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Diocese co-sponsors National Recovery Month activities
BY BRIAN J. LOWNEY, Assistant Editor

PROVIDENCE —The diocesan Secretariat for Catholic Charities and Social Ministry has joined the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals and several addiction recovery programs across the state during September as sponsors of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.

“For more than 20 years National Recovery Month has helped to raise awareness about the effectiveness of treatment and the hope of recovery from addiction to alcohol and drugs,” wrote John J. Barry, secretary for Catholic Charities and Social Ministry in a letter recently sent to pastors as part of a report entitled “Celebrating Recovery: Diocesan Support of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.”

As part of Recovery Month activities, the Diocese of Providence is a co-sponsor of the 8th annual Rhode Island Rally4Recovery, scheduled for Sept. 11, 2-7 p.m., at Waterplace Park, Providence,

As part of the month-long celebration, a rally kickoff was held Sept. 1 at the West Warwick Senior Center, and included the unveiling of a colorful quilt created by women in recovery, followed by a luncheon.

“This is a great way to remind everyone of the role faith can play in their recovery journey,” noted Kathleen McKeon, program supervisor in the Secretariat. “Sadly issues of addiction have become a universal experience. I hope that anyone who loves someone struggling with an addiction will encourage them to seek treatment and recovery support.

McKeon added that individuals struggling with addictions or their loved ones should not hesitate to contact parish priests who can confidentially share information about helpful programs and recovery groups. More than 40 churches within the diocese currently open their doors to meetings of Alcohol Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon.

The Secretariat for Catholic Charities and Social Ministry has launched the St. Matthias Ministry, a pilot program to recruit and train volunteer recovery coaches to support individuals in recovery. For more information about this program, visit the diocesan Web site: www.dioceseofprovidence.org.

Recovery 101, a training program for clergy and pastoral staff, will be offered Sept. 23, 12:30-3:30 p.m., in the basement hall of the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul.

Jim Gillen, clinical coordinator for Recovery Services at The Providence Center, will conduct the program, which is open to priests, deacons and pastoral workers.

“I am person in long-term recovery and as a result, my life has become a whole lot better,” Gillen told those gathered for the kickoff celebration. “Enjoy recovery, embrace recovery and live recovery. There is nothing you can’t accomplish.”

The program is designed to provide participants with basic information about drug and alcohol use/addiction, treatment and recovery.

Rally4Recovery will include live music, food, guest speakers, information booths, children’s activities, a reptile show and a performance by the National Guard Band, and will conclude with a Waterfire procession and a dedication candle lighting ceremony.

For more information about the diocesan National Recovery Month programs, call 421-7833.

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