The Way Retreat

The Way is a free, 3-day guided meditation and prayer program for men and women who are survivors of abuse. It is an opportunity for healing and prayer and for survivors to reflect on God’s plan for their lives.


Have you experienced dread, confusion, deep hurt, betrayal or anger when you think of the abuse you have suffered?

Alternatively, maybe you are feeling nothing at all.
You have every right to these feelings. They are natural reactions to the trauma you have survived.

You may be asking yourself:

What do I do with all of this?

How will confronting my abuse experience affect my life?

How will I ever recover my trust in people, God, my Church again?

Does it really matter?

Do I matter?

The Way is the path to take to find answers to these and many other questions for which your heart, mind, body, and soul have been searching. This is where your healing journey begins. These three days of guided meditations and prayer crafted around the Stations of the Cross will show you the steps Christ took to overcome dread, confusion, deep hurt, betrayal and anger not only for his experience of abuse – which culminated in his death on the cross and new life in the Resurrection – but for your abuse as well. You can choose to walk The Way with him, learn his ways, transform your pain and suffering into a new life, the life God has always wanted for you but that the sins of another has disfigured in countless ways.

The Way Women’s Retreat

April 26 – 28, 2024

Please register by contacting Deborah McDonald at [email protected].

Retreat Leaders:

Jeannine Marino, the archdiocese’s Secretary of Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns, holds a Doctorate in Canon Law from Catholic University of America and has worked at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle as the Director of Religious Education. She worked for 10 years at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as staff to the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance.

Pamela Harris is the Assistant Secretary of Pastoral Ministry & Social Concerns for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. In her role as Assistant Secretary Pamela, or Pam, oversees the Discipleship Team of Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns. The ministries include Young Adult and Campus Ministry, CYO, and Family Life. She is a native of Richmond, VA. Pam began her ministerial work with the Diocese of Richmond, VA, November 17, 2008. She relocated to Columbus, OH to work for the Diocese of Columbus as Director of Ethnic Ministries. Pam is a member of St. Joseph-Largo Catholic Church. Her parish ministries include social justice, liturgy, RCIA, youth and young adult ministry. She is a member of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, Sr. Thea Bowman Court 364, Archdiocese of Washington Sisters in the Spirit, and she is a Dominican Sisters of Peace Associate. Pam has a Master of Arts in Theology from St. Leo University through the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute. As a LEMI graduate Pam is a certified Lay Ecclesial Minister for the Diocese of Richmond. Pam holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Strayer University.

Deborah A. McDonald, Coordinator, The Way Retreats. Former Assistant Secretary of Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns, holds a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work and is an Accredited Certified Social Worker. Debbie has served in parish and archdiocesan ministry since 1978. She has worked as the Executive Director of Catholic Youth Organization Inc./Office of Youth Ministry, parish coordinator of youth ministry, diocesan retreat assistant, and as adjunct faculty for the Center for Ministry Development teaching Pastoral Care.

Rebecca Mullan is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Maryland. Rebecca first studied psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and went on to complete her Master in Clinical Counseling at Johns Hopkins University. Rebecca has worked with various ages, populations, and clinical issues for over seven years; first with the Pro Bono Counseling Project in Baltimore Maryland and then providing parish counseling for the Archdiocese of Washington in Montgomery County. Rebecca has special training and certification in Play Therapy, pornography addiction, and Family Systems.

hands praying with rosary


  • Will I have to talk about the details of my abuse in a group setting?
    Answer: No. There will be times during the retreat where you have the opportunity to talk to others, but you are not required to share about your abuse. The retreat focuses on opportunities for prayer through scripture and the Passion of Christ, God’s original plan for you, Reconciliation, and Mass.
  • I am not a victim of clergy sexual abuse can I still come?
    Answer: Yes! This retreat is for anyone who has been abused in any way by anyone. You are not taking a spot from someone else who needs it … YOU need it …we are here for you.
  • Is there a fee for the retreat?
    Answer: No. There is no fee or cost associated with this opportunity.

To learn more or to register: please contact Deborah McDonald at [email protected].