My brother Scott has lived with the pain of schizophrenia for over 40 years, almost all of my entire life. I remember the years before his diagnosis, when he would carry me on his shoulders with our dog, taking me for a walk to throw rocks into the water. I adored him, my oldest brother, and I shared in my family's pain as we watched him enter the throes of mental illness, in and out of hospitals in Massachusetts and New York. My wife and I visit him frequently, bringing him his favorite milkshake, candies and iced tea. We always remember to pray a Hail Mary with him before we leave. No matter how difficult the visit, no matter how upset Scott might be, we always experience a moment of peace when we join hands with him and pray. During these moments he is the most lucid, often smiling and, always hugging us when we leave.
In my journey to support my brother and my family, I searched for spiritual support for those persons with mental illness and their family members. I found none. I watched him become hospitalized year after year and he progressively became worse; he never became well.
Our family experienced the pain and grief of seeing a loved one suffer immensely from mental illness and only felt helpless. Not to mention, the stigma and other people's attitude towards our family because of this disease. I felt compelled to do something.
After much prayer to the Blessed Mother, I felt inspired by Her to begin this apostolate for Her most suffering children through Her special son whose name is Saint Benedict Joseph Labre.
To date, our members number close to four thousand families from some 40 countries. Some of our distinguished spiritual support members who are our friends include: Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Father Benedict Joseph Groeschel, CFR, Mother Angelica and all of her sisters and many, many others. The stories and the letters we receive on a daily basis are truly heart-wrenching. We extend love and compassion to all of our members. Will you join us?
Timothy Duff-, STM
NACC and ERD Certified Chaplain
For over twenty-five years I felt so alone in my sorrow from the pain and mental anguish of my son's illness.
I wanted and needed the "healing love" of my Church and the spiritual support of my brothers and sisters in Christ. But where was I to find it?
Now! I will never cry alone again.
And because of the Guild of St. Benedict Joseph Labre, may no mother or anyone suffering from mental illness cry alone. We will hold you in our heart, remember you in our loving prayers and cry with you; together, we will experience the love, comfort and hope of the Merciful Mother of the Mentally Ill and St. Benedict Joseph Labre.
God brought us to Father Benedict J. Grosechel, CFR who has been there from the beginning to advise and support us with his love and presence.
May this Guild bring you great comfort and joy!
Mildred Duff, mother of Scott
Father Benedict Joseph Groeschel, C.F.R. and Mrs. Mildred Duff