Fiat. So spoke the Virgin Mary to the angel Gabriel. This is a word of creation––“let it be”––one that echoes the command of the Creator, who said Fiat lux, “let there be light”. With her fiat, Mary gave all she had to bear and share the Word of God.
In Mary is the mission of the Church––from and for that mission comes a new program here at the McGrath Institute for Church Life with a name given in Mary’s voice. The Fiat Program of Faith and Mental Health seeks to form Catholic leaders to better care for and accompany persons with mental health challenges and their loved ones. This effort comes from the heart of the Church’s mission to bear and share the Body of Christ, caring for each member within the communion of his love.
In practice, Fiat generates research, teaching, and formation opportunities to inform and strengthen sacramental and pastoral care that uplifts the dignity and goodness of each person. Fiat assists dioceses, parishes, and communities in fostering a culture of communion wherein the whole person is embraced and can experience the grace of Christian friendship and the sacramental life.
The director of this bold and timely initiative is my guest today. Beth Hlabse is director of the Fiat program in the McGrath Institute for Church Life. With degrees in mental health counseling, theology, and peace studies, Beth has provided therapeutic care for adolescents and adults with histories of trauma and adverse child experiences. Her therapeutic approach is integrative, attending to neural-developmental influences and the intersection of spirituality and psychology. She brings not only her experience to the Fiat Program, but also a Catholic vision for the wholeness of the human person and an understanding of the interdisciplinary approaches necessary for developing the best mental health resources and forming Catholic leaders capable of nurturing mental health in the communities they serve.
Church Life Today is a partnership between the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and OSV Podcasts from Our Sunday Visitor. Discover more ways to live, learn, and love your Catholic faith at osvpodcasts.com. Sharing stories, starting conversations.