St. Dymphna celebration for Mental Health Awareness Month


By John Michael D. Pineda
Umatuna Si Yu’os

On May 19, 2017, the celebration of St. Dymphna was held at the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center in Tamuning. Although the actual feast day of St. Dymphna was on May 15, the celebration was held later that week in honor of the many activities that commemorated Mental Health Awareness Month on May.

St. Dymphna is the patron saint of the nervous, emotionally disturbed, mentally ill, and those who suffer neurological disorders. She is also the patron saint of psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists.

Rey M. Vega, Director of GBHWC, stated, “We are thankful for St. Dymphna for giving us guidance on how we take care of our people that we serve, guidance that we could help them in their challenges.” Vega continued, “Guam Behavioral Health has its own challenges, but despite that I’m very proud to have and be a member of this family.

“This department has gone through several challenges. We have so much little success every day, little miracles that have remained unnoticed. My fellow co-workers are the unsung heroes in this field, and they will continue to be people behind the scenes,” Vega said.

The Mass was celebrated by the Most Reverend Michael J. Byrnes, Coadjutor Archbishop of Agaña, at the GBHWC facility along with Reverend Monsignor James Benavente, pastor of the Tamuning parish of St. Anthony-St. Victor Catholic Church.

In Archbishop Byrnes’ homily, he exclaims, “at the heart of what Jesus’s Father wants Him to communicate to you is through your baptism and through faith, you are made a son or daughter of God.” Archbishop went on to say, “Your whole dignity, your worth, your value is founded on that one reality.”

Archbishop told the crowd to think about how “all of us can have times when we just think, ‘I’m worth nothing, nobody cares, nobody recognizes, nobody looks at me, nobody takes care of me… I’m worthless.’” Archbishop explained, “What Jesus wants to say to you is that you are of infinite value to your Heavenly Father.”

“Jesus wants to affirm that you are worth the price of Jesus’ blood to become a beloved son and a beloved daughter of God,” Archbishop said, “That’s what this whole thing is about – it’s about engaging Jesus and believing Him in friendship.”

The celebration concluded with a “fiesta” style reception at the GBHWC St. Dymphna Pavilion after a short procession through the parking lot of the facilities.

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The Umatuna Si Yu’os is published every week by the Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam. Our mission is to print and distribute a true report of the Roman Catholic Church’s ministry of changing lives through the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.