Thursday, june 29, 2017 e O cial Newspaper of the Diocese of Greensburg Volume 57, No . 3 CHLOE JAKIELA THE CATHOLIC ACCENT CORPUS CHRISTI PROCESSION: Bishop Edward C. Malesic (under canopy) joins with parishioners of Mount St. Peter, St. Mary of Czestochowa and St. Joseph parishes, New Kensington, for a Corpus Christi procession June 18. More than 125 people participated. Bishop releases pastoral letter on opioid crisis; plans education sessions, prayer services GREENSBURG — Addressing the opioid THE CATHOLIC ACCENT HONORED The Catholic Accent won four Catholic Press Association awards at the annual Catholic Media Convention, held June 20-24 in Quebec City, Ontario, Canada. The paper was honored for its writing and multimedia efforts. For details, see page 20. epidemic that killed more than 300 people in the four counties of the Diocese of Greensburg last year, Bishop Edward C. Malesic released a pastoral letter June 29 that outlines the Catholic Church’s local response to the crisis. In “A Pastoral Letter on the Drug Abuse Crisis: From Death and Despair to Life and Hope,” the bishop calls on people in the diocese to take action against the opioid scourge, and he outlines e orts that focus on prayer, education and cooperative e orts with social service agencies that are already engaged in the ght against addiction. Noting that rarely a day goes by with-out news of a death from a drug overdose, he writes, “One especially deadly expres-sion of the crisis of addiction, which is becoming more and more prevalent in our communities, is the current opioid epidemic.” In the four counties of the diocese — Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana and West-moreland — there were 319 deaths in 2016 directly related to opioid addiction, he says. “ is is a plague that has come into the homes and families of every city, town, and even the rural areas of our diocese,” he writes. “It has touched the very hearts and souls of our parishioners in the pews and the people living in our communi-ties; it has a ected men and women of every age, profession and state of life. Even more tragic is the reality that every one of those 319 deaths was preventable and did not have to happen.” He said a series of seven Summer Di-ocesan Drug Education Evenings, which will include a prayer service, will be held around the diocese in the coming weeks. Dr. Paul Niemiec, director of counsel-ing for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg, will lead the education Continued on page 2 INSIDE THIS ISSUE PAGES 4-5 Bishop Malesic releases his ﬁ rst pastoral letter, “A Pastoral Letter on the Drug Abuse Crisis: From Death and Despair to Life and Hope.” PAGES 7-14 Living Well Into the Golden Years: A special supplement.