Keaton, Douglas, video
VIDEO: Listen to Keaton Douglas, Program Coordinator of I THIRST, discuss the Initiative with Dr. Dianne Traflet of Seton Hall University

Education and Prevention

“Education is the food of youth, the delight of old age, the ornament of prosperity, the refuge and comfort of adversity, and the provocation to grace in the soul.” St. Augustine

The Education and Prevention portion of the I THIRST Initiative provides programs which educate the Catholic community on the nature of substance use disorders, in age-appropriate language, and demonstrate how our Catholic faith can be a powerful tool of prevention.  Much of these programs will be geared toward helping our faith community develop a pastoral approach when treating those afflicted with substance use disorders and their families.

education, training, support

The following programs will be offered as part of the Education and Prevention Portion of the I THIRST Initiative:

School/ Parish Programs

Catechetical Programs

Catholic Campus Ministry Program

Pastoral Care Guide

 Support for Treatment Facilities and the Incarcerated

"We hear frequently of a terrible disaster, many lives are lost. This scourge may have been an earthquake, a hurricane, or indeed any catastrophe. The whole world is shocked; aid is rushed from every quarter to the stricken. What do such misfortunes amount to in comparison to the misery and torments of the thousands upon thousands who, unless helped by you, will live and die without a knowledge or love of God...Do you realize that unless something is done at once, a generation and the children of that generation and their children will be lost to God." Fr. Judge, 1926.

break, chain, freedom
Break Your chains

This portion of the I THIRST Initiative aims to assist those who are currently in withdrawal management, long-term treatment or incarcerated to  develop their own spirituality by introducing them to the concept of spirituality as a necessary dimension of wellness, and to offer a ‘roadmap’ to help them find a Higher Power, even in the midst of their struggles – and allow it to change them.

The I THIRST trained representative would speak to those who are incarcerated and in essence, “sow the seeds” of spirituality by addressing spirituality as a “system of beliefs, existing outside of ourselves, from which we draw a moral code.”

Essentially, those who have experienced no faith tradition or who have been so turned off by ‘religion,’ still have an opportunity to find a healthy relationship with something outside of themselves, a God of their understanding by finding Him in things other than the ‘God concept.’

Example topics:

SPIRITUAL BREADCRUMBS – Learning to Find Joy and Spiritual Nourishment in the Day to Day



THE ROAD TO HOPE – Making the Journey from Anger and Fear Back to Love

The goal of this portion of the I THIRST Initiative is to bring light, hope, and joy to those who have been in the darkness and despair, often because of their substance use disorders or other challenges which have led them to this point of incarceration.

Aftercare and Community Building

 “The power of grace is nowhere as brilliant nor as mystical as in communities of faith.  Its power includes not just love that comes from people and through people, but love that pours forth among people, as if through the very spaces between one-person and the next.  Just to be in such an atmosphere is to be bathed in healing power.” Dr. Gerald G. May. 

together, we, us
Let's Work Together

The Aftercare portion of the I THIRST Initiative focuses on the development of community through the following programs: 

Catholic Recovery Coaching (Spiritual Companionship)

Retreat Programs

Recovery Bible Study

Spirituality of the Big Book Study

Recovery Mass and Intercessory Prayer Session

Winter Wheat Sober Community Living

Winter Wheat Alumni Ministry

Family and Friends Support Group

Mercy House

Special Events