Towards Peace Spiritual Support Service

If we don’t transform our hurts, we project them onto a cycle of negativity                                       (Daniel O’Leary)

Towards Peace is a service offering spiritual support for anybody who has been abused, physically emotionally, sexually, spiritually, in a religious/ church environment. It is a pathway, a safe space where people who have been hurt can connect with their own spirituality, their sense of God and the Sacred, their own journey towards peace.  Funded by AMRI and the IEC the service is free and is also available to the families of those who have been affected.

Research shows that abuse by members of the Church has a major impact on a person’s spiritual well-being. Towards Peace is a response to a request from a number of survivors, who despite having received counselling, are still struggling at some deeper level of themselves. These men and women speak of a loss of faith and a sense of rejection by a Church who betrayed them. They speak of their feelings of darkness, of a deep mistrust and suspicion of that Church which resulted for many, in the loss of a spiritual home. In many cases they speak of a sense of abandonment by God.

In Towards Peace, support is provided to survivors through conversations with a spiritual director/companion, an ‘anam cara’ or soul friend who endeavours to help each person listen to their own conversations with God – whomever or however they perceive that to be – ever respectful that each person’s individual spiritual journey is his or her own.

This is a shared experience. There is no sense of the spiritual companion bestowing knowledge or answers, or attempting to bring the survivor back to Church; rather it is a journeying together, unpacking the hurts and the wounds that may have lain dormant for years. There is no pre- determined road map on this journey. Each person travels at their own unique individual pace.

The Towards Peace panel of spiritual companions is made up of men and women, lay people religious and clergy. Based countrywide they are fully trained, qualified and experienced. They are committed to ongoing specialised training and regular professional supervision. All Towards Peace spiritual companions are members of AISGA (All Ireland Spiritual Guide Association) and abide by the AISGA Code of Ethics.



The numbers who access the service are relatively small but for those who do engage feedback has for the most part been very positive.  There is no doubt that over time survivors of abuse can and do rediscover their spirituality and transform the spiritual vacuum left in the aftermath of such hurt.

Towards Peace is very grateful for the continued support from AMRI and the IEC.


For further information contact:

Una Allen:  Coordinator

Towards Peace, Columba Centre, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare

00353 (0) 867710533