asked that this letter be shared with Jesuit ministries.

We stand by the victims. We stand by our volunteers, our staff, and our values. We encourage all of you to talk with us if you have any questions or concerns.

In solidarity,


JVC Northwest


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Upcoming Virtual Events

Get to Know JVC Northwest

Tuesday, September 28 | 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT 

Join us to learn all the basics about a year of service in the Pacific Northwest, including where you can serve, what you might do, and how to apply. Our Recruiter, Zayna, will also share her experience as a JV in both Alaska and Montana. Finally, we’ll open it up for an informal Q+A. 

How to Make Your Application Stand Out

Wednesday, October 6 | 6:00pm ET/3:00pm PT

How can you position yourself to be a strong candidate for JVC Northwest? We’ll share tips and tricks to help you navigate the application, interview, matching, and placement process. We’ll also leave plenty of time for Q+A.  

Zayna Abusada

JVC Northwest Recruiter

Zayna Abusada (Ashland, MT ’17-18, Anchorage, AK ’18-19) was most recently a JV in south-central Alaska serving with immigrant and refugee English-Language learners as the Academy for Citizenship and Civics Support Specialist with the Alaska Literacy Program (ALP) in Anchorage. Zayna first served with Indigenous students on the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations. Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, Zayna went on to earn her undergraduate degree in History and Theological Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at Saint Louis University.

Catch Zayna at an Event Near You!


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