Council Blog
We are the St. Mary Huntley Knights of Columbus in Huntley, IL.

Brothers. Sorry, I couldn’t join you last month Duty called. But it's great to see everybody and I hope everybody's doing real well. So, it's taken me about 60 years to come to the realization that, as men, there are two areas that we're not very good at. My wife would tell you, there's probably twenty, but I'm only going to share two with you. The first one actually is admitting that we need help. And the second one is asking for help. So, if you look at the secular World in society today, basically, it tells us that as men were supposed to be able to handle things ourselves.  That we are supposed to be in control of everything. And handle our own problems on our own until it gets to a point where we can't. As you all know, we recently lost Father Bakkelund. And I just felt that there was no better time than the present to talk about and address the terrible disease of addiction.

So, that's something that I know about personally, and I'll share a quick story with you that back in 2018, the Holy Spirit brought me back into the church. And back into the faith community from years of isolation, and a 33-year addiction as a functional alcoholic. He actually saved my life and accompanied me on the road to recovery. So, the good news is, as my recovery progressed, I was led through prayer to an addiction Ministry program called the iThirst Initiative. And, through the encouragement and support of Deacon Jim and Father DeTomo, the ministry is available here at St. Mary. So, in 2021 I completed an educational program through Seton Hall University and became certified as an iThirst Spiritual Companion. And what that means is basically the goal of the iThirst Initiative is to educate and support those who suffer along with their families from a substance use disorder. And what we do is we provide a Community of Christ and assist them on the spiritual path to recovery. So when you look at addiction it’s not only has physiological and mental health components, but ultimately there's desolation and guilt that are spiritual problems that require a spiritual remedy. So, I think, I think if we look at everybody we all know somebody that's struggling. Especially with addiction, whether it's social media, whether it's pornography, whether it's gambling, drugs, alcohol, overeating. There is a ton of them out there. It could be you personally. It could be a spouse. It could be a parent, a grandparent a child, a co-worker. So, I guess my message for this evening is I just want everybody here to know that I'm here to accompany you or if you have a loved one that needs help or is ready to get help that I'm here to help you on your road to recovery. I'll meet you wherever you're at in your in the process. If you need to check yourself into a facility, if you need detox. There are some wonderful resources here in McHenry County to help you with that. Wherever you’re at in that process.

So, basically my hope is that by offering a recovery Ministry here at Saint Mary that we can address the need head on and eliminate the shame and stigma that is often associated with addiction. And basically, to respond to this crisis with Christ's love and compassion. If I could leave you with an inspirational, Bible passage that speaks to me as the foundation of this ministry, it would be the gospel of Mark, chapter 5, verses 1 through 20. I'm not going to read it to you in its entirety but if you want to get an idea of God's mercy and what addiction is like read chapter 5 of Mark verses 1 through 20. And what happens is Jesus heals the Garasene Demoniac. And once the Demoniac is healed, Jesus is getting into the boat and the man that was just healed went over to Jesus and begs Jesus to go with him. And Jesus says to him in verse 19, he says go home to your friends and tell them what the Lord has done for you. And how he has had mercy on you.

So, this is what God, at this stage of my life, has called me to do. So, I wanted to share that with everyone this evening. So, if anybody is interested in additional information, if you want to go out there and look at what's called ithirstinitiative.org There's a website for that. There are also pamphlets in the mailbox out in the narthex. There's a room there with mailboxes. One of them is labeled iThirst and there's pamphlets in there and that information. It has my email address and my phone number. So, if you, if you want to reach out to me, if I can help one of your loved ones or friends or somebody that needs help, I'd welcome the opportunity to help them, and I just want everybody to know that there is hope and there is help out there. Thank you.

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