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Pope Francis

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When a priest needs help, where does he go?

2014-06-09

Priests often help those who feel depressed, alone or discouraged. But what happens when it's the priest who needs help? That's where the St. Luke Institute comes in. 

FR. STEPHEN ROSSETTI
St. Luke Institute, President
"There is not a place around the United States and in many foreign countries where I don't bump into someone who says, I went to St. Luke Institute and it saved my life.”

Fr. Stephen Rossetti is psychologist. He's also the president and CEO of St. Luke Institute. It's a center that helps troubled priests and religious who deal with all types of addictions, including physiological, spiritual or physical problems. 

FR. STEPHEN ROSSETTI
St. Luke Institute, President 
"They come with a variety of issues, alcoholism, depression, anxiety all those kind of issues and most of them do get better and go back.” 

Roughly 80 percent of priests and religious get back on their feet and do well in their ministries. The program is based on a regular treatment program that's about 6 months long.

FR. STEPHEN ROSSETTI
St. Luke Institute, President 
"It's a regular therapeutic program, good psychology, good spirituality and we have a strong physical program too.” 

The headquarters of the St. Luke Institute is in Silver Spring Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C, there's another center in Louisville Kentucky, one in Baltimore and another in St. Louis. Internationally there's also an institute in Manchester, England and South Africa. 

As a whole, he says the majority of priests are happy. But just like any vocation, it has its ups and downs. 

FR. STEPHEN ROSSETTI
St. Luke Institute, President 
"Now that doesn't mean priests don't have problems, of course we have our share, but the notion that priests are uniquely dysfunctional is just not true.” 

Fr. Rossetti says that helping out his fellow priests and religious, at a time when they need it most, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in his 30 years of priesthood. 


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