Every day we hear troubling stories about the effects of Substance Use Disorder (addiction) on our communities. What can we do? Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa) and the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston (DWC) are working together with people from across the state to try to answer that question.
CCWVa and DWC have teamed up with the WV Council of Churches to organize the 7th Annual Social Ministries Conference, Faith Hope Love: Creating Connections for Healing.
“We hope you will attend the conference as we work together to understand the complexity of addiction and ways we can open our hearts – it is affecting every family. Even if it’s not affecting you, it’s affecting a family member or friend or neighbor,” said Beth Zarate, CCWVa Chief Executive Officer.
The conference is free to attend, and is being offered in four locations on four Saturdays: Inwood (10/6), Charleston (12/1), Wheeling (3/9), and Morgantown (5/18). (Visit www.CatholicCharitiesWV.org to RSVP.)
This disease is complicated, heartbreaking, relentless, far-reaching and unpredictable – but not without hope. Through comprehensive case management, we work with people from all walks of life helping them navigate the journey to recovery.
“Catholic Charities is committed to working with connections across the state to provide help and hope for West Virginians struggling with addiction. We are concerned about parents, partners and children who fall victim to this disease and the problems it creates,” Zarate said.
Beth Collins, CCWVa Northern Regional Director, shares this story from the Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center in Wheeling:
Derrick first came to the Center for meals and daily showers when he was homeless. After months of utilizing our services, he began seeking support from staff for his drug addiction. Our staff would often sit with Derrick and listen to his stories — about his beloved daughter whom he hadn’t seen in months, and the life he lost because of one wrong decision with prescribed medicine. We connected him to community resources like detox and a sober living house. We were there each time he lost his battle with addiction. We offered encouragement, not judgment.
Derrick has now been sober for almost an entire year. His relationship with his family is being restored, and he has a stable career in Weirton. He often stops by our Weirton CCWVa office to check in with our case manager and share how his life is flourishing.
It might be scary, but it’s not as complicated as we like to believe. As people of faith, the most important thing we can do to combat this problem is to welcome people into relationships. Just as Jesus did with the “untouchables” of his time, we must be ready to see the face of God in each person we meet.
To learn more or register, visit https://catholiccharitieswv.org/blog/7th-annual-social-ministries-conference/.