100 East Eighth St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
1520 South Main Street
Dayton, OH 45409
(937) 281-4128 voice
Ministries of Care
Every person, every one, has dignity. According to the Catholic Church, all people are created in the image and likeness of God. Regardless of any circumstance, every person has an inherent and immeasurable worth and dignity; each human life is sacred. The Office for Respect Life Ministries strives to offer ministry and care to all God’s people, especially those who may feel alienated or who may be grieving from loss.
“As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights that leads Catholics to actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace.” ~ USCCB
While loss is natural, knowing how to grieve and grieve well is not always. Often, the hardest part of grief is acknowledging the need for help and asking for it. Providing Bereavement Ministry must go beyond making funeral arrangements for the deceased. We must help those left behind return to life.
“In the People of God, by the grace of his compassion granted in Jesus, many families prove by their deeds that death does not have the last word: this is a true act of faith. Every time a family in mourning — even terrible mourning — finds the strength to guard the faith and love that unite us to those we love, it has already prevented death from taking everything. The darkness of death should be confronted with a more intense work of love. In this faith, we can console one another, knowing that the Lord has conquered death once and for all. Our loved ones are not lost in the darkness of nothing: hope assures us that they are in the good and strong hands of God. Love is stronger than death. Thus, the way is to let love grow, make it stronger, and love will guard us until the day that every tear shall be wiped away, when “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more” (Rev 21:4). If we allow ourselves to be sustained by this faith, the experience of grief can generate even stronger family bonds, a new openness to the pain of other families, a new brotherhood with families that are born and reborn in hope.” Papal Audience of Pope Francis, 17 June 2015
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced violence from an intimate partner. The hidden pain and turmoil present to those who face mental and physical abuse every day is unbelievable. We aim to provide help to those in these situations as well as to educate the community in how to recognize signs of domestic violence. Each parish is called to be a safe haven to those in need.
“Violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified. Violence in any form-physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal is sinful; often, it is a crime as well” —USCCB, When I Call for Help, 2002
“Every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”–Pope Saint John Paul II, On the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, 1988, no. 176
Recently, our culture has become more attuned to the need for programs and resources that foster mental health. Respecting the mental health of an individual is vital to respecting their full personhood. The Church is blessed to be a source of comfort and hope to many suffering from mental illness. We aim to create environments in our parishes that encourage healing and hope among those with Mental Health issues.
Good Saint Dymphna, great wonder-worker in every affliction of mind and body, I humbly implore your powerful intercession with Jesus through Mary, the Health of the Sick, in my present need. Saint Dymphna, martyr of purity, patroness of those who suffer with nervous and mental afflictions, beloved child of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request. Saint Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
“Oh, if only the suffering soul knew how it is loved by God, it would die of joy and excess of happiness! Some day, we will know the value of suffering, but then we will no longer be able to suffer. The present moment is ours.” -St Faustina
Palliative Care (Page Coming Soon)
As children, part of our vocation is caring well for our parents and relatives who helped to raise us. Caring for an aging loved one can be fraught with demanding choices, grim circumstances and great uncertainty. We hope to share church teaching as well as provide resources to those who find themselves unsure of how to care for the elderly in their last days.
Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable. Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged. CCC2279
The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world. CCC2208
Project Rachel, the Catholic Church’s ministry to those who have had an abortion experience, was founded in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1994. It is a network of specially trained priests, religious, counselors, and laypersons who provide a team response of care for those suffering in the aftermath of abortion. In addition to referring for Sacramental Reconciliation, the ministry provides integrated services, including pastoral counseling, peer to peer ministry, spiritual direction, and referrals to mental health professionals.
“The Church’s first duty is to approach these people with love and consideration, with caring and motherly attention, to proclaim the merciful closeness of God in Jesus Christ. Indeed, as the Fathers teach, it is he who is the true Good Samaritan, who has made himself close to us, who poirs oil and wine on our wounds and takes us into the inn, the Church, where he has us treated, entrusting us to her ministers and personally paying in advance for our recovery” Pope Benedict XVI, Address to an International Congress on “Oil on the Wounds’: A Response to the Ills of Abortion and Divorce (5 April 2008).
Substance Abuse (Page Coming Soon)
Nationally, and particularly in our community, thousands are dying as a result of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Recovery is a journey for both the addicted and those who love them. We aim to accompany them on that journey in love and compassion.
“The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.” CCC2291
“Let me state this in the clearest terms possible: The problem of drug use is not solved with drugs. Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise. To think that harm can be reduced by permitting drug addicts to use narcotics in no way resolves the problem. Attempts, however limited, to legalize so-called ‘recreational drugs,’ are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects. Substitute drugs are not an adequate therapy but rather a veiled means of surrendering to the phenomenon. Here I would reaffirm what I have stated on another occasion: No to every type of drug use. It is as simple as that. No to any kind of drug use.” — Pope Francis, Address to 31st International Drug Enforcement Conference in Rome, June 19, 2014
“The primary intention of the consistent ethic of life…is to raise consciousness about the sanctity and reverence of all human life from conception to natural death. The more one embraces this concept, the more sensitive one becomes to the value of human life itself at all stages…. This consistent ethic points out the inconsistency of defending life in one area while dismissing it in another. Each specific issue requires its own moral analysis and each may call for varied, specific responses. Moreover different issues may engage the energies of different people or of the same people at different times. But there is a linkage among all the life issues which cannot be ignored….” ~Cardinal Joseph Bernardin