NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS___________________________________________________________________________
MOVING FORWARD IN HOPE
THE CHICAGO ARCHDIOCESAN COMMISSION ON MENTAL ILLNESS INVITES YOU TO AN EVENING OF PRAYER, CONNECTION AND HOPE
JOIN US ON TUESDAY APRIL 27th FROM 7:00-8:00 P.M.
The Chicago Archdiocesan Commission on Mental Illness is pleased to offer Moving Forward in Hope, a monthly series of evening prayer, connection, and hope. Our goal is to create a safe place for those living with or those caring for someone with mental health concerns to come together to pray and share with one another. We know connection is paramount to mental health and well-being. These virtual meetings wilL be held on the fourth Tuesday of each month. For the registration link send an email to Deacon Tom Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org___________________________________________________________________________
MAY !5TH IS THE FEAST DAY OF ST DYMPHNA - PATRON SAINT OF PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES
NOW ON LINE - ANNUAL MASS SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, FAMILIES, FRIENDS, AND MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY CARDINAL CUPICH
On October 25th, 2:00 pm, the Archdiocesan Commission and Faith and Fellowship hosted The Annual Mass for Mental Illness Awareness. In these unprecedented times, mental health is in the forefront of our concerns. We know our faith is a key part of our being well. Whether you are experiencing mental health conditions for the first time or for a long time, the annual mass is a time for all to pray together and share our similar journeys.
The mass is online now and as an opportunity to pray with and for others. Click on the link to see the Cardinal's welcome and the mass
For more information contact: Deacon Tom Lambert at email@example.com
Archdiocese of Chicago Commission on Mental Illness and Faith & Fellowship___________________________________________________________________________
NOW ON LINE - OCTOBER 5 PRESENTATION AT MARY SEAT OF WISDOM PARISH IN PARK RIDGE
Mary Seat of Wisdom Parish in Park Ridge hosted an evening on supporting people with mental illness and their families. Speakers presented on Faith and mental illness, family members, person with a mental illness, what spiritual support, and support programs. Click on the link to see the presentation___________________________________________________________________________
Schedule a ZOOM Presentation For Your Parish on Pastoral Accompaniment for People with a mental Illness and their Families
Contact Deacon Tom Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for Reducing Anxiety During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Ground yourself in science. Science-based facts will ground you in a reality where truth, hope, and interventions exist. Resist sensational news or social media, where facts are often blurred or exaggerated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information and frequent updates.
Limit your consumption of the news. A near-constant stream of news reports can cause anyone to feel anxious or distressed. Instead, seek CDC updates and practical guidelines at specific times during the day.
Isolate but stay connected to others. Protect yourself and others by wearing a mask, and social distancing. Make sure to keep your attachments to friends, family, and loved ones by calling, texting, using FaceTime, Zoom, Skype or other social media.
Keep your emotional support system in place. Maintain familiar routines in daily life as much as possible; Routines and schedules reduce stress and anxiety in our lives. Keep your list of support people or tools at your fingertips so you can draw on them easily if needed.
Think locally, not globally. Focus on what is happening in your local community and what you can do to keep yourself and neigh-bors healthy and safe. A sense of community is vital for moving through traumatic situations and builds resiliency in children and adults.
Practice self-care and make sure others do too. Be mindful about eating well, keeping a healthy sleep cycle, exercising, and other soothing self-care behaviors. Make sure to avoid using alcohol or drugs to cope with stress. And limit caffeine as it heightens anxiety and irritability.
Fight helplessness by finding purpose. The uncertainty that COVID-19 brings can leave many of us feeling unspeakably helpless. Finding purpose can alleviate restlessness and anxiety. Choose things you can control, be it shifting negative thoughts into positive ones, deciding what to cook for lunch, reading a good book, picking what movie you and the kids will watch, or other activities you have power over.
Let your faith be a beacon of hope. In addition to prayer and watching online daily Mass, scripture mantras, that is, repetitive words from scripture can be helpful to ease moments of anxiety. For example - Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 - I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 There are excellent spiritual resources online that you can tap into.___________________________________________________________________________
Chicago Catholic Interview on ways of coping during Covet 19
Chicago Catholic did an interview with Deacon Tom Lambert on ways of coping during this period of "sheltering in place." To view the article click on: Chicago Catholic Magazine Interview___________________________________________________________________________
A GOSPEL REFLECTION FOR OUR TIMES - WEREN'T OUR HEARTS BURNING
A short reflection on the Gospel of the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24 vs 13-35)
I can relate!
The two disciples were dealing with confusion and an unknown future. They had just witnessed Jesus being crucified. They did not seem to be able to make sense of the things they heard about Jesus being alive. Undoubtedly they were experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions. So much so that they do not even recognize Jesus when He appears before them.
As the story unfolds, Jesus helps them work through their anxieties. He reassures them by taking them back to the basics of their belief. He walks them through the Old Testament scriptures, patiently going through all that the prophets spoke. Then in the evening, He shares a meal with them. In the breaking of the bread their eyes are opened and they recognize him. They say - were not our hearts burning within us as He spoke the scriptures.
A couple of things speak to me about this story and our faith, especially now as we go through dealing with the pandemic, social unrest, and face the uncertainty of the future. When we have doubts, it is good to go back to the basics. Scripture tells us the story of salvation. How God is always with us through thick and thin. That is a fundamental message of the bible. Another take away from this story is how long it took for the two disciples to recognize Jesus and how patient Jesus was with them. It was not an instant understanding. They had to work through the emotions that clouded their thinking. All the while, Jesus patiently accompanied them like a true friend. The ultimate point of understanding came in the Eucharistic meal, something still available to us even if now a spiritual communion. We are still participating in the gift God gives to us.
Lastly, they were not alone. The two disciples had each other and Jesus as do you and I. How important a community and relationships are for each of us. It is so important to stay in touch with each other and support one another. If not inperson then a phone call, an email, even a written letter or card can mean so much. We do not have all the answers but we do have each other.
My prayer is that God may continue to touch our hearts, through our prayer and through our relationships.
Deacon Tom___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
US Catholic Magazine Interview on Accompanying People with a Mental Illness
US Catholic Magazine did an interview with Deacon Tom Lambert regarding acccompaning people with mental illness and their families. To view the article click on: US Catholic Magazine Interview on Accompanying People with a Mental Illness___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
The California Bishops Conference 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___________________________________________________________________________
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 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