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Brookline parish forum explores opioid crisis


Father Joe White, the director of the Archdiocesan Addiction Recovery Pastoral Support Services, speaks at the Opioid Crisis Forum March 8. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe

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BROOKLINE -- State and local leaders on the front lines of addressing opioid abuse came together March 8 at St. Mary of the Assumption Elementary School in Brookline for a forum dedicated to seeking understanding of and addressing the ongoing crisis.

The forum, which was sponsored by St. Mary Parish and the non-profit residential treatment center Hope House, came less than a week after the four Catholic bishops of Massachusetts issued a statement calling for increased action to combat the growing opioid crisis in the state.

Father Brian Clary, pastor of St. Mary's, welcomed attendees to the Opioid Crisis Forum, and helped introduce the forum's 10 panelists, each of whom spoke on different aspects of addressing the opioid crisis.

Among the first panelists to address the gathering was Father Joe White, the director of the newly created Archdiocese of Boston ministry, Archdiocesan Addiction Recovery Pastoral Support Services (AARPSS).

The ministry collaborates with various agencies and organizations to assist parishes throughout the archdiocese in ministering to addicted persons and their families. It seeks education, prevention, treatment, and solutions for the disease of addiction.

"To somehow bring in that component of spirituality -- that's our efforts with networking with all the agencies and the legislation," said Father White.

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