A Time To Notice . . .

by Michelle Herberger

There seems to be a growing sense of fatigue among many people, and it’s more than physical. Many lament the loss of times when things at least appeared to be simple and people were less divided. It’s especially important when one is feeling this way, to take time to recreate, renew, and refresh.

Summer has a way of beckoning us to slow down. There are those “lazy summer days” when temperatures necessitate a slower pace. Nature seems to be exploding with growth and the invitation to be still and notice. There is an abundance of things to savor, be it the fruits of the gardens, or the beauty of the firefly. All of creation calls us to “be still and know that I am God” and in that place to allow ourselves to experience a deep gratitude that gives comfort to the weary.

Let us take time to notice.

 

Overdose Help . . . FREE Naloxone Kits With Training, June 26, 2017

  • Do you know the number of deaths in Kentucky each year from heroin and opiate overdoses?
  • Did you know that both the equipment and training to save the life on an overdose victim are available for FREE?

The Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition is a statewide organization whose mission is to reduce substance addiction overdoses and deaths, the stigma associated with addiction, and to offer harm reduction solutions which includes improving public health in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

To do this they are offering free Naloxone kits along with training in their use to provide immediate life-saving treatment for overdose situations to as many people as possible.

The Coalition is offering a special evening event in the Multi-Purpose Building at Holy Trinity Parish, 501 Cherrywood Road, Louisville, KY 40207 on Monday June 26th at 6:30 PM. At this time Naloxone kits and training in their use will be provided to all attendees.

The event is free but in order to make sure there are enough materials available for everyone, pre-registration is required which can be done via the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Family Ministries Office at https://www.archlou.org/naloxone-training-registration/.

Everyone is invited to become a lifesaver to someone in need!

“God’s Abiding Presence”

by Michelle Herberger

Caring for a loved one who has a debilitating illness or who is dying is not something we often prepare ourselves to do. Yet, life has a way of bringing us the challenges we least expected. Even if we have accepted that challenge and are giving care to a loved one, that doesn’t make it any easier. The need for self-care remains.

The basics of self-care are essential and include diet, exercise, and rest. However, many caregivers would speak to the struggle to get those needs met. Because of this, I want to focus on comfort and encouragement to those who walk with and care for loved ones who are sick and/or dying.

Continue reading ““God’s Abiding Presence””

“From Grief to an Experience of New Life”

by Michelle Herberger

Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light,
so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest to all of us.
Meister Eckhart

March signals the beginning of Spring, a time of rebirth and new beginnings. However, for those who are grieving, new life can seem unreachable, even impossible.british-gardens

Perhaps the grief is around the death of a loved one or the death of a marriage. The more one is invested in or committed to someone or something, the greater the experience of loss. The grief that comes from loss can feel all consuming. Continue reading ““From Grief to an Experience of New Life””

“Healing the Hurt” – Divorce Care and Recovery Programs

by Michelle Herberger

This is the month that celebrates love. Everywhere we look there are signs that point to romantic relationships. However, there are times when regardless of how much you want to make the relationship last, it simply doesn’t work. This is especially difficult if this means the end of a marriage.picture5

Rarely would couples say they came to their wedding day anticipating the marriage ending in divorce. Rather, they come with hopes and dreams that theirs will not be added to the statistic of “failed” marriages.

A sense of failure is often experienced as a result of divorce. Couples ask themselves and may be asked by others, “What happened?” Hopes are dashed, feelings are hurt, and egos are wounded. That can be in part, the reality that accompanies those who come to the Church as persons who have experienced divorce.

As Church, we must be aware of the woundedness of those who have divorced and, as Church, become as Pope Frances has said, “field hospitals” whereby their wounds are bound and healed. There are many opportunities to offer comfort and facilitate healing.

  • We must be intentional in our inviting and welcoming those who’ve experienced divorce
  • We must accompany in a non-judgmental way, those who’ve been divorced as they examine their marriage
  • We must provide sources of support and care for the divorced as well as for their children

The following is a list of various parishes offering divorce support to anyone in the archdiocese. We encourage folks dealing with the pain of divorce to reach out to them for more information, or feel free to email Family Ministries Office at family@archlou.org.

“Journey of Hope” Divorce Recovery Program picture6
Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral
310 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004
Contact Henry Greenwell at henryg@newcomboil.com

 

“Olive Branch” Divorce Care Ministrypicture7
Holy Trinity Parish,
423 Cherrywood Rd, St Matthews, KY 40207
Contact Mary Jean Gandalfo at mgandolfo@htparish.org

 

picture8“Divorce Care” and “Divorce Care for Kids”
St. Margaret Mary
7813 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY, 40222
Contact Denise Ruiz at druiz@stmm.org

picture9Our Lady of Lourdes
508 Breckenridge Ln, St Matthews, KY 40207
Contact Joni Richter at jonir@ourlourdes.org

There Is Hope For Healing After Abortion . . .

You may have thought you had no choice, as having a baby simply wasn’t an option you could grasp. Immediately following the results of your decision, there may have even been a sense of relief. Problem solved. It’s over. You can resume life as it was before you knew you were pregnant.sad-teen

However, you’ve found you really can’t go back to the time before you were pregnant. You find yourself whispering several times a day, “I’m so very sorry” to your baby somewhere in the heavens. You’ve cried more tears than you thought possible. You’ve repeatedly asked God for forgiveness and perhaps you’ve sought forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And yet, you simply cannot forgive yourself.

There is hope for healing after abortion.

Project Rachael is a confidential ministry for those who’ve experienced the pain of abortion. It offers you the opportunity to meet one-on-one with someone who can hear your story and begin the process of healing.

There are other post abortion ministries, as well. Rachel’s Vineyard is a weekend retreat offered by a team of trained persons in the dioceses of Lexington and Owensboro. Again, this is all done with respect of your desire for confidentiality. Little Way Pregnancy Resource Center in Louisville, offers a six week support group for women who have experienced abortion. Those who facilitate any of these ministries offer a non-judgmental and caring presence.

Nothing can take the memories away. But, with help and the ever-present grace of God, you can find the healing you so desire and the healing that God is calling you to know and experience. For more information, call the Project Rachael number (502-471-2155) and someone will return your call within 24 hours.

There is no need to continue to suffer the pain of unforgiveness when hope is a phone call away.

 

“When Someone You Love Dies from Suicide” by Michelle Herberger

“According to the CDC, each year more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind thousands of friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of their loss. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. and the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-24; these rates are increasing.” (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) Suicide occurs in the best of families as mental illness knows no boundaries.

Those left behind are often besieged with unanswered questions as to “Why did he/she do it?,” as well as “Wasn’t there something I could have done to stop it?”

The guilt and anger that is often experienced makes it one of the most difficult deaths to morn. Even when the death is viewed through the eyes of compassion, it is often accompanied by shame and can tarnish the memory of  the deceased loved one.

Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, wrote in his 2013 article, Struggling to Understand Suicide, that it is important to keep in  mind several things about suicide when seeking to redeem the memory of the one who died.

“Suicide, in most cases, is a disease, not something freely willed.” He speaks of the potential role that biochemistry  can play in suicide.

“The person who dies in this way, almost invariably, is a very sensitive human being. Suicide is rarely done in arrogance, as an act of contempt.”

Most often the person was suffering in a way that is difficult to understand. It is usually some time after the person’s death before one can get a sense of just how deep the wound from suffering was, thus making their death less surprising.

Finally, Rolheiser reminds us of God’s understanding and compassion that  infinitely surpasses our own. He  speaks of God’s “judgment that intuits the deepest motives of the heart,” a heart locked in pain.

These things will not take away the grief experienced by the loss of a loved one. Suicide leaves scars on those who survive. However, you can move through your grief and move forward, engaging in life again. Be gentle and patient  with yourself.

Find someone/s to talk with about your loss. Allow yourself to be loved back into life by others and by God.

More resources can be found through the National Association of Mental Illness and on Father Ron Rolheiser’s website.