The Sanctuary Course for Catholics at OLPH

Over the course of the eight weeks, participants will explore topics such as:

  • Understanding mental health and illness
  • Challenging stigma
  • The recovery journey
  • Companionship
  • Self-care
  • The role of community in mental health recovery

Each topic is explored from a psychological, social, and theological perspective.

The importance of mental wellness and addressing the challenges of mental illnesses have garnered much attention in the past year. Sadly, depression, anxiety, and loss of life to suicide seem to be on the rise, having endured a pandemic along with the corresponding social restrictions for more than a year. As a result, every age group, gender, has struggled with mental wellness, even those who place their hope and faith in Jesus Christ.

Amid these realities, you might be wondering if the emotions you have been experiencing are depression or anxiety, or perhaps, you’re deeply concerned with a loved one who has been struggling. You’re not alone!  Many individuals suffer from mental health challenges in silence, afraid to share with others out of fear of judgment, fear that your inability to solve these problems means you aren’t trusting God or surrendering to His will enough. That list can go on and on. At the heart of our silent struggle is fear, and we are reminded over and over again in Scripture to “fear not”. 

That is where The Sanctuary Course comes in.

So many times we feel that we are alone in our mental health struggles. It’s important to hear from others who also struggle, to hear about the fears they had and have, to hear about how they have found healing in Christ and in other healing resources. This course features testimonies from Catholics throughout North America, from priests, from counselors, sharing their stories of struggle and hope. 

God does not want us to struggle alone. He desires that we seek, and find support and healing, yes from Him, but also from those who He has placed around us such as counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, medication, priests. 

I personally have found so much hope and healing in being able to share my struggles with depression and anxiety with those I trust such as my close friends, my priests, my counselor. If you are struggling, please reach out for support and for help, and consider joining me and others as we learn and share about what other Catholics and most importantly, what Scripture has to say about mental health. (Hint: most figures in Scripture struggled with depression and anxiety.)

Please reach out if you have any questions about the Sanctuary Course, please reach out to me directly.

~ Christa Weyant
Director of Pastoral Care, OLPH