ST Gregory

November 12, 2023

Mental Wellness Ministry in St. Gregory the Great

As Catholics, we are called to care for our own physical, spiritual, and mental health while supporting others in our parish family to do the same. To support this calling, parishes across the country are initiating Mental Wellness Ministries through the help of the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers. Our Saint Gregory the Great Family of Parishes will join this effort after agreeing to be a pilot parish for Mental Wellness Ministry in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The Archdiocesan Office of Persons with Disabilities and Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio will be aiding our parish family in this endeavor. Through this decision, we have made a commitment to become a faith community that both understands mental illness and can provide compassionate support to those living with mental health conditions. Being a licensed mental health counselor in the State of Ohio, I believe this ministry can assist individuals struggling with very difficult issues in their lives and help them to find the resources they need.

In our parish family, our Mental Health Ministry will consist of a Mental Wellness Team in each parish (IHM, Guardian Angels, and Saint John Fisher) that will work to provide a space where people struggling with mental health can share their experiences within the context of their Catholic faith to grow spiritually closer in their relationship with God. The Mental Wellness Team will strive to break the stigma associated with mental illness by providing education, guidance, and resources to mental health treatment options in the community. They will also offer support groups to individuals and families facing mental health challenges. These teams will work as liturgical planners, administrators, education planners, and support group leaders trained by the Archdiocesan Office for Persons with Disabilities and Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio. Retreats, special Masses, and other prayer experiences and opportunities will also be given to parishioners to nourish their spiritual well-being and to recognize the presence of God in their lives.

An informational session for those wishing to join a Mental Wellness Team in our parish family will be held in the Saint Matthew Room (located in IHM Parish Office) on Tuesday, November 21st from 7-8 pm. Contact Mary Selvaggi, Parish Nurse at 513-388-4184 to RSVP. For additional information, contact Lisa Averion, the Associate Director for the Office of Persons with Disabilities at [email protected]. Thanks for your prayers and support in this vital ministry.