Many people who want to make a major life change will join a support group. Whether it’s Weight Watchers, Alcoholics Anonymous, or couples counseling, the group dynamic – being with people who face the same issues – can make that change more successful.
Here in Columbus, women who have completed the two-year program at CATCH (Changing Actions To Change Habits) Court, a therapeutic justice program for trafficked women, often find themselves without that important moral support and group accountability. So to help those women continue their recovery, the Butterfly Group was born.
The women in the Butterfly Group meet twice a month. One meeting focuses on topics that promote their personal/spiritual growth. The other meeting is for socialization, fun and bonding.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace were honored to host the Butterfly Group, all women survivors of human trafficking,
for a weekend of support, healing, and pampering earlier in June.
The women met on Saturday, June 2, at the Martin de Porres Center, an outreach of the Dominican Sisters of Peace Outreach Center, and
spent the night enjoying a grown-up slumber party in a dorm at Ohio Dominican University. The event was organized by Sister Nadine Buchanan, OP, and April Thacker, a local woman who is a survivor of human trafficking.
The women who attended this event were treated to a day of pampering, including manicures, pedicures, facials, and hair styling, along with a picnic lunch. They also had a chance to express themselves through art projects, games and storytelling. Sisters from the Congregation joined the women, and many new friendships were created. Movies and catered Mexican food rounded out the first day of the weekend event.
Sunday began with breakfast, followed by a Healing Circle and Blessings lead by Sister Louis Mary Passeri, OP.
Sister Louis Mary reflected on healing, and on letting go of the past to create a better future. This concept was made real for each woman when Sister Louis Mary asked them to write something they wanted to leave behind on soluble paper and then stir it away in a bowl of water. This ceremony was very powerful for all of the women involved.
Each woman left refreshed and renewed, and with gifts from the Dominican Sisters of Peace. They left gifts as well – gifts of grace and love for the Sisters who walked beside them on this special weekend.