Washington, DC – Saint Luke Institute has received a $500,000 anonymous donation to expand treatment services for Catholic clergy and religious receiving psychological care. The announcement from the international non-profit education and treatment center was made during Saint Luke’s annual benefit at the Vatican Embassy on Oct. 21, which honored Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory.
“We are deeply grateful for this incredibly generous donation. It’s more than a financial gift; it is a personal commitment to help priests and men and women religious be healthy and, through that, to help our Church be healthier,” said Saint Luke president, Reverend David Songy, O.F.M.Cap, Psy.D.
The Silver Spring, Maryland-based non-profit has served Catholic clergy and religious for more than 40 years. Programs include screening for candidates for the priesthood and religious life; outpatient, residential, and continuing care treatment for mental health concerns; and ongoing formation in healthy life and ministry. The anonymous donation will expand medical services that are included as part of Saint Luke’s holistic treatment programs.
“Many people don’t realize that priests and religious struggle, like everyone else, with depression, stress, burnout, addiction, and other mental health issues. The pressures of ministry and, in many cases, isolation can amplify these problems. At Saint Luke, we specialize in understanding the demands and requirements of ministry. Our focus is helping the men and women who come to us gain or re-gain a healthy life so they can continue to serve in parishes and other ministries. Over 75 percent of those who come to us for residential treatment are able to do so,” Fr. Songy said.
The Saint Luke Benefit, held annually, raises funds and honors an individual or individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to supporting healthy life for priests and religious. This year, Archbishop Gregory received the Saint Luke Award.
“As president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Gregory shepherded the landmark Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People into existence in 2002. He has continued to be a leader who speaks forthrightly and openly about the challenges and responsibilities of Church leaders, and his actions back up his words. He has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to supporting psychological screening for the priesthood, ongoing formation, and mental health care for clergy so they can live out their vocation of service,” said Father Songy.
Saint Luke Institute, www.sli.org, is an independent Catholic treatment center that provides psychological screening for candidates to the priesthood and religious life, as well as outpatient, residential and continuing care programs for Catholic clergy and religious. In-person and online education is provided through the education ministry, SLIconnect. Saint Luke has centers in Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and the United Kingdom.