MEDFORD, MA: St. Raphael Parish School in Medford is hosting a presentation from Franciscan Children’s Hospital Mental Health Education Program on children’s mental health wellness on Wednesday, January 23, and invites parents and guardians from the public and Metro North Region Catholic Schools to attend. This program is part of the Kids Healthy Minds Initiative, which is a robust mental health awareness and community education program that is held in partnership with the Archdiocese of Boston.
This partnership was developed to help children who are showing early signs of mental illness. The Kids Healthy Minds Initiative goals are threefold: Increase community awareness about the youth mental health crisis; teach people about the early warning signs of pediatric mental illness; and decrease the stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental illness and its treatment.
Early action is essential. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 youth living in the U.S. have a mental health diagnosis; 50 percent of psychiatric disorders begin by age 14; and 50 percent of those 14 and older living with a mental illness drop out of high school.
Mark Bedrosian, principal of St. Raphael School, is hosting the event for the Archdiocese of Boston Catholic schools in the Metro North Region. He said, "The Kids Healthy Minds Initiative collaboration is an amazing opportunity for families in our school communities to understand the importance of mental health and wellness, know that there are services available that are aligned with Catholic Mission and Identity, and remove the stigma associated with mental health maintenance and wellness. We appreciate the support made available through this collaboration and will make sure all of our families are aware that the wellness of our students is our priority."
The partnership between the Archdiocese of Boston and Franciscan Children’s Hospital officially began October 2018. At the time, Cardinal Seán O’Malley said, “We are at a crossroads as a society in addressing the mental health crisis gripping our communities here and across our nation.”
He continued, “The Archdiocese of Boston is pleased to have the opportunity to work with Franciscan’s Children’s in this initiative. Working with our parishes and schools, we are going to reach as many young people and families as possible to educate them with the information and support to save lives and provide hope.”
Franciscan Children’s Hospital Mental Health Education Program Manager Patricia Coffey will present services available for children through their partnership with the Archdiocese of Boston. The free event is Wednesday, January 23, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Center 1st Floor Conference Room, at 514 High Street in Medford. All are welcome.
If your parish or school is interested in hosting a presentation of the Kids Healthy Minds Initiative, contact Mental Health Education Program Manager Patricia Coffey, MSW, LICSW, at 617-779-1296.
250 Catholic School Students from the Archdiocese of Boston to Attend March for Life in Washington, DC
On January 17, Catholic school students from the Archdiocese of Boston will begin their journey to attend the March for Life in Washington, DC. Approximately 250 students from 10 schools are participating in the March for Life. Almost 104 students are participating in the Archdiocese’s Witness to Life Pilgrimage, and 145 students from Cardinal Spellman High School are participating in the school’s own program. In addition, 80 additional travelers, including people from parishes, small groups and families, and Archdiocese of Boston staff are participating in the Witness to Life Pilgrimage.
Superintendent Kathy Mears said, “I am happy that so many school communities are participating in Right to Life activities here and in Washington, DC. Their commitment to their faith and social justice is inspiring to many.”
Liz Cotrupi, Director of Family Life & Ecclesial Movements in Office of Lifelong Faith Formation & Parish Support, is the coordinator for the Witness to Life Pilgrimage. “The Office for Lifelong Faith Formation and Parish Support is excited and blessed to be joining our pilgrims with thousands from across the country this Friday, January 19, to ‘witness’ to the dignity of all life from conception to natural death.”
She continued, “We are so thankful that principals and pastors support this pilgrimage through the help of their campus ministers, teachers, youth ministers and volunteers. Our gratitude extends to the parents and guardians of these children for saying ‘yes’ and of course to the youth who will be lending their voice to this incredibly important social justice issue that is the basis for all other causes. If we can't get ‘life’ right, we won't get anything else quite right. Keep us in prayer!”
This year there are two tracks for Witness to Life pilgrims: “24 Hours for Life” and “Stay and Pray.” The 24 Hours for Life is a one-day event. Participants depart by bus Thursday evening and arrive in Washington, DC, on Friday morning in time for Mass with Cardinal Seán O’Malley at Sacred Heart Shrine. Then they walk in the March for Life, and board the bus for home at 4:30pm.
Participants in the “Stay and Pray” track have a longer and more robust experience. These attendees depart early Thursday morning and arrive in Washington, DC, to attend the Life is Very Good Rally Thursday evening. They also attend Mass with Cardinal Seán Friday morning and walk in the March for Life, and Friday evening they convene for Adoration, Confession, and discussion of the March. After Mass Saturday morning and a short period of independent sightseeing, the students board the bus bound for Massachusetts.
Can’t make it to DC? Be a part of the experience by following @RCAB_evangelize on Twitter and Instagram. In addition, follow @CSOBoston on Twitter and Instagram to see tweets and posts from schools that are participating in Right to Life activities.
The schools attending the March for Life in Washington, DC, are:
Arlington Catholic High School, Arlington
BC High, Dorchester
Cardinal Spellman High School, Brockton
Cathedral High School, Boston
Central Catholic High School, Lawrence
Our Lady’s Academy, Waltham
Presentation of Mary Academy, Methuen
Sacred Heart High School, Kingston
St. Joseph Prep, Boston
St. Mary High School, Lynn