Nothing good happens in the dark.

But light brings about healing.

It has taken Shannon Age decades of prayer to find the courage, strength, and wisdom to share her story. It’s hard to talk about and traumatic to relive, but she knows the power of story… and the importance of hers.

Stories connect us. 

They change us. 

And together, they free us.

Sharing our stories—even the hardest ones to tell—help collect feathers on our wings, so we are poised to fly. Shannon continues to find her wings and hopes to help others find theirs too.

Our past is written but our future is not yet. Healing isn’t possible if we hide from it. Forgiveness isn’t available if we ignore it. Shannon knows this because she’s lived it, and she believes that there is hope, there is life, and there is freedom when you step out of the dark and into the light.

Shannon Age

Before she was old enough to count her age on one hand, Shannon began experiencing what no child ever should. A Catholic priest groomed her family—building a deep friendship with her parents—which, in turn, created an environment of unquestionable trust and unimaginable trauma. A person who was supposed to be a safe place quickly became quite the opposite. His position of trust within the family and within the church, along with the religious terms and symbolism he used during the multi-year sexual abuse, left deep emotional and spiritual scars that Shannon still is forced to face daily, decades later.

Wounds heal and scabs fall, but scars remain as a lasting reminder of our experiences. Shannon has given her scars purpose, not allowing her childhood trauma to define her. Instead, she has become a voice for the voiceless, sharing her vulnerable story of trauma and triumph while advocating for change within society and the Catholic Church. Even amidst challenge, Shannon believes in the power of forgiveness, hope in the seemingly impossible, and a loving and ever-present God who never fails.

Shannon Headshot
But When I Fly Mockup 4

But When I Fly is a heart-wrenching memoir of a survivor of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest. Each page, filled with vulnerability, explores Shannon’s journey toward forgiveness as she finds healing through her trauma, uncovers the beautiful gift of grace, and reclaims her faith despite her childhood experiences.

Shannon’s story exposes the complexities of coming to terms with abuse; grappling with honest and raw feelings of anger, shame, and despair; and finding the courage to move toward healing with compassion and grace. As Shannon developed the strength to address what happened to her—and the passion to bring to light such a dark and challenging time of her life—she highlights the importance of community by joining alongside other abuse survivors to hold the Church accountable and her vigor to continue advocating for policy changes for the future.

Shannon Speaks

Shannon has experienced firsthand the transformative power of sharing one’s story. Through her own journey towards healing and forgiveness, she knows that her voice can be used to inspire real change and empower meaningful action.

Shannon is a sought-after speaker as well as writes and facilitates women’s retreats.

Some of her most requested topics include:

  • We Are Holy: Women After God’s Own Heart
  • Putting the Pieces Back Together: Women Recovering from Abuse and Violence

Get information about upcoming events

Connect with Shannon to learn more about how you can bring her story to your group, organization, church or community.

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