KruegersblogJanuary 4, 2014 we continue our diaconate journey…

Today is our first class of the New Year. We continued our discussion of the Gospel of John as well as our bereavement training. The bereavement training is what we will be discussing.

The speaker today was Veronica Scarpelli who is a Grief Recovery Specialist, Bereavement Coordinator and on the Committee for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Veronica discussed the cause and effect of suicide. She talked about it from both a mental illness view as well as a loss of a loved one. She lost her husband to this illness.

In the United States, someone dies from suicide every 13.2 minutes and 65% know someone who has died this way with 45% directly affected.  In the world, someone takes their own life every 40 seconds.  It is possible that 90 % of mental illnesses can be corrected, which those who suffer from depression, anxiety and by-polar disorders with medication.

The thought of taking one’s own life is not something that is genetically transmitted. A human being inherent reaction is to flee from danger.  A mental illness, however, can be genetically transmitted. The loss of life through suicide is caused by mental illness. It is not committed; it is not something done with forethought, with the reduction of serotonin in the body, which depletes the brain, which leads to a mind that cannot reason, rationalize or function correctly. A person does not commit cancer or commit a heart attack; it is the same with suicide.

In the Catholic Catechism, 2283, states that loss of life through suicide is not a mortal sin.  The grief felt by a loved one over the death of someone who is lost to suicide is no different from grief over the loss of someone in any other way. Due to the stigma attached to suicide, those who remain, might need to discuss their feelings with another who has had a similar experience.  We as a community often don’t know what to say, we struggle, even with good friends, to be present during the grief period.  Being present is the one way to be most supportive, there might not be words, but to be present is to show the griever that you care, you are a child of God and want to surround them with the gift of love.

There are a number of resources available:

·         Veronica Scarpelli, 818-687-4055, e-mail

· Mental Health Services

· American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Lastly, Veronica discussed a poem called “The Dash” . When you look at person’s grave marker, you see their date of birth and the date of their death separated by a dash. Your life is not composed of only the day you were born and the day you died. Your life is the “dash” between the dates.  We all need to remember those wonderful moments we have shared with our loved ones lost, the times when we laughed together, the moments when we cried together, the wonderful celebrations that were attended and the moments that are imprinted on our hearts.  When a loved one die only their physical presence is taken, our memories of them reside in our hearts and minds forever.  We must be pro-active to the needs of our loved ones, especially those who struggle with addiction following professional sources like, as well as depression and bi-polar, all are signs of a mental health disorder, which can be treated.  Be an advocate to help those who are in need, family or friend or co-worker, you can make a difference by asking simply “Is there anything you want to talk about?”

Remember that in the prayers of the faithful we always pray for those who are sick in spirit, mind and body. Not all illnesses are visible.

If you are interested in becoming a Deacon or a Deacon Couple for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, please contact:

Diaconate Formation Office
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
3424 Wilshire Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241

Diaconate Information Days – Called To Be A Deacon?

Prospective applicants and their wives are invited to attend an Information Day presented by the Office of Diaconate Formation.  Here you can meet the formation staff and learn more about the formation program.

Sunday, January 12, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at St. John Chrysostom Parish, 546 East Florence Ave., Inglewood, CA 90301.

Sunday, April 13, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, 5801 Kanan Rd. Westlake Village, CA 91362.

If you have any questions about the Diaconate, please ask us or send us an e-mail at   As we complete this calendar year’s classes, we would again like to thank all of you. Thank you for your continued prayers.  Thank you for your continued support. Lastly, thank you for the occasional question on how that deacon thing is going.

Candy & Jay Krueger,

Candidacy Year I, Diaconate Formation,

Holy Family Church, South Pasadena, CA





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