Michael D. Hoffman serves in friendship and on the board of Spirit Fire. He is a co-founder and co-editor of The Healing Voices Magazine and recently launched a column, “Seeds of Hope,” which features success stories on the grassroots level of Catholic healing in the United States and around the world.
To know Mike is to know he is devoted to advancing the cause of child protection within and beyond the Catholic Church. He explains, “I believe our efforts, as survivors, help victims and their families heal, and I pray child-protection measures will, in some way, strengthen us all as people of faith who are striving to do what is right for children, victims and the world.”
Mike serves as the President of the Board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse – Illinois, a nonprofit organization which provides key leadership for child abuse prevention across the state of Illinois (USA) through prevention education and public awareness, community outreach, public policy advocacy, and promotion of effective prevention programs.
In 2006, Mike’s world changed when a news report named the priest who was his abuser, triggering his memories of abuse over a period of four years. That began his own process of reporting abuse and taking practical steps to move through the pain toward healing.
As part of his own process of healing and helping others heal, Mike has served on the Hope and Healing Committee of the Archdiocese of Chicago. This group is comprised of clergy abuse survivors, priests and staff from the Archdiocese who reach out to victims/survivors and their family members as an aid to healing from the pain.
Mike was a founding member of committee of clergy-abuse survivors, diocesan priests and staff from the Chicago Office for the Protection of Children and Youth who, together, created and maintain The Healing Garden, which is “intended to be a place that invites reconciliation, hope and healing, not only for survivors and their families, but also for the larger Catholic Church.” During Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month a service is hosted in the garden annually.
Mike chronicled his experience of taking steps to report having been abused by priests as a child in his book Acts of Recovery: The Story of One Man’s Ongoing Healing from Sexual Abuse by a Priest. This small but powerful book is often shared with survivors at the beginning of their reporting process in many different dioceses.
Mike’s increased involvement in the Church following his reporting process reflects his belief both that faith is a great gift adults can give children, and that his own experience of being abused for four years as a little boy can serve others by helping to keep children safe in the Church and in society at large.
As co-founder and co-editor of The Healing Voices Magazine, Mike focuses on child protection as part of survivor healing, and he also focuses on coming to terms with the effects of abuse on his life and on the lives of his family members. He wishes to help others find their voice and discover the depth of their faith. Mike believes that together, if we can find our voices and express ourselves, we will be able to reclaim what was lost to the truth of the abuse.
Mike shares his compelling story of recovery: Why didn’t he share sooner? What was his healing process like?
Acts of Recovery The Story of One Man’s On-Going Healing from Sexual Abuse by a Priest, by Michael D. Hoffman
From revealing his “secret” to family, through reporting to a Review Board and taking unique steps to lay the past to rest, Mike recounts the actions he took to find his own separate peace.
NEW! Mike’s New Kit for Parishes to Hold Child Abuse Prevention Events may be found here.
Mike’s Articles in Healing Voices. > Find List Here.
Mike’s posts as a Guest Blogger on Chicago Blog, hosted by the Archdiocese of Chicago may be found here.
Mike in the media: featured in the Chicago Tribune, in an article titled, “Former Altar Boy Sexually Abused by Priest Tells Why He Raised His Kids in the Catholic Church,” which may be read here.
Mike remains a practicing Catholic. He is a devoted husband and father to two teenage children. For many years he has volunteered his time at his local parish, St. Mary of the Woods, where he serves on the Liturgy Committee and as a lector. He is the past President of the school Athletic Board.