Ide Maria Helander, Vice-Chair of Suoma Sami Nuorat, describes her experience at a Healing of Memories workshop and how the methods she learned can help her people.

In communities victimized by war everyone has been wounded by the conflict.  Antti Pentikainen who works with the UN to reach out to tribal and religious groups have found our methods vital in bringing about healing and reconciliation.

"I had an opportunity to seek help and I had an opportunity to surrender and when I did I found healing of memories."

--David Campbell, Gulf War Veteran



Fr. Michael Lapsley’s Memoir,
Redeeming the Past: My Journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer
Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu



Tabak, L. (2011). A thematic analysis of participant experience in the healing of memories collective, subclinical trauma treatment Psy.D dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text (Publication No. AAT 3475512).

Niuodusenga, A., & Karakashian, S. (2009). Programme evaluation of Healing of Memories workshops. [Research report written for the Institute for Healing of Memories]. Retrieved from

Nathan, C. (2009). Forgiveness as it relates to personal and social trauma: The impact of an intensive Healing of Memories workshop (Psy.D. dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text (Publication No. AAT 3376867).

Kayser, U. (2000). Creating a space for encounter and remembrance: The healing of memories process. [Research report written for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and the Institute for Healing of Memories].
Retrieved from


Apartheid Regime Bomb Victim Father Michael Lapsley on Using Forgiveness to Heal From Tragedy

April 23, 2013

Father Michael Lapsley is a former South African anti-apartheid activist who has turned his personal tragedy into a clarion call for peace and forgiveness. In 1990, three months after the release of Nelson Mandela, the ruling de Klerk government sent Father Lapsley a parcel containing two religious magazines. Inside one of them was a highly…

A priest from South Africa who was maimed by a bomb in Boston reaches out to Americans about forgiveness

April 20, 2013

Hours after bombs exploded during the final stages of the Boston marathon Father Michael Lapsley, priest, anti-apartheid fighter and a bomb victim ­himself, spoke to an audience in Washington, DC, about healing. He had not planned it that way. The event was to launch his book, Redeeming the Past: My Journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer.…

Launch of Redeeming the Past in Washington, DC hosted by the South African Embassy

April 20, 2013

Image Gallery

Shared Interest Honors Harry Belafonte, Fr. Micheal Lapsley and Freshly Ground

April 19, 2013

On Monday 18th March, Shared Interest held their annual Gala to honor, King of Calypso, Harry Belafonte, South African Social Justice Activist, Fr. Micheal Lapsley and SA pop group Freshly Ground.

Pain Knows No Boundaries: An Interfaith Journey of Healing and Hope

March 1, 2013

Hosted by Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at Saint John’s University, Collegeville Minnesota Tuesday October 2, 2012 & Thursday, October 4th 2012 at 7:30 p.m. with responders from the Jewish and Muslim communities for discussion Bigelow Chapel, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities by: Fr Michael Lapsley, SSM, Institute for Healing of Memories…

Courageous Citizenship, Havel Symposium 2012 – Minnesota, USA Tuesday October 9

March 1, 2013

by: Fr Michael Lapsley SSM, Director of the Institute for Healing of Memories Good day, friends. It is an honor to have been invited to give the Havel lecture for 2012. I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of the distinguished individuals who have preceded me, particularly the first lecturer for whom the series…

Fall 2012 New York Events

November 8, 2012

Unfortunately Hurricane Sandy forced cancellation of many of our events that were scheduled to be held in New York this fall. These included Fr. Michael’s book presentation at the Schomburg Center of the New York Public Library, and a day long Healing of Memories Conference sponsored by the Psychotherapy and Spirituality Institute. We hope to…

Fall 2012 in Denver – Fr. Michael spoke to 300 students at St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood

October 23, 2012

On October 23, Fr. Michael spoke to 300 students at St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood, Colorado, a Catholic girls high school run by the Sisters of Loreto. Fr. Michael talked with the students about how his experience in the antiapartheid struggle, his bombing, and his healing work as chaplain of Cape Town’s trauma treatment center…

Two Weeks in Minnesota

October 15, 2012

Father Michael came to Minnesota (September 28 – October 15). Soon after arriving he and his assistant Madoda Gcwadi led a workshop for 25 participants which was the largest one we have held in Minnesota thus far. A collaborative effort between United Theological Seminary and the Healing of Memories Working Group, it was a remarkably…

Fr. Michael Book Launch, Minnesota 13 October 2012

October 13, 2012

Fr. Lapsley Speaking at Book Launch