Regina Caeli counselor retires after long, fruitful career

Dr. Kathryn Benes founded Regina Caeli Clinical Services in 2011

Aaron Lambert

Dr. Kathryn Benes, the founding psychologist of Regina Caeli Clinical Services (RCCS), is retiring after a fruitful 23 year career, 21 of which were spent in service to the Catholic Church. She will retire Feb. 5, and will be succeeded by a former student of hers, Dr. Linda Montagna. Dr. Montagna began at RCCS on Jan. 4 so as to provide a smooth transition of leadership.

Benes directed a Catholic Health Ministry from 1994 to 2006 in the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., and in 2011, under the request of Archbishop Charles Chaput and the Catholic Charities Executive Staff and Board, she brought a similar program to the Archdiocese of Denver, which became RCCS.

RCCS not only provides excellent and affordable psychological services to individuals and families, it also has formed a new generation of outstanding faith-based psychologists through its internship and post-doctoral residency training program, Benes said.

The response to the first RCCS clinic in Denver was so positive that it has since grown to boast six clinical sites throughout the Front Range, in addition to providing multiple other outreach psychological services to Catholic schools and archdiocesan ministries.

“I have been honored to work with some of the finest psychologists, therapists and support staff that I have ever known,” Benes said. “The love the Lord and desire to serve Christ and the Church with their lives. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

She added that she’ll miss everyone and that “the people of the Archdiocese of Denver will remain in my heart and prayers forever.”

Benes and her husband, Greg, will be moving back to Lincoln, where she plans to continue to serve the Church in whatever manner she’s called to. She’s currently in the process of establishing a consultation private practice that will assist dioceses around the country with the development of other Catholic mental health ministries.

What she’s looking forward to most, though, is spending more time with her family — and especially her grandchildren.

For more information about RCCS and the services they offer, visit their website here.

COMING UP: Don’t miss ‘the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century’

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Don’t miss ‘the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century’

Denver’s Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition brings to life Judaism at time of Jesus

Vladimir Mauricio-Perez

“Welcome to Israel, the Biblical land of milk and honey at the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia… an archaeologist’s paradise”: These words mark the start of a once-in-a-lifetime immersion into ancient Israel that the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition brings to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science March 16 to Sep. 3.

The exhibition, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Denver, not only displays the authentic Dead Sea Scrolls that have captivated millions of believers and non-believers around the world, but also a timeline back to Biblical times filled with ancient objects that date back to events written about in the Old Testament more than 3,000 years ago.

“We are convinced that the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the Judean desert are the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century,” said Dr. Uzi Dahari, deputy director of the Israel Antiquities. “These scrolls, written in Hebrew, are the oldest copy of the Bible.”

In fact, some of these manuscripts are almost a thousand years older than the oldest copies of the Bible that had been discovered, providing a great wealth of knowledge about Judaism at the time of Jesus.

“So many things have changed [since this discovery],” said Dr. Michael Barber, professor of Scripture and Theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver. “We now understand first-century Judaism in a way we didn’t in the past and see how the Biblical authors are breathing the same air as other ancient Jews.”

An exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will be on display until Sept. 3. (Photos by Andrew Wright | Denver Catholic)

The air of first-century Israel was filled with expectations for the coming of the Messiah. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which have been associated with a unique religious Jewish community that lived a structured life, are a witness to this reality, he explained.

“[These communities] were trying to live in such a way as to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. They looked forward to a new covenant and the restoration of the glory of Adam” Dr. Barber said. “We see so many overlaps of how the New Testament is a fulfillment of the Jewish expectations of the time.”

The exhibition immerses guests into the history of the chosen people of God, from artifacts impressed with seals belonging to Biblical kings, such as Hezekiah, to an authentic stone block that fell from Jerusalem’s Western Wall in 70 AD.

“We preferred to select scientifically important items, some very small, some very large… but all of great significance,” Dr. Dahari said.

“Israel’s archaeological sites and artifacts have yielded extraordinary record of human achievement,” added Dr. Risa Levitt Kohn, curator of the exhibit and professor at San Diego State University. “The pots, coins, weapons, jewelry and other artifacts on display in this exhibition constituted a momentous contribution to our cultural legacy. They teach us about the past, but they also teach us about ourselves.”