Emotional & Mental Wellness Ministry

What is an Emotional & Mental Wellness Ministry and why is it needed?

Are you facing emotional or mental difficulties? You don’t have to struggle alone. St. Raymond Church and School have made a commitment to become a faith community that provides care and support. Our mission will be to serve individuals and families experiencing mental health challenges by offering God’s hope and love through spiritual accompaniment, practical support, and education.

Spiritual Companionship

Our ministry team is a safe and caring community that embraces those who are suffering and their loved ones. Our care team is available to listen and to pray with those who are going through a difficult time and need encouragement and some extra support.

Practical Support

We have support and resources to help. Our team members are familiar with many public and private mental health support services and resources. We are here to help you find resources needed to face life’s challenges. (Note: Our team members do not provide services that should only be offered by medical, psychological, or social work practitioners.)


Our ministry team will provide emotional and mental wellness educational opportunities for the larger parish community on a regular basis.

Why is our parish involved in a mental health ministry network?

By launching this ministry, we are joining several other parishes in the San Francisco Archdiocese which are part of a state-wide mental health ministry network. There is a high prevalence of mental illness in every faith community. One in five families has a member with a diagnosable mental illness. One in seventeen people live with a persistent or severe mental illness. Often individuals or families turn to their parish community for support and guidance.

To quote Archbishop Cordileone,

“All of our parishes have family members suffering from the challenge of mental illness, and despite modern understanding of mental illness, many suffer additionally from stigma. Christ calls us to attend to all those who suffer, including those suffering from mental illness. My brother bishops and I here in California have launched a mental illness awareness effort, calling attention to the fact that we are all called to provide hope and healing, and that we as a Church must accompany our brothers and sisters in their difficulties. We can help to bear their burdens by offering our understanding, prayers, and tangible resources. No one should be isolated and left alone. We must meet people where they are – in our parishes.

The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible. We know that Jesus’ ministry was one of hope and of healing; His Church must also offer hope and healing, by using available resources to help those in need. Our parish-based Mental Health Ministry teams will play a key role in this important mission of easing the suffering of those in our parishes.”

[More in-depth versions of this information are available in a San Francisco Archdiocese flyer and an excellent whitepaper from the California Bishops.]

How do I contact the ministry?

If you or a loved one is experiencing mental or emotional wellness challenges, please contact our St. Raymond ministry at (650) 899-0370. This is a dedicated extension and only members of the ministry team will hear your message. You may also email the ministry team co-leads, Dr. Gabrielle Lou and Lori Mirek, at

Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network

In this video from the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, Pope Francis recognizes that many people experience mental, emotional, affective, and physical exhaustion. He asks us to strive to be close to those who are exhausted, to those who are desperate, without hope. To not forget that together with the indispensable guidance of a psychologist, which is useful and effective, Jesus’ words also help.

Watch the Pope’s video below:


Catholic Archdioceses of San Francisco. Support and Resources for the San Francisco Mental Health Ministry program.

Crisis Intervention / Information and Referral Services

Resources to therapists

Jesuit Institute for Family Life
offers Marriage Counseling, Family Therapy, Child & Adolescent Counseling, Individual Counseling, Group Counseling for Married Couples, Weekends in Spirituality for Family Life.  The counseling professionals’ fees are based on the financial resources for those seeking counseling.  They are located at the Jesuit Retreat Center, Los Altos. 650-948-4854 for appointments and to learn more about the services.

Palo Alto University : The Gronowski Center is a community-based mental health clinic associated with Palo Alto University.  The Center offers services on a sliding scale fee schedule as part of its community mission. Services are provided by Palo Alto University doctoral-level psychology students under the supervision of licensed clinical psychologists. 650-961-9300 for appointments or to learn more about the services.

Please email or call 650-899-0370 if you would like resources to professional psychotherapists to help with life’s challenges.

Support Groups



St. Raymond Emotional & Mental Wellness Ministry Survey

St. Raymond, in partnership with the Archdiocese, has formed a new Emotional & Mental Wellness Ministry.  Members of the ministry received training on how to prayerfully walk in companionship with others who are struggling. The Emotional & Mental Wellness Ministry is conducting an anonymous survey to help us better understand the needs of our parish community.  Please either click on the above title or use the following link to complete the anonymous online survey:

St Raymond Emotional and Mental Wellness Ministry

(650) 899-0370