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A Message from Father Dennis Polanco, SA

May 12, 2020

 

Hello. My name is Father Dennis, and I work at St. Christopher’s Inn.

One of the greatest gifts given to humanity by our Creator, whom I choose to call a loving God, is the freedom to choose our path in life. Our Higher Power respects the dignity of each of us and is even willing to walk with us when we make bad choices that harm ourselves and others. Over and over again, our Higher Power journeys with us, urging us to recovery and new life. Shame or guilt may overwhelm us, but through the recovery process we experience self-forgiveness and hope.

Before the COVID-19 virus that has engulfed our globe, another epidemic has wreaked havoc and destruction, even death, on many people: the disease of addiction. It continues today amidst the pandemic. It is a blessing to know how modern technology has enabled us to break through our physical isolation and stay connected. While many 12-step groups and other types of recovery programs have paused in physically gathering, a new form of global community has emerged through various kinds of social media. This is truly a blessing for us all.

People all over have inspired us with their courage, determination, dedication and compassion in helping those today who are sick and suffering with the Coronavirus. Thousands of people in recovery are doing the same in reaching out to one another, saving lives, one day at a time from the epidemic of addiction.

We don’t hear about them on the news, but we know that a supportive recovery community is there to help all in need of support. Recovering persons are out there, bringing hope where there is fear, where there is despair. This is true of our own St. Christopher’s Inn alumni who have brought virtual AA meetings to the Inn and who continue after to reach out to the men when they depart.

So many treatment centers and their dedicated staffs continue to meet the needs of people in recovery, despite the risks of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff at the Inn has adapted to this new normal of the pandemic and the changes that it brings almost every day. They have ensured the health and safety of our Brothers Christopher by practicing social distancing, wearing masks, fostering good hygiene and using telepractice to provide counselling and treatment remotely.

Staff in all the various departments of the Inn are working hard together as a team in this essential ministry of recovery from addiction for our Brothers Christopher. They are truly heroes in the fight against the epidemic of addiction.

One of our Brothers Christopher asked his counselor how to cope in these difficult and uncertain times. He was so worried about the condition of his family members when he called them. Some family members had become ill, others were out of work, and still others had a hard time getting food on the table each day. These were terrible stresses, both on them and on him while here in recovery.

His first inclination was to pack up, leave and go, but his counselor urged him to stay and continue in his own recovery that was so important. It was a hard choice, but thank God he decided to stay. His family, though experiencing so many challenges at home, knew that he was in a safe and spiritual place, making progress day by day. This was the greatest gift he could give to them at this time. He was returning to his true self and finally discovering peace.

Our mission at the Inn is to experience and share the gift of At-One-Ment. The whole world is discovering this same reality of being at one in so many new ways. Our Brothers Christopher become at one in body, mind and spirit on a daily basis with help from each other, our dedicated staff and our Friars here at the Inn.

We thank you all who have made the choice to support us at the Inn. We pray that God keep you safe, bring health and healing to all.

Blessings and peace.

Father Dennis Polanco
President & Spiritual Director
St. Christopher’s Inn

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St. Christopher’s Inn800-424-0027 • 845-335-1000
Addiction Treatment & Recovery Community
21 Franciscan Way P.O. Box 150 Garrison, NY 10524
SCIInfo@AtonementFriars.org
Office of Mission Support888-720-8247
P.O. Box 303 Garrison, NY 10524
St. Christopher's Inn is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. EIN: 13-3668321.