When a person is thriving, it’s usually because they are balanced in all areas — physical, mental, and spiritual. When one of those areas suffers, usually the others do too. Here at St. Jude Catholic Church, we have a newer ministry, called Project Hope, dedicated to helping those struggling with mental health issues. When an archdiocesan representative asked Patti Collins, pastoral care specialist, if she wanted St. Jude to take on this ministry, she jumped at the chance knowing many folks have mental health issues and are seeking healing.
“We want people to come to encounter Jesus through community support and Scripture,” Patti says.
This ministry meets for six sessions about each quarter and is open to anyone. Licensed counselor Chuck Flasch leads the ministry. Most sessions have eight to 10 participants.
“In 2021, when we were asked to take this on, I recognized some people were struggling after COVID, and there was no support for those who needed it,” Patti says.
This ministry follows a study developed by the
archdiocese called Rejoicing in Suffering with St. Paul.
Attendees have time to discuss what they are reading and learning about. They share a high or low moment and pray a Litany of Trust or to Mary Undoer of Knots.
As he leads the Project Hope sessions, Chuck knows from personal experience the benefits of group therapy. He sought healing through group therapy years after he and his wife’s son, Jonathan, passed away at age 12.
“In group therapy, you get that empathy from group members, which is important in the healing process,” he says.
Chuck hopes that more people will take advantage of Project Hope to help with any isolation, depression, or anxiety they face, especially coming out of the pandemic.
“Meeting with those who are going through something similar can really help,” Chuck says. “This program combines therapy and Scripture — it is unique in that way.”
To register for an upcoming Project Hope session, contact Brie Ann Varick at email@example.com or 317-236-1543. This information will be kept confidential.