As part of an ongoing commitment to provide healing support for victims of clergy sex abuse and the faith community as a whole, Laetitia Bridges has been named Director of Victim Assistance Ministry. This newly merged position in the Secretariat for the Protection of Children, Youth and Vulnerable Adults represents roles and responsibilities of a victim assistance coordinator and director of the office for accompaniment.
“These roles naturally align, given the relationship between providing help and services to individual victims and raising awareness in the parishes and broader community about the healing process and the important role we all play in healing. We are excited about having Ms. Bridges join us because she brings to the diocese a strong foundation in working with individuals who have been traumatized and also a wealth of education programs that we can offer to support our victims and their families,” said Jane Sarra, Secretary, Office for the Protection of Children, Youth and Vulnerable Adults.
Bridges has more than 30 years of experience in pastoral care and spiritual leadership. She has shown great commitment to creating caring faith communities dedicated to accompanying those in need or crisis. Since 2005, Bridges has provided spiritual and administrative leadership as the Pastoral Associate to the former St. Bernard Church. She is also a licensed professional counselor, a national certified counselor, a certified lay ecclesial minister and a master catechist.
“Every victim needs to know there is someone who believes in them and is advocating on their behalf. I know this will be my most challenging work and I am humbled that our Bishop and the Secretariat have faith in my abilities,” said Bridges.
Sr. Anna Marie Gaglia, CSJ, who has been victim assistance coordinator since October 2019, is now Clergy Support Coordinator and working in the clergy office with Fr. Howard Campbell, who recently joined the team as the new Episcopal Vicar for Clergy in July, 2020.
Laetitia Bridges’ start date with the diocese is September 1, 2020.