Monsignor Rosetti is the former head of the St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Md., an organization that provides psychological care for priests and religious in need of treatment for mental illness, addiction, and other disorders.
Part of the institute's ministry is helping military chaplains and missionaries who have served in war-torn areas, but also religious who have ministered to victims of trauma at home – amidst events like natural disasters and mass shootings.
Military chaplains suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other mental illnesses related to their ministry shared their struggles with the Washington Post last year. Repeatedly serving as a listening ear for the dark problems of soldiers, combined with experiencing the horror of battlefield combat and seeing the dead bodies of friends, can take its toll on a priest's psyche.
"Just about all" priests and religious returning from a war-torn areas will need "some sort of support," Monsignor Rossetti noted, like a "detoxing" in their transition from a stressful environment to life back in the U.S.
However, a few will require special attention, he said. These are cases where someone has experienced a particularly appalling atrocity or ongoing violence or stress, "almost too much for the human soul to bear."
"I think especially of missionaries who are in violent areas," he said, those who have witnessed "mass murders" or "unbelievable poverty and disease."