Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Greensburg Volume 57, No . 12 MARY SEAMANS THE CATHOLIC ACCENT CELEBRATING CLERGY: Priests who serve in the diocese gather with Bishop Edward C. Malesic Oct. 11 after a Mass at SS. Simon & Jude Church, Blairsville. The clergy met for their annual Priests’ Convocation Oct. 10-12 at Chestnut Ridge Conference Center. National Vocation Awareness Week will be celebrated Nov. 5-11. Curriculum developed in response to opioid crisis By Jerry Zufelt Editor GREENSBURG — Age-appropriate, faith-based lessons focusing on chemical abuse and addiction have been distributed to all parishes in the diocese for use in their faith formation programs. The curricula are one aspect of the diocese’s response to the opioid crisis launched this summer with “A Pastoral Letter on the Drug Abuse Crisis: From Death and Despair to Life and Hope,” written by Bishop Edward C. Malesic, and the seven education sessions and prayer services held in each of the diocese’s four counties. In his pastoral letter, Bishop Malesic stresses the need for prayer and for parishes to educate members of their communities to address the crisis. There are separate lesson plans for stu-dents in elementary school (K-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12). “The lessons focus on how faith plays a role in healthy life styles,” said Robert Sherwin, managing director of the Office for Evangelization and Faith Formation. The lessons are drawn from mate-rials provided by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the bishop’s pastoral letter and can be presented in a single classroom or in group settings with students from all the appropriate grades, he said. “The goal is to help our young people prevent the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol,” Sherwin said. “And there are ways to put faith in action to help family members or friends who are struggling with addiction.” The lessons incorporate prayer, faith sharing, Scripture and specific actions, he said. Individual parishes will determine their implementation schedule. The Office for Catholic Schools is devel-oping a health curriculum that incorpo-rates a drug education component, and it will be implemented later this school year, according to Barb Sabo, director of Catholic school services. The bishop’s pastoral letter is at www.dioceseofgreensburg.org. YOUR VOTE COUNTS! VOTE IN THE PENNSYLVANIA GENERAL ELECTION TUESDAY, NOV. 7. INSIDE THIS ISSUE A new Saint John Paul II Center is dedicated in Natrona Heights. PAG E 3 PAGES 8-9 Nearly 90 diocesan pilgrims return from a 12-day journey through Italy.