Appeal puts psychology at the service of the Church

Julie Filby

From helping wounded families, to aiding post-abortive women and men, Regina Caeli Clinical Services extends the healing ministry of Jesus Christ by bringing psychology to the service of the Church.

Established four years ago under Catholic Charities, Regina Caeli Clinical Services (RCCS) is one of nearly 40 ministries aided by the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal.

“RCCS was created as a response to the expressed needs of priests, deacons and Catholic school administrators,” explained 25-year psychologist Kathryn Benes, director of clinical services. “(People) needed to have access to psychological services that are both affordable and enlightened by the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

While services are available to anyone regardless of religious affiliation, RCCS therapists adhere to Catholic doctrine and moral teaching in their practice.

“About 95 percent of our clients are fellow Catholics,” Benes said. “Approximately 86 percent of the people who come to us are referred by their priest, deacon, or other Catholic entity.”

RCCS provides services to individuals, families, adolescents and children, as well as post-abortion care and counseling through Project Rachel, and services to Catholic schools.

Fifteen people, including four licensed psychologists, six master-level therapists, three doctoral interns and one registered therapist, staff RCCS. While the main clinic is located in Littleton, satellite clinics are in Loveland, Northglenn, Fort Collins and the University of Colorado in Boulder. Additionally, counseling is provided at nine Catholic elementary schools.

“Crisis mental health services are available to all schools with the Archdiocese of Denver,” Benes said, adding that RCCS also provides psychological assessments for seminarians and women religious candidates discerning a religious vocation.

At a time when the family is under attack, RCCS is especially proud of its services to couples and children.

“Married couples and children are the heart of the Church,” Benes said. “When they are hurting, the Church is hurting. By helping to strengthen families in need, we are helping to strengthen the Christian fabric of the ecclesial community, as well as the greater social order.”

Not only is RCCS providing professional counseling that is in keeping with Church teaching, but through its doctoral internship training site in the archdiocese, it is producing graduates who then go out and evangelize through the mental health profession. This effort aims to fix a “broken” mental health care system, Benes said.

“This objective, to form outstanding mental health professionals from a Catholic understanding of the human person, along with the objective to provide clients with excellent Catholic community-based mental health services, fills an important need that is present in Colorado and throughout the U.S.,” she said. “To Catholic Charities’ knowledge, there are only three such Catholic community mental health internship training sites in the United States.”

While fees at RCCS are competitive with other mental health providers in Colorado, approximately 80 percent of the clients receive significant grant assistance. Clients who choose to use insurance are also accommodated.

“Without grant assistance, most of the clients seen at RCCS would not be able to receive any type of mental health services,” Benes said. “No client is turned away because of their inability to pay.”

The commitment to provide services to clients regardless of their ability to pay means Regina Caeli Clinical Services needs to raise more than $1 million a year to cover operating expenses.

“The bottom line is simple,” Benes said, “RCCS couldn’t keep its doors open and provide mental health services to those in need if it were not for the generosity of … donors.

“The very idea,” declared Benes, “that we exist to service our community in a time when resources are limited in Colorado is our success story.”

> For more about Regina Caeli Clinical Services, visit www.RCCSDenver.org  or call 720-377-1359

> To donate to the 2015 Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal, visit www.archden.org/donate

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MORE ABOUT CATHOLIC CHARITIES

www.ccdenver.org | 303-742-0828

As the charitable arm of the Archdiocese of Denver, Catholic Charities serves 50,000 people in need a year throughout northern Colorado. Headquartered in Denver, it has regional offices in Glenwood Springs, Greeley and Fort Collins. Services include:

Adoption – services to birth parents, adoptive families and individuals involved in past adoption.

Child care – six child-care centers in the Denver metro area including early childhood education for infants to preschool and educational services to parents.

Counseling – Regina Caeli Clinical Services offers individual, family, marriage, school-based and outpatient counseling services, including post-abortion care and counseling.

Emergency assistance – one-time aid to families and individuals who can prove a state of emergency.

Foster care – equips and supports foster families caring for children in out-of-home placements and offers a foster-adopt program.

Homeless shelters – provide homeless individuals and families with safe shelter, warm clothing, food and supportive services that aim to help them become self-reliant.

Housing – as an affiliate of Catholic Charities, Archdiocesan Housing provides affordable, service-enriched housing for seniors, families and disabled persons, as well as farm labor housing.

Immigration services – direct legal assistance and public education to persons with valid legal claims to status in the United States.

Lighthouse Women’s Center – a licensed medical center dedicated to helping women make important decisions about their reproductive health.

Pregnancy counseling – guidance to individuals, couples and families facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Relatives raising children (kinship care) – support groups, material assistance and referrals for relatives acting as primary caregivers.

Senior services – help older adults maintain safe, quality independent living via benefit assistance, case management and referrals, chronic disease management, and the Mulroy Senior Center in Denver.

Victim assistance – aid to families and individuals who are victims of crime referred through the District Attorney office in metro Denver and Weld County.

COMING UP: Lebanese priest: ‘We need your prayers’ after Beirut explosions

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A Lebanese Catholic priest has asked believers around the world to pray for the people of his country, after two explosions in Beirut injured hundreds of people and are reported to have left at least 10 people dead.

“We ask your nation to carry Lebanon in its hearts at this difficult stage and we place great trust in you and in your prayers, and that the Lord will protect Lebanon from evil through your prayers,” Fr. Miled el-Skayyem of the Chapel of St. John Paul II in Keserwan, Lebanon, said in a statement to EWTN News Aug. 4.

“We are currently going through a difficult phase in Lebanon, as you can see on TV and on the news,” the priest added.

Raymond Nader, a Maronite Catholic living in Lebanon, echoed the priest’s call.

“I just ask for prayers now from everyone around the world. We badly need prayers,” Nader told CNA Tuesday.

Explosions in the port area of Lebanon’s capital overturned cars, shattered windows, set fires, and damaged buildings across Beirut, a city of more than 350,000, with a metro area of more than 2 million people.

“It was a huge disaster over here and the whole city was almost ruined because of this explosion and they’re saying it’s kind of a combination of elements that made this explosion,” Antoine Tannous, a Lebanese journalist, told CNA Tuesday.

Officials have not yet determined the cause of the explosions, but investigators believe they may have started with a fire in a warehouse that stored explosive materials. Lebanon’s security service warned against speculations of terrorism before investigators could assess the situation.

According to Lebanon’s state-run media, hundreds of injured people have flooded hospital emergency rooms in the city.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab has declared that Wednesday will be a national day of mourning. The country is almost evenly divided between Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, and Chrsitians, most of whom are Maronite Catholics. Lebanon also has a small Jewish population, as well as Druze and other religious communities.

Featured image: A picture shows the scene of an explosion near the port in the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 4, 2020. – Two huge explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding dozens of people, shaking buildings and sending huge plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. Lebanese media carried images of people trapped under rubble, some bloodied, after the massive explosions, the cause of which was not immediately known. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)