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This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalms 118:24

Your May 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.
Gratia Plena
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the Houston area offering spiritual direction as well as mental health and addictions counseling in an environment which is faithful to the teachings, values, and traditions of the Catholic Church.
 
The Month of May
The month of May has special significance for several reasons.  Although there are indications of some earlier connections between the Blessed Virgin Mary and the month of May, it seems that a more organized devotion of the month of May to Mary arose among the Jesuits in Rome in the late 18th century.  You may know that Pope Francis is a Jesuit.  May is also “national mental health month” in the United States.  In this annual observance, our country seeks to bring greater awareness to mental illness and mental health.  Mental illness and addictions can wreck marriages and families, and interfere with work and school and spirituality.  Mental illness and addiction continue to be overlooked in our US culture, despite the fact that treatment success rates are high.
 
Memorial Day Giveaway!
This Memorial Day, here is something easy you can do to honor and help those who have sacrificed so much for us.  Lighthouse Catholic Media is giving away 10,000 FREE subscriptions to their Military Download of the Month program. All veterans, US military personnel and their families are invited to sign up for a FREE 9-month MP3 subscription of incredible Catholic talks.  We just need to let them know about it!  Please help us spread the word about these free talks by forwarding this email to veterans, military personnel and their families!  Sign up here!  God bless all of those connected to the US military, especially those in the military who gave their lives for our country.
 
Help ADAA and Win a Kindle Fire HD
The deadline to enter is May 31st.  Minimum donation is $25.  The ADAA helps those with anxiety and depression, and fights the stigma against mental illness.
 
Waiting List
Unfortunately, this month Gratia Plena has for the first time to begin a waiting list for new clients.  We continue to receive a high volume of calls.  In our first year of doing business, we were usually able to get people in for their intake appointment within just 2-3 days of contacting us.  We clearly don’t want to turn people away or have them wait when they have bravely reached out for assistance, but a lack of funds is currently preventing us from hiring new counselors.  The good news is that we do have several local and out of state counselors who are interested in working for Gratia Plena.  The word seems to be getting out that we are in line with the Catholic Catechism.  Gratia Plena is also popular because we turn nobody away for lack of insurance or low income.  We continue to search for donors and are in the process of applying for grants in order to continue and expand this ministry.  As we faithfully do our work, we leave the results in God’s hands.
 
Space…the Final Frontier
Since November, we have been patiently and persistently working on new and larger office space.  We hope and believe that we are close to signing a 3 year lease at a location near our current office.  We need LOTS of prayers for this process to get completed soon!  We will send out an email blast and contact clients just as soon as everything is arranged and finalized.
 
Disaster Distress Helpline Provides Immediate Counseling
The SAMHSA-sponsored Helpline, (800) 985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746, offers counseling to those affected by human-caused and natural disasters.  Please pray for those impacted by the explosion in West (TX), the recent severe weather in Oklahoma, and the bombings in Boston.
 
Gratitude
People continue to reach out and offer help to Gratia Plena.  David Malicki has offered us some technical assistance, and donated a PowerPoint controller for use when we offer presentations.  Leo A. Carrasco, Attorney at Law and Mary Cubelo Hinton of Suncrest Florida Properties shared with us their legal and real estate expertise as we have been working out the lease contract for the new office space.  We give thanks to God for you!
 
Two Special Summer Offerings
We are offering this summer two special group experiences that promote healing.  The first is called “King David’s Men” which started this past Lent at Sts. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus Friends of Jesus Catholic Church in Kingwood.  This ongoing weekly group is for adult men and it addresses issues of sexual fidelity for those who are single or married.  It is free of charge, and Gratia Plena psychologist Dr. Ken would be happy to help you organize and launch the group at your parish.  All that is needed is a few good men who feel called to help get this started.  The second group is called “Art as Recovery” and will be led by Gratia Plena spiritual director Mary Kay Malicki.  It will likely begin in early July and will have a fee associated with it.  This 12-session group uses art and 12-Step themes, though people do not need to be involved in 12-Step programs or have an addiction to benefit.  Contact us to sign-up, as space will be limited for this group.
 
Another School Year Ends…
As school winds down, Gratia Plena is already lining up our 2013-2014 school year schedule of public speaking events in the community.  We are happy to make presentations on any variety of mental health or spiritual direction topics to Ladies Guilds, Knights of Columbus councils, Adult Education groups, and so on.  We see this work as being in the area of prevention.  There are three categories of prevention interventions:  (1) before a problem develops, with the hopes of it not developing at all, (2) soon after a problem first develops so that a person or couple or family can get into treatment early and thus have greater odds of success, and (3) after a problem is well established, to stop it from getting worse and to get relief and healing.  So as you put your parish schedule together, let us know if you’d like to have us out next school year.  We look forward to hearing from you!
 
Networking
Last month we mentioned that we have begun meeting with clergy and women religious to let everyone know about Gratia Plena and to seek funding.  Following the suggestions of others, Dr. Ken, Luisa, and Mary have this month just recently met with retired Bishop Rizzotto and retired Archbishop Fiorenza.  We were so thankful that these good servants were willing to share their wisdom and suggestions with us.  Please pray for these two great men who have served God and the community so well.  In addition, Dr. Ken and his wife were invited to and had dinner this month with the local Regnum Christi community.  This is a group of consecrated women living together in the Houston area who work in a variety of different apostolates in order to help build the Kingdom of God.  Check out this link to find out more about them.
 
Our Favorite Prayers
We have added a new page on our web site where you can examine and download some of our favorite prayers.  Follow the link here.  We will add more prayers as time goes on, so check back every so often.
 
Book of the Month Recommendation:
This month we promote the book For Better…Forever:  A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage by Catholic therapist Dr. Gregory Popcak.  This book helps couples build stronger relationships by looking at their strong and weak characteristics.  It contains practical and down-to-earth recommendations.  He and his wife Lisa host a daily program on Ave Maria Radio.  In next month’s newsletter, watch for our “Movie of the Month” recommendation and get your popcorn ready.
 
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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