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Question
My mother is alive but she is sick with cancer. I am taking it pretty hard considering how she raised me.  SHe was authoritarian style , physically and at times verbally abused me.  She also was very strict about us going to mass on sunday so I ended up going six days a week.  I remember in grade school the church gave me peace that it hasn't given me now.  Yet the child in me is suffering.. I was wondering if the CHurch would help to fill the void that child is feeling..or if it would cause more harm than good and make me resent my mother. What is your opinion?

Answer
My opinion is that I am not qualified to give an opinion on this over a website.  I am not a counselor, therapist or psychologist.  You would best be served here by speaking with a professional.

You simply state that the "child in you is suffering."  You do not qualify as to the nature of the suffering.  Is the suffering grief, pain, guilt, anger, hurt, depression, etc?

One thing I DO know is that whatever else one might go through in the process of grief, guilt is always part of the grief process along with anger.  If the nature of your suffering is guilt or anger that is a normal part of the grief process.  It is something you have to face in order to heal.

Nevertheless given what you are going through I think you would best be served by speaking with a counselor, therapist, or psychologist.  They are professionals who are formally trained in aiding people get through their emotional sufferings. I would also add that if I WAS formally trained as a counselor, psychologist, or therapist for the problem such as you have it is best to talk to someone in person and not counsel them over a website.  

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Father Dave Bechtel

Expertise

I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.

Experience

I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

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