New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling
OMH Emotional Support Line:
The Emotional Support Line provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency. The Help Line is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling.
*** *DISCLAIMER: The Office of Mental Health’s (“OMH”) Emotional Support Line (“Line”) is not licensed or unlicensed mental health care or treatment of any type regardless of what is discussed or who provides support. It is for emotional support purposes only. Use of the Line does not create any confidential provider-therapist relationship of any type. The Line not a substitute for professional health care.
If you believe you are experiencing a medical or behavioral health emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
By using this Line, you acknowledge and agree that the State, OMH, any State or OMH employee(s), and/or any community volunteers involved with the Line in any manner (collectively, the “Indemnified Parties”), have no liability of any type related to your use of the Line, including but not limited to any decision you make, or a third party makes, as a result of your use of the Line, or because you were not able to access the Line for any reason. By using the Line, you agree to fully indemnify the Indemnified Parties and hold them harmless for any and all damages or causes of action that may arise out of your use of the Line. Without limiting the foregoing, in no event shall any of the Indemnified Parties be liable for any special, incidental, consequential, or indirect damages of any type arising from your use of the Line, or for any other reason.
The Line is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis. None of the Indemnified Parties shall be liable for any inability by you to access the Line, including but not limited to interruptions in the Line due to technical reasons or delays to due to a high volume of calls.
19 March 2020
Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
My wife and I were talking last night about…everything…and as often happens, she provided me with some excellent insights. I’d like to share just a few thoughts today.
- Shortages. The pandemic is causing a lot of stress and anxiety; I know I feel it daily. A large part of my stress is related to those empty store shelves. Last night I got to thinking about the things that are not in short supply, including: water, electricity, natural gas, gasoline, produce, and dairy products. This is of course a partial list, but it really got me to thinking how fortunate we are to have such dedicated people working hard in the face of his pandemic to keep the water, trucks, gas, and electrons flowing! Please join me in praying for them!
- Public Masses. The suspension of public Masses has been a huge point of controversy. I will leave the arguing to others. I may be a little slow on this, but it finally dawned on me last night that while I would not choose this, it does present a wonderful opportunity for my family to grow closer together in our spiritual lives. We already live our faith daily. We pray together, etc…and…now that we are deprived of attending Holy Mass we can explore ways of compensating as best we can. Things we are going to try/add include praying the Divine Office as a family, performing Acts of Spiritual Communion, praying more rosaries together (check out this challenge, BTW!), and I’m sure more will come to mind.
- Public Masses…me or God? Don’t get me wrong, I will be very happy when I am again able to attend Holy Mass. My distress over being unable to has, however, forced me to asking myself, “Am I upset about being unable to attend Mass because I’m going to miss it, or because I will be unable to participate, in person, with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because God is Good?” In other words: Is this about me or God? Is my disappointment selfish?…yes (at least in part)…and I’m working to root that out! Please pray for me in this effort!
- There’s Still a Lot of Good Out There. I learned last night that Black Button Distilling, based here in Rochester, has committed to making ethanol-based hand sanitizer and providing it to healthcare organizations at cost. This will be a wonderful service to our local community and it a great example of people coming together in a time of crisis. Thank you to everyone who will have a hand in this, and a special thanks to Jason Barrett, Black Button’s President!
There is much more I could say, though I think Fr. Mike says much of it quite nicely.
Please join me in praying for an end to this pandemic. And, in the meantime, let’s all work to keep ourselves, families, and neighbors physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy!
Lifespan, a wonderful organization in the Rochester area, is now offering delivery of groceries and medications to anyone in need over 60 years old.
If you or someone you know is in need of this you can contact them by calling 585-244-8400.
17 March 2020
Memorial of St. Patrick, bishop
As President of the Finger Lakes Guild and in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, I want you to know that the Guild is here to support our community however we are able. I know that this is a stressful time for everyone, especially for those directly affected, their loved ones, and the members of their medical teams. Please know that I, and my fellow Guild members, are praying for you!
As this pandemic evolves over the coming weeks and months I anticipate that questions will arise among faithful Catholics regarding any number of issues. While I hope and pray that the “worst case scenario” does not come to pass, important questions regarding Church teaching may certainly come up, including the moral acceptability of a vaccine (that will hopefully(!) be developed) against COVID-19, morally licit distribution of scarce resources in the midst of a crisis, and the like.
The Guild encourages anyone with questions about these or other important topics to contact us here, reach out to your parish priest, the Catholic Medical Association, the National Catholic Bioethics Center, Catholic Answers, or any other reputable source of on the Catholic Church’s teachings. Please remember that responsibly engaging in “social distancing” does not mean we are alone. We must support each other…and…we always have recourse in prayer to our Savior, His Blessed Mother, and all the saints and angels for help!
As this crisis continues to progress it was with a heavy heart that I read yesterday of our Dioceses’ decision to suspend public Masses until further notice. I know that this only adds to the burden we all already feel. The the most Blessed Sacrament in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is as close as we can come to Heaven this side of the veil and to have it unavailable at a time like this seems almost cruel.
Nevertheless, given the exponential rise of cases in our country, which is now beginning to affect our local community, I fully support Bishop Matano’s decision to suspend Masses and appreciate his leadership on this gravely important matter. I also appreciate his reminder that this is a temporary suspension of public Masses and that the faithful should take heart in knowing that our faithful and holy priests will continue to celebrate private Masses for their scheduled intentions and for the current pandemic.
Please also keep in mind that individual churches are allowed to remain open for private prayer and that St. John of Rochester continues (as of the time of this writing) to offer Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in their chapel. You can check on the status of this wonderful offering via the live stream feed here. Please remember that even in the absence of Holy Mass we can still encounter our Lord and Savior anytime in prayer, and in a special way in the Most Blessed Sacrament, whether in the monstrance or the tabernacle.
In closing, again, please know that the members of the Finger Lakes Guild are here to support our community. We will continue to pray for you and we stand ready to care for any and all who fall ill in this time of crisis, whether of COVID-19 or any other ailment. We ask that you pray for us and that God’s most Holy Will be done.
St. Patrick, PRAY FOR US!
Our Blessed Mother, Comfort of the Afflicted, PRAY FOR US!
Thomas Carroll, MD, PhD
President, Finger Lakes Guild of Rochester