Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 GREENSBURG — The education and training sessions to help priests, parish staff members and diocesan employees respond to the opioid crisis will include representatives from local agencies with information about resources specific to each of the diocese’s four counties. Representatives from the drug and alcohol commissions in Westmoreland, Fayette, Armstrong and Indiana counties will be available to provide referral information for use by people in parishes and other diocesan entities and to answer questions at the training sessions. The Armstrong Indiana Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission will have representatives at the training sessions in Kittanning and Indiana. The Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force will be at the Greensburg session, and there will be representatives from Fayette Countybased drug and alcohol agencies at the Uniontown session. The agenda for the training sessions will include basic information about addiction, nonjudgmental language, and the various types of support groups and how to establish a group in a parish or among several parishes. “While we cannot make each parish a recovery center, we can work to provide those on the ‘front lines’ the tools to help someone in crisis find the resources they need to move toward healing and wholeness,” said Msgr. Larry J. Kulick, vicar general and a member of the Bishop’s Advisory Board on the Opioid Epidemic, which helped develop the agenda. The training sessions are for diocesan and parish employees and are scheduled from 1:30-4 p.m. They will be held: • March 1, St. Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Kittanning • March 8, St. Therese, Little Flower of Jesus Parish, Uniontown • March 15, Our Lady of Grace Parish, Greensburg • March 22, St. Thomas More University Parish, Indiana The training sessions are a continuation of Bishop Edward C. Malesic’s initiative to provide a pastoral response to the opioid crisis, which he launched last summer with “A Pastoral Letter on the Drug Abuse Crisis: From Death and Despair to Life and Hope” and a series of seven education sessions and prayer services held throughout the diocese. Bishop Malesic’s pastoral letter is at goo.gl/VyTmE9. — The Catholic Accent
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