Mental Illness Council Members


NCPD Council on Mental Illness Members

Christopher Miller, M.A.
San Jose, CA

Deacon Jim Decker
Seattle, WA

Deacon Michael Demers
Gainesville, FL

James McCollom
Dallas, TX

Deacon Ed Shoener
Scranton, PA

 David Withers
New York, NY

Charleen Katra
NCPD Board of Directors Liaison 

Janice Benton
NCPD Staff Liaison



NCPD Governance Board of Directors Resolution

 Supporting the Mission of the NCPD Council on Mental Illness


Following Jesus who embraced all, we resolve to assist the Catholic Community in reaching out to and accompanying our brothers and sisters with mental illness and their families, acknowledging their gifts and the value of their presence, and assuring their rightful place in the Church and society. These brothers and sisters in Christ find that their experience of serious mental illness can raise profound questions of faith. 

We believe that the Church can and should be a source of hope, unconditional love, support and outreach to people who often find themselves disenfranchised from church and society. Yet we are often at a loss as to how to address these needs.

We believe that God’s unconditional love can be experienced in the love we extend to one another and that the Church is called to witness the healing presence of Christ through its proactive outreach to people with mental illness and their families. We believe that the Church is also called to address the systemic injustice that currently exists in society in the treatment and care of people with mental illness.


Council on Mental Illness


MI Council Members at Award DinnerFollowing Jesus who embraced all, we reach out to accompany our brothers and sisters with mental illness and their families while assisting the Catholic community by providing resources and education for spiritual and pastoral support.

In this section you will find the NCPD Governance Board of Directors' Resolution supporting the mission of NCPD Council on Mental Illness, and the Council on Mental Illness members.

To view the council's theological framework on mental illness, click here.


The PBS video series Religion and Ethics Newsweekly featured Connie Rakitan in June of 2012 as she described the Faith and Fellowship group in Chicago Illinois. Connie is council member of the of the NCPD ouncil on Mental Illness. Please click the image below to see this well made 8:00 minute video. The section on Faith and Fellowship begins about the 5:00 mark.



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