From The Catholic Accent — The Diocese of Greensburg will host a series of education and training sessions during March to help priests, parish staffs and diocesan employees respond to the opioid crisis.
The training sessions are a continuation of Bishop Edward C. Malesic’s initiative to provide a pastoral response to the opioid crisis, which he launched last summer with “A Pastoral Letter on the Drug Abuse Crisis: From Death and Despair to Life and Hope” and a series of seven education sessions and prayer services held throughout the diocese last summer.
“The diocese has 78 parishes, each of which can be considered a local resource in this battle to save people’s lives and support their families while this battle is raging,” said Msgr. Larry J. Kulick, vicar general and a member of the Bishop’s Advisory Board on the Opioid Epidemic.
He said the purpose of the sessions is to begin providing priests, deacons, pastoral ministers,
faith formation directors, youth ministers and other parish staff members with basic tools to assist people who are suffering from addiction, support their families and friends, and help individuals find the resources they need.
The sessions are scheduled from 1:30-4 p.m. and will be held:
March 1: St. Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Kittanning
March 8: St. Therese, Little Flower of Jesus Parish, Uniontown
March 15: Our Lady of Grace Parish, Greensburg
March 22: St. Thomas More University Parish, Indiana
The agenda, established in consultation with the Bishop’s Advisory Board on the Opioid Epidemic, will cover:
* Basic skills in recognizing addiction;
* Nonjudgmental language to use when dealing with a person who has an addiction and the person’s family;
* Region specific referral resources for the parish personnel to have on hand when someone asks for assistance;
* Information on assessing the need for support groups of varying kinds in an area; and
* Information about establishing such a group, either as an individual parish or with other parishes in a specific area.