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In the world you will have trouble, but take courage:  I have conquered the world.  John 16:33

Your July Newsletter
Our Mission:
to provide counseling which is faithful to the teachings, values, and traditions of the Catholic Church.

Our Primary Services:
Evaluation and Treatment for mental illness & addictions.
DIY Newlywed Game
Some older folks may remember the TV game show from the 60s in which spouses were asked questions about his/her mate.  Those that knew each other the best would win fabulous prizes.  How well do you know your spouse?  What are his or her hopes, dreams, and aspirations?  Play this game instead of veg’ing out in front of the TV:  each write down independently on a piece of paper:  in the left column your own hopes, dreams, and aspirations…and in the right column those of your spouse.  Then compare notes and share and have a discussion about this.  Your fabulous prize is a stronger relationship.  Smile and have fun.
 
Spiritual Boot Camp for Incoming College Freshmen
A Vietnam vet and I were recently talking over lunch with a young Catholic man who is very excited to be leaving home for the first time and heading off to a very large state school next month in August.  In passing I made a comment, partly in jest, that young Catholic college freshmen need a spiritual boot camp to prepare for the spiritual battle that they will encounter when they show up on campus.  The Vietnam veteran agreed with me.  The question is:  when a good Catholic youngster goes off to college, will he or she be an even better Catholic four years later at college graduation?  I’d love to gather a few inspired people together to start planning a “Spiritual Boot Camp for Freshmen” for next summer.  I’m not sure what this would look like, but I envision a spiritual obstacle course at the end!  Contact Dr. Ken if you want to be part of this project.
 
Consider Faith and Family Night
Dr. Ken attended the Astros’ MLB game on Saturday, July 20th which was followed by a fantastic concert by the Christian band Tenth Avenue North.  Between the game and the concert there was a presentation which reported that this program started many years ago with the Astros, and that the Astros have sponsored more Faith and Family Night events than any other professional sports organization!  Three current Astros players were interviewed and briefly shared their faith testimony.  It was a great evening.  The next and last event this season is Saturday, September 14th with David Crowder.  Get your tickets now and take the family or your church’s youth group!
 
Our Lady of Guadalupe-Rosenberg is Building
Dr. Ken showed up at their annual bazaar on Sunday, July 21st ready to do some volunteer work, but Fr. Flores seemed to have everything well under control.  The parish is set to begin construction on their new church building early next year, and their bazaar was a smashing success!  Despite heavy rain in the morning and steamy temperatures during the day, there was a great turnout.  This parish is on fire!
 
Archdiocesan Prayer Breakfast
Mary Malicki, Daniela Prado, and Dr. Ken represented Gratia Plena at this event which was held Friday morning July 26th and attended by well over a thousand people.  Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles was the keynote speaker and connected the history of missionary work in early America to the secular culture of our modern times.  He said:  “America has again become a missionary territory.”  He called upon all American Christians to be individual missionaries, mystics, and saints in the conversion of our country, “one heart at a time.”
 
Archdiocesan Men’s Day of Prayer
Saturday July 27th several hundred men from near and far gathered at St. Laurence for a men-only Day of Prayer.  The day began with the rosary and finished with Mass.  Cardinal DiNardo stayed and took pictures with every man afterwards.  There were several excellent talks, including one from Fr. Brendan Cahill on “faith” in which he shared some ideas from Pope Francis’ first encyclical.
 
World Youth Day 2013:  Brazil!
We pray for safe travel home and for the lasting spiritual growth of those who attended this massive event in Rio.  Isn’t it amazing that this event in Brazil was planned well before Pope Francis from Argentina started his pontificate?  Only the Holy Spirit could have organized such a thing.  WYD2016 will be held in Poland.
 
Tech Updates
Our on-line donation page on our web site has been reconfigured for the new credit card processing company.  Instead of a donation, think of your funding assistance of Gratia Plena as an investment.  Gratia Plena is an investment in people working and going to school, families and marriages staying together, individuals becoming free from the enslavement of addictions, and on and on.  It is an investment in rebuilding the community, reducing marginalization, and adding more missionaries to the fields.  Secondly, we now have the capability for Customer Satisfaction Surveys to be completed on-line.  When people finish their treatment or spiritual direction at Gratia Plena, they will receive the link to complete an anonymous, quick 10-item survey.  We will examine the data to improve our services.
 
Gratia Plena Supports OA and King David’s Men
A group of women is forming a new Overeaters Anonymous chapter in the Rosenberg/Wharton area.  If you are interested, let Dr. Ken know and he’ll get you in touch with them.  They are in the early planning stages but are very enthusiastic.  The 12-Step approach is a spiritual program of recovery.  King David’s Men may be coming to Sugar Land soon.  This is program for men seeking sexual purity whether single or married.  It makes use of fraternal support but is not group therapy and not a 12-Step program.  Contact Dr. Ken about the details.  Gratia Plena offers our consultation to help programs like this get started.  Both of these programs are free to participants.
 
Update on the Gratia Plena Office
You are probably as tired of hearing about our office space challenges as we are from hassling with them.  Our search continues.  We seek the intervention of the Holy Family, who could not find a place at an Inn in Bethlehem, to help us find a suitable place to do our work.  We wanted to offer the Art as Recovery program during the summer, but the office space issues got in the way.  Instead of trying to offer this program from our office, we will see if a nearby parish will host us.
 
Book of the Month Recommendation:
This month we recommend the 2011 book Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by theologian Brant Pitre.  Even if you already have a deep love and appreciation for the Eucharist, this fantastic book will take you to a new place.  Pitre uses his knowledge of the Old Testament and Jewish history as his platform for explaining why the Passion occurred during Passover, the significance of Manna, and the meaning of the Bread of the Presence.  In next month’s newsletter, watch for our “Movie of the Month” recommendation.
 
Disclaimer: Gratia Plena and its staff do not receive any compensation or earthly benefits from recommending books, movies, music, websites, blogs, apps, et cetera…
Copyright © 2013 Gratia Plena, All rights reserved.

Contact Us:
3 Sugar Creek Center Blvd, Suite 100, Sugar Land, TX 77478
(832) 886-6850
www.gratiaplenacounseling.org 
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