The Heart Restored: A Retreat for the Wounded Healer

You Can't Give What You Don't Have

A priest has to "have it all together."  He is called to serve the people of God, take care of the duties of the parish and give his life as an offering.  Parishioners look up to him, naturally put him on a pedestal and seek his counsel.  He might be serving in a rural area, in charge of development with a day off being a rare occasion.  This conceptualization may not be the rule, but if a few of these dynamics are tugging at your heart, burn out could easily set in.

The circumstances described combined with loneliness can lead to unhealthy coping, unwanted sexual behaviors and a host of process addictions, i.e. work, money, gambling, etc.  The internet is readily accessible with an X-rated movie theater in our pockets and a priest is not immune to the magnetism it has.  "But a priest isn't supposed to have these problems!"  This isn't true and you are worth fighting for.   A priest gives hope to his people and reminds the world that we are called to something deeper which he embodies with an indelible mark on his soul: sonship in the Father. 

In the midst of the recent challenges the Church has faced, it is hard for a priest to find the courage to seek help at this time.  This intensive looks to break the stigma that a priest can't or shouldn't find support.  The Wounded Healer Workshop is a 12 day intensive for priests.  Through psychoeducation, experiential exercises, group work, Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Adoration and brother priests, this workshop is a step towards healing your priesthood and the Church.  Fundamental principles of client confidentiality are essential and your privacy will be protected by the group leaders and brother priests.  The process will create space for a healing environment and empower you to become a wounded healer for the Church. 

The education and small group discussion are led by top Catholic and Christian experts including Dr. Todd Bowman, Associate Professor of Counseling at Indiana Wesleyan University and adjunct faculty for the SATP at Mid America Nazarene University, and Fr. Sean Kilcawley, international speaker on Theology of the Body and Director of the Office of Family Life at the Diocese of Lincoln, NE.


This intensive is for Catholic Priests who are struggling with chastity.

Unchaste behavior includes, but is not limited to, unwanted sexual behavior, pornography usage and sexual addiction, whatever the continuum may be. Fetish behaviors, fantasy life and masturbation might be included along this continuum. A few traits for a self assessment include the following: an increase in usage or acting out behaviors, finding yourself thinking about sex and having trouble stopping, watching pornography but conflicted with the internal battle of wanting to turn it off or finding yourself in the midst of losing your priesthood. If these symptoms resonate, this workshop is for you.

Within a confidential, supportive group environment, the small group leaders and the men in the group provide a safe environment within which to work through these issues, heal and find freedom.

The workshop includes group work and psychoeducation among other therapeutic and spiritual healing activities. A glimpse of the content includes the following topics:

  • Spirituality and Addiction
  • Anthropological Order
  • Beatitudes and 12 Steps
  • Addiction and Attachment Theory
  • Neurobiology
  • Work, Money, Spending and other Process Addictions
  • Recovery Plan
  • Understanding Family Systems
  • Church Sculpting

The workshop is located in Kansas City, KS at the Sanctuary of Hope. The fee includes room and board for the 12 days, 11 nights. If you are flying into KCI, please make sure your flight arrives by late morning on Monday so you can be at the start of the retreat by 1pm. You can use Uber or a taxi for transportation to the retreat house, which is only about 20 miles from the airport. You can spend the night at Sanctuary of Hope for an extra fee of $50, if need be. As for your flight home, since the workshop ends at 1pm Friday, please schedule your flight for after 4pm. You also have the option to stay the night on Friday for the fee of $50.

The fee for the 12 day intensive is $5000. This includes room and board as well as snacks and all the materials. After you register, Michael Ciaccio will be in touch to obtain the information needed for payment or to send the invoice to, i.e. Diocese, address, etc.

Media devices will be limited during the workshop. They will be collected and safely stored during the day and returned in the evenings. We strongly recommend that you limit contact these evening hours to urgent circumstances. The purpose of this is so you can focus on your healing, your personal circumstances and God.

Bring clothes for the 12 days days, personal toiletries, medicine and any other essentials you’ll need. There is a laundry facility located in the retreat house if needed. Towels and wash cloths are available. The dress code is casual. Bring a Bible, a journal, or personal devotional materials if you would like. We’ll provide the Wounded Healer workbook, paper and pen.

Register Priest Intensive


June Workshop is cancelled due to COVID - 19

Future dates TBA



Sanctuary of Hope
2601 Ridge Ave.
Kansas City, KS 66102