The Diocese of Phoenix will make history with a special Mass

PHOENIX — For the very first time, the Roman Catholic Church Diocese of Phoenix will hold a memorial mass for those who committed suicide.

It will take place on September 4at Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral and will begin at 9 a.m. sharp Location: 6351 N 27th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85017

Bishop John P. Dolan says it’s time the community started talking about mental health.

He hopes that by sharing his experiences of loss, it will inspire others to open up and that together they can heal as a community.

The ultimate goal is to mental health awareness.

Bishop Dolan shared a personal message on the Diocese’s YouTube page in which he says, “I was in eighth grade when my brother Tom died by suicide. And it left such a terrible wake of grief within the family. “

Heartbreak that escalated soon after.

“My sister Thérèse also committed suicide when I was in the seminary. And we were absolutely devastated as a family because we were waiting for my sister Therese to come over for Thanksgiving,” he added.

Yet she never showed up. “My sister Thérèse died the day before,” Bishop Dolan said.

So, with a heavy and confused heart, Bishop Dolan said he turned to God because, “You just didn’t talk about it. It was in the 70s. You didn’t talk about this reality. But when my younger sister contemplated the possibility of dying, an untimely death. It really touched me because I loved it. I do. I still do and luckily she is a survivor,” he said.

That day, something in him changed.

“I said that from then on I won’t talk about it anymore. I have to talk about it.

So that’s exactly what he did, and he also got help.

Now he wants to help families who feel they can’t talk about their loss.

The first step in all of this is to have a mass of memories.

“It’s a beautiful thing. This is a time of prayer for these families,” Martha Medina told ABC15.

Medina is a devout Catholic who says that initially, when the diocese made the announcement, they were only expecting 200-300 names.

They have since obtained hundreds more.

“It’s amazing how many people have been through this, and no one has really said anything. All of these people need to feel like they’re not alone,” she told ABC15.

“If you feel shame or even guilt for the loss of a loved one to suicide. If this is a reality in your life. I want you to know that the church is here for you,” said Bishop Dolan in the YouTube video.

Here are Bishop Dolan’s hopes for the Mass…

“We will gather at 9 a.m. to offer our prayers and ask the lord to hold those who have gone before us through loss by suicide… hold them in the palm of our hand,” he said.

The deadline to add a name is Friday, September 4, 2022.

988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7.

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