Addressing addiction and recovery - 12/05/11

On December 5-9 St. Herman Seminary held a seminar on substance abuse counseling for our students. The speakers at this event were the Seminary’s adjunct instructor in substance abuse, Floyd Frantz, who is a missionary with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center. For the past 11 years he has served as director of the St. Dimitrie Program, a treatment and outreach ministry in the Archdiocese of Cluj in Romania, which focuses on community education and treatment of substance abuse. Also speaking were Fr. George Aquaro, priest at St. Matthew Church (Antiochian Archdiocese) in Torrence, California, a recently accepted missionary candidate with OCMC. Fr. George spoke on the spirituality of addiction and recovery and hopes to bring that experience to Alaska. Joining him were Fr. Andrew Harrison from St. Luke Church in Palos Hills, Illinois, who has extensive experience in family systems and addictions programs, and Dr. Basil Spyropoulos, a psychiatrist with experience in substance abuse treatment and education. Fr. Andrew spoke on how addiction affects the family, and Dr. Basil spoke on the disease aspect of substance abuse.

All of our speakers have served with the St. Dimitrie Program in Romania, an Orthodox country that suffers much from substance abuse. St. Herman Seminary is unique in that it is the only Orthodox Seminary in North America that provides training in substance abuse counseling training as a part of its standard curriculum.

Our speakers expressed appreciation for their time among the students and will continue to be involved in our training program.The seminar was well received by the students and will serve as a springboard for future substance abuse counseling training at the Semi nary and, God willing, in the Diocese of Alaska as well.