Subject Matter

saintsWe’re All Saints and Sinners

This blog is definitely a “work in progress.”

But I will keep at this. It  is my repository of all things Catholic and alcoholic related.

Here are links to posts in a variety of categories. Please don’t expect this list to be exhaustive or even complete. It’s my day-by-day contribution of writings which over time I hope will become a terrific resource.

Prayer for the Addicted

Books and Periodicals

Catholic Pioneers of Recovery

Tools for the Catholic Alcoholic

Patron Saints (even if not “officially”) for alcoholics

Calix Society

Practicing Catholic and AA

Prayers

Pop Culture

Un-official patron “saints” for Catholic alcoholics:  Venerable Matt Talbot and Sister Mary Ignatia

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22 thoughts on “Subject Matter

  1. hello,
    your site was the first one that came up on my search when i entered I’m catholic and i’m an alcoholic. i loved what i read because it reminds me of myself. I’m a husband ( a consecrated servant to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary) and a father of two teenagers and a 10 year old special needs child who is an angel from God. I drink every night. 3 to 4 drinks every night. I go to adoration on my lunch break every day and for the past year or so the first thing on my mind was my drinking. Christ was telling me that my drinking was an obstacle to my advancement in holiness. Last week in the middle of the night i cried out to our Blessed Mother to help me stop. On May 7th i stopped for 3 days but i had a few over the weekend. I promised God that i would at least stop Monday through Thursday and only have some on the weekends. Doesn’t that sound like an alcoholic!!? Anyway, i know i have a problem when my fasting to God is giving up alcohol a few days a week. I hope you see this so I can correspond with someone like me.

    God Bless,
    Neill

    • Hi! I am so glad you wrote! Yes, your description of it all sounds very familiar to me. I went through the same actions and thought processes as you are. It sounds like you’re pretty close with God and so you probably don’t need me to tell you that your inclination about Him asking you to give up drinking to increase in holiness is probably exactly right. And it sounds like you’re going through that process…it is a process. drinking has been so much of part of things that giving it up altogether sounds like God is asking too much. But it’s all still wonderful, hard and pleasing work you are doing trying to recognize and get a handle on something that is proving to be a block between you and God. He loves that you’re even thinking about doing this. Prayers for you and your next steps!!!! So amazing that you’re consecrated to the sacred heart. I bet, if you ever do decide to “get sober” then you will be helping a lot of other people too based on your own experience!

  2. I am so glad I stumbled on your blog. I am catholic and have been struggling them past few years with alcoholism. I went to treatment this past summer for six weeks only to relapse as soon as I got out and have been back and forth with it. I need to get sober and stay sober and so many of the things I have read on here fit me exactly. I am a mother of four and would drink every night after the kids went to bed as a way to unwind but I struggle to stop and would always drink more on the weekends. I could never understand how someone could have just one glass. I would think what’s the point if I can’t have the bottle. Thank you for sharing your story. Blogging is something I have been considering but have been afraid.

  3. I love your blog. I just stumbled upon Fr Vogt through your blog. I am a convert and mother of an addict. My best friend has a son my son’s age who is a young friar with the eastern province of the Dominican province (not sure if that is the correct title). When I first learned of the Son’s addiction I went looking for a Catholic connection (there always is one, right?) and was amazed at how well connected we really are. Thanks for helping me find new jewels!

  4. Can you recommend a Catholic Web site (or perhaps there is a thread here) that can assist the loved ones of a person who has a drinking addiction? Specifically, how to approach the person with our concerns and hope that the person will seek professional help.

    • i am so sorry you are experiencing the suffering that accompanies loving an alcoholic. A Catholic Alcoholic, especially, is a delicate bird. She/he wants to follow God’s will and finds her/himself unable to do so. My advice would be to pray, pray, pray. But I’m sure you have already been doing this. please keep doing this. Beg God’s mercy and ask for healing for your loved one. As for how to approach the person with an alcohol problem, there are many books about this but none is helpful, unfortunately. An alcoholic needs to recognize his/her problem and then embark on a lifetime practice of daily, daily, daily, turning their will and life for that day over to God. AA is so helpful with this. There are other Catholic resources: Calix, National Catholic Council on Addiction and Father Emmerich’s 12 STep Review. You can also write a heartfelt letter to your loved one. You can find a local man/woman who is sober and who can guide your loved one. You can mail/purchase books and send them to your loved one. You can attend some Al-anon meetings that will help you individually determine a course of action to help your loved one or help you to detach from him/her. You can take care of yourself and your children (if you have them) and pray your loved one finds help.

  5. I have been told that I have a drinking problem and I am coming up on six months and have gotten back to my Catholic roots for the first time in seven years. I am 23 and have tried AA in the past but I did not have the best of luck plus they don’t have Jesus. Do you think I can do this w/o AA? If so, what would you suggest. Thank you for your time!

    -Chris

    • Hi there. Thank you very much for you comment. You ask the universal question of almost every alcoholic which is, “Can I get sober without AA?” The short answer is yes. We have the Sacraments. The Sacraments give us the Grace we need to overcome our desires. At the same time, the Chitch does recommend AA. Why? Because it works and offers a faith based way to stay sober. AA often makes us better Catholics. If we can ignore the nondenominational higher power aspect and use that to our advantage knowing who our higher power is then we are good. Check out the resources on this blog. You’ll find most Catholic addiction specialists point us back to AA. The Spiritial Principles of St ingnatius predate the 12 Steps and ate beneficial if you can follow them.Most of us prefer to do this alone -me especially!- but for some reason God is calling us to community. And those of us with this cross of alcohol dependency might be being called to help others with the same cross because we have a certain understanding. Hope this helps?

      • Thank you so much for your comment! 6 weeks is amazing!!! Yay! And you’re going to sign up for RCIA? Wonderful program! Great things happen when we put the bottle down. A beautiful sober life. Do you have children? If so Happy Mothers Day!

        • I have a son I have disappointed many times because of drinking at night and getting emotional. I hope he will forgive me. He’s 22 and will not touch a drop of liquor, smoke or do any drugs. He went with me through a lot when my husband was out of control, then for me to start drinking was too much. I know he loves me, and today I told him I hadn’t had a drink in a few months. He didn’t say anything.
          From reading other posts, I know I must stay string and not be fooled that I can I
          Can control it now!!! God bless you. Does your husband drink? Does he support you and forgive you? Beth

          • Yes my husband drinks. That’s probably the hardest part for me because he was my drinking buddy. Sorry about your son but glad you are still close! They don’t believe us if we tell them we won’t drink again. We can only show them. God bless you! And great news on six weeks!

  6. I mentioned your blog on the Gus Lloyd radio show on Sirrus. I was saying how grateful I was for his show, your blog, and for how God keeps leading me to people I need to learn from.
    You are so brave to be so open! I hope others who need your blog will check it out.
    I’m doing better at home with not wanting to drink, but still have such a strong urge to order something when I stop to get something to eat. So far, seltzer water or tea have been all I order.
    You keep up the good work you are doing, and stay strong yourself. Beth
    My weird email?
    I will trust in God each day.

  7. Thank you #9 and THANK GOD I found you AND your blog!!!! My best friend growing up in the south was #9, I, myself, am #5 (which is how I actually refer to myself with my Irish parents!). This week i was “encouraged” by my husband to seek professional help…in the manner of, “Here is a phone number. Call this person. Make an appointment. But, I don’t care. It’s your life.” Meaning….don’t deal with it and I won’t deal with you any more.

    I made the appointment. I loved the counselor and text him to tell him. (I think that took some wind out of his “cast the first stone” sail.) When the counselor asked how I found her and my response was, “a friend suggested to my husband that I call her”, she cocked her eyebrows. I’m sure she thought walkling in the room for my session, that this would never work. In truth, I’m so cheap that I’d spent the weekend sorting things out in my head and heart. I explained that I always thought I’d end up in someone’s chair discussing this flaw in my character. Heck, since the drinking age was 18 when I was in high school (and I had a late-summer birthday; thus was young for my grade), I started drinking in my early teen years. That’s when I discovered that I could work hard (captain of the cheerleaders 3 out of 4 years…junior year as co-captain); SGA officer, club officer, “spiritual leader” for the folk choir mass; etc. I followed the same path in college and now in my professional, civic and — for those who only see the parts of me I want them to see – personal life. I have 2 sons, I’m in marketing/branding, do ads sales for community annual publications AND my nickname at my former job of 16 years was “the Tazmanian Devil”!!!!

    Back to my session: by the end of my session, the counselor said, “I think there is a part of you who really wants to be here. Who may see this as a relief.” And…she is right! I’m tired of trying to decide how much I can drink and not “be drunk”. Of course, that has been working less and less lately. AND, while I yearn for a beer or glass of wine, it’s also been a relief the past couple of nights for that entertainment/escape to be no longer an option. I know this won’t be easy. It isn’t easy. My jaw hurts from grinding my teeth! But, finding your blog — and especially your post, “When Will Things Get Easier?” — is TRULY a GOD-SEND!!!!! I spent most of last night reading different sites that had been recommended to me, that I’d heard about, etc. But, like you, I love being Catholic! I figured some other Catholic had to have had the same problem….and then YOU popped up!!!!! Thank you, thank you for “putting this out there”. I’m confident that you’re about to be added to my short list of “my closest of friends”! God Bless! #5

    • God bless you. I need to get back to blogging. Thank you for your support and for stopping by! I need to recommit to this! so many wonderful people have commented!

  8. Hi! A family member (I’ll refer to her as B) recently reached out to me for help. Her husband is an alcoholic and prescription drug abuser. He has had several DUI’s and has lost a job due to his addictions. B is not Catholic and her husband is a fallen away Catholic. B filled me in with the latest, her husband got another DUI and she is so unhappy. She told me she feels her soul is lost, she is angry all the time and takes it out on others. My heart is breaking for B, her son, and even her husband. B asked me for help, but I have no idea where to begin. I told her I am there for her, keeping her and her husband in my prayers. I also told her, most important was for her to pray and seek counseling. I have read through some of your blog and will recommend it to her, but do you have any other advice I can offer her?

    Thank you and God bless!

    • oh kathy, my heart breaks with you, and with your friend, and with her husband (whose heart is probably also breaking). this is a tough one. to be honest, there is nothing anyone can do. it is between him and God. it can only come from him. bad consequences can sometimes trigger a change but not always. it’s a crap shoot. unfortunately most alcoholics/addicts don’t get clean and sober. we hurt people. and it’s tragic. i’d suggest she get into some sort of spiritual place..ground herself with God and all things are possible. Counseling and al anon are great, second place suggestions; but my most urgent advice to your friend would be to reconnect with her God/spirituality. And she will survive.

  9. Oh heavenly father, I ask you to break the curse of inheritance spirit of alcohol in the strobe family. I ask the you break the curse for inheritance of all alcoho In Jesus name amen
    And for cigarettes, porn, junk food, pop, caffeine we wish that all these desire for them be broken in Jesus name Amen. The Lord’s prayer in Mathew 6. Thank you LORD for this healing, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, I praise you Jesus for this healing for it is not my will but the Lord’s will let it be done. In Jesus name AMEN.

  10. I am a Catholic and left AA. I had the thought if I practiced my faith as hard as I practiced AA I would be better off. I am now 9 months away from AA. ( I did not burn any bridges.) I attend daily mass pray the Rosary every day and joined a few groups at my parish.
    The thing that has struck me most is that I don’t think about drink. I went to my old home group a few weeks ago to say hi. I felt terrible after the meeting all I could think about was alcohol. So I don’t think I will return. I was also accused of taking the easier softer way ( they have no idea the hard work I.am doing to grow in my faith. The Blessed Mother is also a big influence.
    Over all I could not reconcile the teachings of AA with the teachings of the Church. Believe me I tried but failed. It made no difference to me about priests and sisters helped start AA. I find too much conflict.
    So I just wanted to say thanks for your blog. I read it all the time.

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