Addiction healing initiative brought to diocese

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On Nov. 16, 2019, the I THIRST Addiction Healing Initiative will be launched in the Camden Diocese at Holy Family Parish in Sewell. This initiative, which aims to empower the church to be a resource for those suffering from addiction and their families, has gained traction across the country in various dioceses and universities. And now, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden, will be adopting the initiative’s many programs to meet the needs of those in southern New Jersey who are experiencing the dryness and barrenness inherent to the addiction epidemic.

According to Keaton Douglas, executive director of I THIRST, “Addiction is a defining problem of society, with physiological and mental health components which must be addressed. Ultimately, however, the desolation, the abandonment and the guilt which are all ‘hallmarks’ of the addicted life, are in many ways spiritual problems which require a spiritual remedy.”

The name of the endeavor, “I THIRST,” was chosen because those words were among the last words of Christ on the cross, as well as the words painted in every chapel belonging to the Missionaries of Charity, Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s order and the founder of the initiative.

Saint Teresa would often explain that these words are a reminder that the heart of her missionaries’ work is to “quench the thirst of Jesus for souls, for love, for kindness, for compassion, for delicate love.”

This new undertaking of Catholic Charities seeks not only to educate and prevent addiction, but also to provide support for families and individuals who are currently suffering. At the informational seminar this month, attendees will receive an introduction from Douglas, who will review a variety of topics and programs planned for the diocese, including the Catholic Recovery Coaching (Spiritual Companionship) program.

All are welcome to join or learn more about the I THIRST initiative on Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Church of the Holy Family, 226 Hurffville Road, Sewell, NJ 08080. The event is free and will be presented in both English and Spanish. To RSVP, please contact Rose Porcellini at 856-342-4104 or Rose.porcellini@camdendiocese.org, or for more information, visit: https://catholiccharitiescamden.org/event/ithirst/