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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Midway Through Training

We are at the half-way point with our Addictions Training at St. Herman's Seminary, and so far it has gone very well (except for the internet connection, which is why posts have been sporatic).

The seminarians have a lot of experience in dealing with alcoholism with their communities, and so they are very receptive to the information being provided and are quickly processing it.  They also have a great desire to help their people, especially those suffering with alcoholism.

They already know that alcoholism effects the entire family, not just the addict.  More importantly, they also realise the alcoholism is not simply a label, but that it is a disease that gradually comes to afflict its sufferers.  By that, I mean that one does not just go from being a non-alcoholic to and alcoholic overnight, but that one slowly changes and it can be hard to differentiate from 'abuse' of alcohol until it becomes rather advanced.

The Church teaches us that addiction is the byproduct of the passions, and these passions are present in all of us.  The addict so follows his passions that he eventually loses control of himself, and so the disease is born in him.  We all have the 'potential' to be addicts if we follow our passions and allow them to wound our lives with sins that lead to shame and guilt, thus causing further passions.

The seminarians intuitively understand this, and so the training is serving to help them organize their experiences and, as the week progresses, gain a few tools in coping with the disease as they encounter it.

What they are really hoping for is a permanent program at the seminary to train them and the other Diocesan clergy in addictions recovery.

Please pray that God provides a way for this to happen.

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