iThirst Spiritual Companionship Training is being offered as part of the Continuing Education Program at Seton Hall University and the Archdiocese of Newark's Social Concerns Office's Opioid Addiction Task Force.
The program seeks to give people in recovery the spiritual tools they need to stay clean and lead the faith-based fight against substance-use disorders, especially opioid addiction. It also educates the clergy and laity about substance abuse disorders so that the Church might be a resource for the afflicted and their families.
"The program is meant to allow parishes to have people trained in accompaniment for families that have suffered with addictions," said Fr. Timothy Graff, the director of the Social Concerns Office.
It runs from Feb. 1 to March 24 every Monday and Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, and to register visit Seton Hall's website.
Addiction is a defining problem of society, with physiological, and mental health components that must be addressed, according to the description of the course on the University's website. Ultimately, however, the desolation, the abandonment and the guilt which are all "hallmarks" of the addicted life are in many ways spiritual problems which require a spiritual remedy.
The iTHIRST online training seeks to provide this spiritual remedy to those suffering from addiction through the development and implementation of programs designed to educate and prevent, to provide support to treatment facilities and those incarcerated, and to develop an aftercare community for the afflicted and their families.
The words “I thirst” were among the last words of Christ on the Cross, as well as the words painted in every Chapel belonging to the Missionaries of Charity, St. Teresa of Calcutta’s order. St. Teresa said these words are a reminder that the Missionaries were there to “quench the thirst of Jesus for souls, for love, for kindness, for compassion, for delicate love.”
The iTHIRST training will be taught by Keaton Douglas, founder of the iTHIRST initiative, which is an acronym for "The Healing Initiative—Recovery, Spirituality, and Twelve Steps." The initiative seeks to give people in recovery the spiritual tools they need to stay clean and lead the faith-based fight against substance-use disorders, especially opioid addiction. It also educates the clergy and laity about substance abuse disorders so that the Church might be a resource for the afflicted and their families. Read more about Keaton in the articles linked under "Resources."
The iThirst Initiative is a Mission of the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity. Douglas is a consultant, educator, counselor and frequent guest speaker in the field of addiction and recovery, particularly as it pertains to the interface of Catholic spirituality and recovery.