SCRANTON – Nearly two-percent of all deaths are from suicide. This has resulted in the tragic loss of many lives among our faithful and among our communities. It has also resulted in devastating grief for the loved ones mourning those losses.
Too many among our faithful and within our communities are unaware of current Church teaching about suicide. Many still believe the Church will not grant a Catholic funeral or burial of someone who has died by suicide.
To offer healing and comfort, and to increase awareness about the Church’s mercy and care for those who have died by suicide, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will celebrate a Mass for Suicide Healing and Remembrance this Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton.
During the Mass, those attending will be invited to bring forward to the altar a flower, in remembrance of those lost. Registrations are kindly requested, but not required. Anyone who would like to register can call the Diocesan Office for Parish Life at (570) 207-2213.
Suicide affects all ages. In 2020, suicide was among the top nine leading causes of death for people ages 10-64. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34.
Suicide and suicide attempts affect the health and well-being of friends, loved ones, co-workers, and the community. When people die by suicide, their surviving family and friends may experience shock, anger, guilt, symptoms of depression or anxiety and may even experience thoughts of suicide themselves.
Suicide is preventable. All people are encouraged to recognize the warning signs and identify ways to talk to someone who may be at risk.
Mental Health is of great concern not only for our faithful but also for those in our communities who we are called to serve. Numerous resources are available to everyone, no matter their circumstances.
First, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available by calling or texting “988.” The Lifeline is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
In addition, the Veterans Crisis Line and Military Crisis Line is also available to connect veterans and service members in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat or text. The number is 1-800-273-8255, Press 1.
The Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers website, located at catholicmhm.org, allows people to view resources by topic, including resources related to suicide.
The Diocese of Scranton’s Mass for Suicide Healing & Remembrance will be broadcast by CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton and livestream on the Diocese of Scranton website, YouTube channel and social media platforms.
For more information on the Mass, visit dioceseofscranton.org or call (570) 207-2213.