Florida Catholic Media has published an article entitled Eucharistic revival a call to accompany those with mental illness, says expert, linking the current Eucharistic Revival by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops to the need for the Church to be more inclusive with mental health challenges. As pointed out in the article, launched in 2022 by the U.S. bishops to increase devotion to Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist, the revival coincides with a sharp rise in anxiety, depression and other mental health issues among large segments of the nation’s population.
For Secular Franciscans, the Florida Catholic Media article may relate in may ways to a past article published in the National Catholic Reporter, by Franciscan Fr. Daniel P. Horan (Director of the Center for Spirituality and professor of philosophy, religious studies and theology at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana), entitled Relationship leads us to peace: Three key Franciscan themes in ‘Fratelli Tutti’. In this article, Fr. Horan explains that St. Francis of Assisi, “saw himself as inherently related to all women, men, and even nonhuman creatures as part of God’s one family of creation,” and that “if we recognize that we are all sisters and brothers to one another, then we have an inherent bond with each other that demands something of us — our love, respect and care.” The Pope’s encyclical Fratelli Tutti is the focus of the article, and Fr. Horan highlight’s the words of the Holy Father:
“[F]or all the progress we have made, we are still ‘illiterate’ when it comes to accompanying, caring for, and supporting the most frail and vulnerable members of our developed societies. We have become accustomed to looking the other way, passing by, ignoring situations until they affect us directly…we, as a people, should be passionate about meeting others, seeking points of contact, building bridges, planning a project that includes everyone.”
Fr. Horan concludes, “My sense is that St. Francis would be very pleased with the message and content of Fratelli Tutti, but that he would be truly overjoyed if the people of the world actually took this teaching to heart and put it into practice.”
(art credit: mural of St. Francis of Assisi and the wolf of Gubbio, St. Francis Inn, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2010)
Are you feeling called by your Catholic faith to support ministry to persons or families facing behavioral health challenges, or communities in working effectively with behavioral health? Are you studying for or working in a profession of supporting persons or families with behavioral health challenges, or in supporting communities in preventing and responding to behavioral health concerns? Or maybe you find yourself in that role within your own community or family? Are you considering whether the Secular Franciscan Order (O.F.S.) would bring and grow the spiritual dimension in your daily life and work? We would love to hear from you! E-mail the St. Cloud Fraternity of Secular Franciscans at email@example.com.
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One thought on “Eucharistic Revival is a Call for Inclusion of People with Mental Health Challenges”
Excellent article! Thank you.