Dear St. Catherine Parish Family,
One of the great privileges of being a priest is that you have the opportunity to minister to individuals and to families in some of their most difficult moments. I often encounter people who are suffering greatly as a result of physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual illness, and they are seeking assistance from God to help them to endure their struggles and to find healing and strength. Some of the more common difficulties that people may have involve struggles in their marriages or family life, depression and anxiety, grief and despair, or struggles with drugs, alcohol, or sexual addiction.
If you struggle with any of these things or any other serious difficulties, as a priest, I want to assure you, first of all, that the Lord sees your struggles, and He wants to help you. Most importantly, He loves you unconditionally, and He is especially close to you in your times of struggle. Often times, when I have ministered to people in times of significant suffering, I have witnessed how simply learning how to turn to the Lord in prayer and rely on His grace and trust in His love does wonders for their lives. I have also seen specifically how the power of the sacrament of Confession has truly transformed and healed those struggling with certain sinful behaviors. As is often the case, however, many people are reluctant to come to see their priests or others they know to open up about their struggles out of fear of embarrassment or judgment. Although, I certainly understand this fear, please know that I and our other clergy are always available to help you in any way we can. And for those who have come to see me, please know that I never judge you, and I continue to pray for you on a daily basis.
In some cases, it may be that a person requires the expertise of a medical professional or counselor, especially for issues related to addiction. Consequently, I have decided to invite a therapist from Holy Family Counseling to hold regular appointments at St. Catherine's. If you are not familiar with Holy Family Counseling, they are a very faithful group of Catholic therapists who have broad expertise, particularly in areas of marriage and family therapy, and addiction counseling. You can find out more about them at www.holyfamilycounselingcenter.com. They currently have an office in Marietta, and beginning September 11th, we will have a therapist named Kaitlin Byrne available onsite at St. Catherine’s for appointments on Mondays. You can schedule an appointment with Kaitlin through the Holy Family Counseling Center website.
Please know, once again, that I and our other clergy are always available to assist you in any way we can, and do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do to help you. I pray that our Lord would give strength and healing to all those who are suffering, and that he might lead you to seek the assistance you need to truly find health in body and spirit.