Parish Support for People with Mental Illness and Their Families
Five night series on how parishes can support people with mental illness and their families. These are open to everyone who is interested. Topics include: mental illness - what is it and who does it affect, a professional’s perspective, how do we minister to people with mental illness and their families, spirituality and mental illness, and where are the resources in our community.
At St Nicholas Parish, 806 Ridge Ave, Evanston - 5 Thursday nights starting September 27th from 7:00 to 8:30 in Oldershaw Hall. For more information contact Deacon Chris Murphy at email@example.com.
At St Mary of the Annunciation, 22333 W. Erhart Rd, Mundelein - 5 Monday nights starting October 8th from 7:00 to 8:30. For more information contact Deacon Al Sedivy at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Annual Mass Celebrating the Lives of People with Mental Illness, their Families, Friends, and Mental Health Professionals
The Annual Mass Celebrating the Lives of People with Mental Illness, their Families, Friends, and Mental Health Professionals will take place at St Gertrude Parish, 420 W. Granville, Chicago on October 14th at 2 PM. There will be a gathering in the hall after mass, light refreshments will be served. For more information contact Deacon Tom Lambert at email@example.com.
St Damian's Meeting October 11
An evening of mental health awareness featuring Sister Mary Frances Seeley,OFM. sister Mary Francis is the founder of the Upper Room - a suicide prevention hotline - and she has over 20 years experience of the effects of mental illness on individuals and families.___________________________________________________________________________
The California Bishops Conference issues a pastoral letter on outreach to people with Mental Illness and their families
The California Bishops Conference letter "Hope and Healing" is an excellent statement calling us as church to reach out to people with mental Illness and theur families. The Bishops state "As pastors and bishops, we understand that mental health is a critical component of wellbeing. Therefore, ministering to those who suffer from mental illness is an essential part of the pastoral care of the Church. This letter represents a statement by Catholic pastors, in consultation with those who suffer from mental illness, their families and loved ones, health care practitioners, and other caregivers. We acknowledge and thank our collaborators—patients, families, mental health professionals, and pastoral care workers—who assisted with this statement."
This is an excellent teaching tool for parish ministry. It is available on their website at www.cacatholic.org___________________________________________________________________________
New Website for Catholic Parish Resources
National Catholic Reporter Interview on Recovery Model and the Catholic Church
The National Catholic Reporter did an interview with Deacon Tom Lambert, from the Archdiocese of Chicago's Commission on Mental Illness, Jan Benton from the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, Archbishop Wenski from Miami and several mental health professionals about how the Church can be a key component in the recovery model for helping people with mental illnesses. To view the article click on: National Catholic Reporter article "Catholic church can aid treatment of mental illness"___________________________________________________________________________
OUTREACH TO FAMILIES OF THOSE WHO DIED BY SUICIDE
Catholic Social Teaching and Mental Illness
The following is written by Mair Moran who recently completed her training in pastoral ministry for the Diocese of Oakland, California. She tells a compelling story on why we as church are called to reach out to people with mental illness and their families from both a real life situation and our Catholic social teaching. Thank you Mair for sharing this with us.Catholic Social Teaching and Mental Illness by Mair Moran ____________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK ON MENTAL ILLNESS
The National Catholic Partnership on Disability sets forth the following framework as a guide to the Church's ministry for and with people with mental illness:
HUMAN LIFE IS SACRED. EVERY PERSON IS CREATED IN GOD'S IMAGE.
"One of the fundamental truths of Christian belief is that each human being is created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). The Catholic Church unconditionally embraces and faithfully proclaims this truth. It is the foundation for human dignity. Our commitment to this truth is measured through actions on behalf of the vulnerable and alienated in society, especially the poor and suffering."Ā¯ Affirming the Dignity of the Mentally Ill, Nebraska Bishop' s Conference, January 2005
SINCE ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, THEIR DIGNITY AND WORTH CANNOT BE DIMINISHED BY ANY CONDITION INCLUDING MENTAL ILLNESS.
"Whoever suffers from mental illness 'always'Ā bears God's image and likeness in themselves, as does every human being. In addition, they 'always' have the inalienable right not only to be considered as an image of God and therefore as a person, but also to be treated as such." Pope John Paul II, International Conference for Health Care Workers, on Illnesses of the Human Mind, November 30, 1996
SUFFERING IS REDEMPTIVE WHEN UNITED TO CHRIST.
"Those who share in the sufferings of Christ are also called, through their own sufferings, to share in (eschatological) glory." ¯ Salvifices Doloris, p22, Apostolic Letter from JohnPaul II, July 15, 1999
WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST.
"The great strength of community is the uniqueness and giftedness of each member. The more each person uses their gifts, the stronger the community and the richer the relationships in that community. People are liberated if and when they use their gifts. People are imprisoned when they are prohibited or not enabled to use their gifts. Parishes are communities with great potential to receive and nurture the giftedness of people with disability. The Christian community is one in which all people can claim an equal place and contribute through presence and action."¯ A pastoral document for parishes, Bishop's Committee For The Family And For Life, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 2004
"It is everyone's duty to make an active response; our actions must show that mental illness does not create insurmountable distances, nor prevent relations of true Christian charity with those who are its victims. Indeed it should inspire a particularly attentive attitude..." Pope John Paul II, International Conference for Health Care Workers, on Illnesses of the Human Mind, February 11, 1984
THE WORD OF GOD AFFIRMS THE DIGNITY OF ALL PEOPLE. INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE SHOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH THE CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF MENTAL ILLNESS.
"..To interpret sacred scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm and what God wanted to reveal to us by their words. In order to discover the sacred author's intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking, and narrating then current"Ā¯ Catechism of the Catholic Church #109, 110