'I always like to join a local parish for the celebration of Palm Sunday, and this year I was invited to celebrate with St. Rose of Lima Parish in Chelsea.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
That evening (4/7), I was very happy to attend A Future in Bloom Dinner Gala to benefit Franciscan Children's Hospital.
Franciscan Children's was founded in the late 1930s by Cardinal Cushing with the help of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, and was staffed and administered for many years by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. Today, the hospital serves about 16,000 children each year.
During this year's dinner, they made a very strong presentation explaining the care they give to children suffering from mental illness, which I found very compelling.
In our society, and even in our Church, we don't do enough for those who suffer from mental illness. Unfortunately, there is such a stigma in society that sometimes, rather than seeing this as a disease and something that needs to be cured or cared for, instead there is often fear, anxiety and even prejudice around mental illness. They emphasized the fact that the highest cause of death among teenagers is suicide. They told us that, while statistics for other afflictions have changed over the years because of advancements in science etc., sadly the statistics on suicide have remained constant.
I was very pleased to see how Franciscan Children's is stepping up to the plate to meet these needs for young people.