Have you ever considered a vocation to the priesthood or the religious life?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Priest lends ear to troubled teens

Troubled students at a South Los Angeles school have found a friend in a Catholic priest. Missionary Servant Father Stan Bosch, who lives next door to the school at St. Michael Catholic Church's rectory, offers group therapy to the teens, who rarely get a chance to share their pain within their communities.

As a story in the Los Angeles Times explains: 

The idea was met with surprise, even derision; Bosch had to acknowledge that next to the profound problems in the neighborhood, touchy-feely therapy seemed like a silly luxury. But Bosch was determined that he could make the biggest difference by asking the kids the simplest questions: "How are you? How do you feel?"

"No one asks them stuff like that," Bosch said. "Not parents. Not teachers. No one."

Bosch had also been asked to supervise the city's gang-reduction programs in two pockets of South L.A. His therapy idea dovetailed with what City Hall views as the future: "wrap-around" services that envelop the toughest cases like a blanket. That means adding new services to a gang-reduction program that has historically careened from one crisis to the next -- all triage, no healing.

Though the shift is still in its infancy, there are proposals to add a host of services that would seem related only peripherally to troubles with gangs and the law: anger management, parenting classes, sex education, arts programs and mental health therapy like what Bosch offers.

"This is a systemic way of looking at health and healing -- not treating symptoms but looking at root causes," Bosch said. "You can't deal with one area of life without asking: Why? Why do kids join gangs? What are the realities of the streets?"

The students can tell Father Bosch anything. His only request? That they don't call him "homie."

Click HERE to read the entire story.
 

1 comment:

  1. Priest is the right person to guide a troubled teen. He is the right person for someone to be guided troubled teen to have a better life waiting for them.

    I love this quote:
    "This is a system way of looking at health and healing -- not treating symptoms but looking at root causes" Bosh said "You can't deal with one area of life without asking: Why? Why do kids join gangs? What are the realities of the streets?"
    - a very inspiring words.

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