Shalom Center Hosts 2014 International Conference
Shalom Center planned and hosted the 2014 annual International Conference of Consulting and Residential Centers in the Sacred Heart Conference Center at Shalom Center and the Marriott Courtyard in Kingwood on September 25, 26, and 27.
The conference included representatives from nearly all treatment programs in the United States, Canada, and Mexico who specialize in assessment and treatment of Catholic clergy and religious for a variety of mental health and other health problems. The theme of this year’s conference was The Universal Church: Culturally Sensitive Treatment Services and focused on the ethnic and demographic changes occurring in the Catholic Church in the United States and their implications for the treatment of priests, deacons, and men and women religious by places like Shalom Center. Two keynote presentations were provided by Joseph Cook, the Director of Programming for the Institute for Priests and Presbyteriates at Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana. He presented his research in the global forces and trends affecting priests and also addressed acculturation issues for international priests ministering in the United States.
Two Shalom Center therapists, Dr. Patricia Reed and Dr. William Schmidt, presented information to the group on the issues and treatment processes for clergy and religious who come from a variety of cultures with a particular emphasis on Latino and
Vietnamese residents and the uniqueness of providing treatment in a resident’s first language at Shalom Center. Shalom Center has four therapists who are bilingual in Spanish and English and is able to provide services in Spanish.
Father John Guthrie, associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, addressed the group on the new guidelines from the USCCB on the receiving and ongoing support of international priests. The new guidelines have been completed and are available on the USCCB website. He also informed the attendees on other activities of the USCCB of interest to their treatment ministries.
Participating in the conference were Shalom Center, Saint John Vianney Center, Saint Luke Institute, Southdown Institute, Guest House, Vianney Renewal Center, Programa Genesis, the Consultation Center in Albany, New York, the Diocesan Consultation Center of Buffalo, the Prodigal Father Foundation, Scott and White Clinic, Shields and Shields Consultation Services.