Parish Domestic Violence Response Teams to meet Feb. 25

COLUMBIA — A statewide meeting of Parish Domestic Violence Teams will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 25 at Our Lady of the Hills Church.

The meeting will include discussion of the processes for working with parish secretarial staff, who play a vital role in responding to victims’ calls; parish team development; creating brochures; energizing the teams; planning and scheduling with the pastors about how they can share the message about dealing with domestic violence; and a refresher on the practicalities of an effective faith response. A victim of domestic violence will also share her story at the meeting.

In a press release sent to The Miscellany, Sister Margie Hosch, regional coordinator of the Piedmont Deanery Catholic Charities, said that more than 100 First Responders have been invited to attend.

First Responders are people who have been trained to develop parish domestic violence teams, respond to parish calls from victims, educate parish groups, act as advocates for victims, raise awareness of domestic violence through parish mediums, and set up a procedure for answering domestic violence calls.

“The Catholic Church is becoming known as the faith denomination that has taken the most active advocacy role in pursuing a faith response to the alarming issue of domestic violence in their churches throughout the diocese,” Sister Margie said.

She also credited Bishop Robert J. Baker for allowing this issue to be presented to Catholic churches in South Carolina.

The group has supplied manuals to clergy and parishioners that have already provided information and necessary procedures to Catholic churches and other faith denominations.

“It is through the faithful and dedicated trained First Responders … that the Catholic Church is becoming a forerunner in taking an active stance in addressing this alarming and specific Respect Life issue facing us today,” Sister Margie said. “The hope of all members of Parish Domestic Violence Teams is that our love will reflect a blessing for all victims whose lives are not respected with the dignity bestowed upon everyone by our loving Creator.”

For more information

Contact Sister Margie Hosch at (864) 242-2233 or