That's Care of the Soul Companions All Faiths Festival (AFF).
Imagine that, will you?
An adolescent in terms of age.
And, our mission has been over the decade and one half to ignite each one's dignity and worth by awakening it in self and others.
We began in 1998 in Saint James Church in Ferndale, MI., with Robert Wurm, a pastor there, enthusiastically inviting us to be there to serve the people of God.
On the East Side, we were at Saint Malachy Church, Sterling Heights, simultaneously, with multiple growth groups at each site. Jospeh Gembala, a pastor there, would spend plenty of time before and after my individual counseling sessions. In fact, he relished conversing early after 9:30 am Mass almost daily. I'd remind him my code of ethics of the APA required me to be prompt with patients as a board certified professional counselor. We even celebrated 25 years of service there as an ordained person with an engaging party after Mass. Thanks to Fr. Joe Gembala and Fr. Bob Wurm for their graious hosting.
At others sites we were treated as outsiders to say the least. And, ignored by parishioners, we carried on, yet,
words spread quickly that "they" were here again!
God is in that also, however. We learned a lot. We felt in some way how people were categorized as mentally ill, as addicts, and more, sad to say, by so-called Christians.
Grief groups, a class in acceptance inspired by the late Edward D. Popielarz, 12 Step sessions, local retreats at St. Paul, Detroit, Manresa Jesuit, and more, including, Gethsemane, Kentucky where Father Louis Mertin is buried, and sung evening prayer with psalms rounded off some of the vibrant beginnings.
Currently, I meet informally with individuals for sessions in the Harrison Township Community Center, and, in Big Jack's Bar-B-Que Grille in Roseville, MI., on the first Monday and third Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm. Reservations for the wholistic, aerobic and anarobic exercise, nutrition counseling from the Sacred Scriptures, pastoral and clinical counseling, monthly morphing, mending, accepting, and spiritual direction, and more, are appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, (313) 530 2777.
Memories abound as this country doctor-like pastor moves across the AOD, MI., where this counseling emerged. It is time to celebrate once more with a 2 pm Mass, and more, Sunday, September 8th in a site TBD with dinner at Big Jack's in Roseville, following for all.
It will be a Gratitude Gala at 15.