IFI News

Mom’s Group at St. Dennis Parish Learns About Forgiveness

“Discovering the gift of forgiveness can change your life and the lives of others around you,” according to Peli Galiti, Ph.D., a Program Manager for the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI). “That’s why we set up forgiveness courses for adults at local parishes this past summer.”

St. Dennis Mom's Group

St. Dennis Mom’s Group

One of those multi-session courses was held at St. Dennis Parish on Madison’s east side as part of an ongoing “Mom’s Group”  that meets weekly to socialize and explore religious topics. That program is organized by Sister Mary Therese Dolan, O.P., a Sinsinawa Dominican nun who heads up the parish’s Faith Formation, RCIA, RCIC, and Pastoral Ministry.

“The main goal of the sessions is to introduce the basic concept of forgiveness,” said Galiti who taught the forgiveness sessions. “Participants learn what forgiveness is and is not, what the major foundational principals involved in forgiving another person are, and how they can help their children understand, appreciate, and practice forgiveness.”

With that new knowledge, Galiti says, mothers can help their families create a home environment based on unconditional love, Mom's Group 2inherent worth, respect, compassion and joy.Much of what is discussed at the adult sessions is also being taught to students who attend St. Dennis School. St. Dennis is one of nine Madison-area Catholic schools that uses the Forgiveness Education Program developed by Dr. Robert Enright, founder of the IFI.

The program includes Curriculum Guides for teachers at each grade level that employ popular childrens’ story books like those of Dr. Seuss to help students learn forgiveness concepts. St Dennis Principal Matt Beisser has had the forgiveness program taught at each grade level from 4K through eighth since he became principal more than 7 years ago.

To learn more about the IFI’s Forgiveness Curriculum Guides:

A) Read the first three chapters of the Grade 1 Curriculum Guide.

B) Read about the Five Basic Components of Forgiveness – inherent worth, moral love, kindness, respect and generosity.

C) Read A Summary of Each Forgiveness Curriculum Guide from pre-kindergarten through high school.

D) Visit the Curriculum Guides Section of the IFI online store.

If you have questions about the IFI’s Forgiveness Education Program that is now being taught in schools around the world, or if you are interested in starting an adult Forgiveness Education Course at your school or place of worship, contact: director@internationalforgiveness.com.

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Dr. Enright Forgiveness Workshop Now Online

NOTE: A videotaped recording of a webinar that Dr. Enright presented to members of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) in partnership with the Canadian Society for Spirituality and Social Work (CSSSW) is now available for viewing online. Here are the details:

Forgiveness: A Pathway to Emotional Healing

Based on his 25-years of peer-reviewed, empirical scientific research, Dr. Robert Enright will help you discover and learn a step-by-step pathway to forgiveness.  This 4-hour online workshop will enable you to develop confidence in your forgiveness skills and learn how you can bring forgiveness to your family, school, work place and community for better emotional health.

“Forgiveness is a process, freely chosen, in which you willingly reduce resentment through some hard work and Joyoffer goodness of some kind toward the one who hurt you,” according to workshop presenter Dr. Enright. “This gives you a chance to live a life of love, compassion and joy.”

Dr. Enright explains during this workshop how you can learn and use that process to help yourself and others. He explains, for example that:

• Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation, forgetting, excusing or condoning.

• Forgiveness does not get rid of the injustice but the effects of the injustice.

• Forgiveness cuts across many different philosophies and religions.

• The benefits of forgiveness are significant: scientific analyses demonstrates that considerable emotional, relational, and even physical health benefits result from forgiving.

• The roadmap to forgiveness is the 20-Step Process Model of Forgiving developed by Dr. Enright.

• Once you’ve learned the forgiveness process, you can help create The Forgiving Community–bringing forgiveness to your family, your church, your clients and your community.

The content of this workshop will not only teach you about forgiveness but it also emphasizes the historical and current religious components of forgiveness.

NACSW (provider #1078) is approved as a provider for social work  sign up now 2continuing education by The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Social Workers are eligible for 4.0 continuing education clock hour(s) for completing this training.

Registration fee for this online workshop is $60 for NACSW and CSSSW members; $75 for non-members. Watch a video clip of the first six minutes of the workshop. Get all the details at the NACSW Online Continuing Education website.

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Dr. Enright’s Forgiveness Education Message Resonates with the United Nations

Just three weeks after International Forgiveness Institute co-founder Dr. Robert Enright laid the foundation for “forgiveness as a peace tool” at a 2-day work session hosted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in New York City, a United Nations Peace Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, has labeled “justice and forgiveness” as essential tools in peace-building.

Dr. Enright, a University of Wisconsin educational psychology professor, UN Heartwas named to serve on an international “Expert Group” that met Sept. 29-30 to begin developing intervention models aimed at ending gender-based violence around the world. Gender-based violence is compounded in countries experiencing conflict and is negatively impacting broader peace initiatives in those countries.

The United Nations Peace Conference in Geneva, held on United Nations Day (Oct. 24), developed “five tools as the modus operandi of peace building: interfaith dialogue, justice and forgiveness, education (especially to foster intercultural understanding), forming institutions to promote peace, and for peace speech to replace the hate speech that is prevalent, especially in social media.”

One of the Geneva conference speakers, Professor Thomas Michel of Georgetown University (Washington, DC), emphasized the importance of justice and forgiveness as tools to achieve peace. He said one is not possible without the other and that without serving justice no forgiveness should be expected from the victims of oppressors. According to Michel, the way to make people forgive their oppressors is to increase dialogue among groups with animosity against each other.

UN Peace ConferenceAlthough Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen was unable to be at the Geneva conference that was attended by more than 800 participants from 50 countries, he sent a message that was read by German historian and author Jochen Thies. In his message, Gulen underlined the importance of investing in human beings while stating that “building peace means building peace-loving men and women.”

“That is exactly what our Forgiveness Education Program is designed to accomplish,” according to Dr. Enright. ”It is our hope that the same forgiveness program we have been operating in Northern Ireland for the past 12 years; in Liberia, West Africa for 3 years; and the one we just recently started in Israel-Palestine after 3 years of groundwork there, will soon be employed around the world to address violence and peace issues.”

“If students are introduced at age 4 to the inherent (built-in) worth of all people, which we do in our programs, would the amount of violence go down, perhaps dramatically, and would that increase the likelihood of peace?” Dr. Enright asks. “The world needs forgiveness education.”

Read more: http://www.todayszaman.com/national_un-peace-conference-renews-commitment-against-extremism-of-all-kinds_362573.html

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Belfast forgiveness experiment should be expanded. . .

“Teaching the art and power of forgiveness to children may be both the best and the fastest way to positively change our world. I believe thethe-troubles5[1] Belfast experiment should be expanded to first grade classes in every elementary school in the world. The results speak for themselves, as violent crime in Belfast has fallen dramatically in the past ten years.

“Forgiveness has the potential to transform our communities that have not known peace for decades and reshape our world.”

Patrick Wells, successful businessman turned film producer, talking about Dr. Enright’s Forgiveness Education work in Belfast schools over the past 10 years.

Read the full article
: “Embracing Forgiveness Education to Reshape Our World” from rsn – reader supported news.

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Dr. Enright Works with UN on Fighting Gender-Based Violence

University of Wisconsin educational psychology professor Dr. Robert Enright will speak at the United Nations next month and serve on an international “Expert Group” that will develop intervention models aimed at ending gender-based violence around the world.

The Expert Group, which includes participants from six UN Flagscountries around the world, will meet in New York on September 29-30. That initial 2-day work session is being hosted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  The UNFPA is the lead UN agency for “delivering a world with expanded possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy and productive lives.”

Globally, according to the UNFPA, 1 in 3 women face gender-based violence, usually at the hands of someone she knows. Furthermore, 1 in 4 women, including adolescent girls, have been subjected to intimate partner or non-partner sexual violence. Those risks of violence are compounded in countries experiencing conflict and disasters.

                                                            U.S. Domestic Violence Statistics
    ► Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in  the United States.1
    ► A woman is beaten every 15 seconds in the United States.2
    ► Every day, 4 women die as a result of abuse.2
    ► Every day, 3 children die as a result of abuse.2
    ► From 1-4 million women are battered each year by their  husbands or live-in partners.2
    ► Family violence costs the nation from $5 to $10 billion in  medical expenses, police
          and court costs, shelters and foster care, absenteeism and loss of productivity.3
    ► Domestic violence is a major contributing factor to other problems: child abuse,
         drug & alcohol abuse, job loss, homelessness, and attempted suicide.4

        1  U.S. Attorney General
        2  U.S. Department of Justice
        3 American Medical Association
        4 Office for Victims of Crime

 “There have been years of effort and advocacy by many individuals and organizations to address these sad statistics,” Dr. Enright says. “Yet there is still a tremendous need to provide support programs toward psychological healing.  Forgiveness therapy is one proven way of restoring psychological health following such trauma.”

UNFPA BannerDr. Enright said the UNFPA has established three main objectives for the Expert Group Meeting:
1) To provide an update on state-of-the-art integrative approaches to address the trauma and post-trauma caused by gender-based  violence;
2) To identify humanistic integrative intervention models to help victims and survivors of gender-based violence; and,
3) To develop a strategy and timetable for implementation.

The intervention model that Dr. Enright and the Expert Group come up with in New York will be piloted in three selected areas where gender-based violence is prevalent: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, and Israel/Palestine. Funding will be provided by the United Nations.

UN Heart“I’m delighted that one of the leading UN agencies has recognized the importance of our forgiveness research at UW-Madison and the development of intervention models like our Forgiveness Education Program,” Dr. Enright said of the upcoming meeting.

“That research has already demonstrated that forgiveness therapy can have a strong positive impact in dealing with trauma and post-trauma in both conflict and post-conflict situations,” he added.

Dr. Enright said he is hopeful that the forgiveness programs he has been operating in Northern Ireland for the past 12 years; in Liberia, West Africa for 3 years; and the one he just recently started in Israel-Palestine after 3 years of groundwork there, will soon be employed to address gender-based violence as well.

“If students are introduced at age 4 to the inherent (built-in) worth of all people, which we do in our Forgiveness Education Programs, would the amount of gender-based violence go down, perhaps dramatically?” Dr. Enright asks. “The world needs forgiveness education.”

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The Missing Piece to the Peace Puzzle