The Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers was born out of a need for education, resources, and servant laymen and women to respond to mental health crises. On today’s show, Jim Friend interviews the organization’s President, Deacon Ed Shoener of the Diocese of Scranton. Deacon Ed will share that he was inspired to join with other dedicated people to establish the Association after his daughter Katie died by suicide in 2016 after a long battle with bipolar disorder. The response to his daughter’s obituary made it clear to Deacon Shoener that there is a real need for mental health ministry in the Church. Together with the ministry’s chaplain, Bishop John Dolan of the Diocese of San Diego, Catholic MHM has guided parishes through the process of creating a mental health ministry to provide spiritual support for those struggling with mental health issues, for their families, and for the entire parish community.
As his prayer intention for the month of November, Pope Francis called on the Catholic Church to “pray that people who suffer from depression or burnout will find support and a light that opens them up to life.” The Holy Father requested these prayers in a video via the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, made with the guidance and support of the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers (Catholic MHM).
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