An important unity effort is on the move with the formation of an international Association of Catholic Therapists (ACT), according to Fr. Heyward B. Ewart, III, Ph.D., a former psychologist and active priest. Mr. Ewart says, it will be an strange mix of people.
“The purpose is to form a unified body of not only actual therapists but other professionals who are therapists at heart. Their beliefs are shared but they are separated into various occupations and branches of denominational expression. We’ll be an odd combination, but lots of people who are not therapists feel like they are and truly are to a great extent.
The intent is to celebrate what we have in common as an honor to our Lord, who prayed that we might all be one; further, to foster high standards of compassionate practice,” Ewart says.
He wants to bring together not only clergy but people in health care, social work, mental health, government, education, law, and law enforcement with one thing in common: They are either Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, or other denominations who share similar beliefs at a deep level and practice them in their service to others, whatever their professional label.
“This group will be an opportunity for members to share their hearts and experiences with others who can understand,” Ewart, the founder, explains. “I, myself, have wanted this kind of fellowship for years, but I was given the idea only a little while ago.
In my history, spanning a number of different capacities, I always felt more like a minister than the title I held. But I hardly ever found anybody to share my heart and past experiences with, and that was painful,” he says. “Now the problem is got over, and now it’s a great feeling.”