Denver Catholic charities expands counseling services
By Hillary Senour and David Uebbing
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila speaks during the opening. Credit: Vanessa Chavez, Catholic Charities.
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila speaks during the opening. Credit: Vanessa Chavez, Catholic Charities.

.- In response to a growing demand for Catholic counseling services and a desire to serve the suffering, Catholic Charities of Denver has opened a new office in Littleton, Colo.

The new clinic, named Regina Caeli Clinical Services, was blessed Aug. 22 by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila in conjunction with its patroness' liturgical feast – the Queenship of Mary.

“It offers people who are suffering the chance for Christ to bring about deep healing in their lives, something that is not offered in secular psychiatry,” said Archbishop Aquila, who earned his bachelor's in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The new clinic “offers the opportunity for people to receive real healing,” he added.

One recent example of the center's efforts is its outreach to all those affected by the nearby Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting tragedy.

A program of Catholic Charities, Regina Caeli Clinical Services says it is dedicated to providing psychological services for “life's most difficult problems,” in accordance with Catholic teaching.

The center's eight clinicians are all trained to work in partnership with local parishes, pastors and deacons to help people with mental health concerns, marriage and family relationships, and sanctity of  life issues.

The clinic will also “bring psychology to the service of the Church” by collaborating with other Catholic organizations when needed.

Psychologist Dr. Kathryn Benes, the clinic’s director, described the mission of Regina Caeli as caring for the “double dimension” of the person as described by Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter “On the Meaning of Human Suffering.”

“He speaks of spiritual pain that goes beyond the empirical sciences, and addressing this pain is essential to any true healing of the human person,” Dr. Benes said at the Aug. 22 blessing.

To that end, she said, “Our desire is to bring the best of the psychological sciences to the service of the Church, in a manner that is consistent with all Her teachings, and under Her authority.”

Whether it is due to the death of a friend or family member, mental illness or the decision to abort their child in the past, everyone who enters the clinic is suffering in some way, Dr. Benes said.

“This type of suffering reflects the deepest needs of the heart. And the Church wants to be there.”
Dr. Johnathan Reyes, president and CEO of Catholic Charities, said that the new office is a response to a growing demand for Catholic counseling services.

“Regina Caeli continues our mission in a unique way,” he said in an Aug. 21 statement. “At the same time that we are helping people in a time of bodily need, we are also helping them grow closer to Christ.”

Tags: Denver Archdiocese, Catholic counseling

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