Mazur presented NCCA 2014 Sister Ignatia Gavin Award

Posted on Sep 25, 2014

Lifelong parishioner of St. Teresa’s Church, Albany, traveled to Naperville, Illinois to receive the 2014 Sister Ignatia Gavin Award presented by the National Catholic Council on Addictions (NCCA) on July 15.

Debbie Mazur is founder, pro-bono counselor and Program Director of GraceWay Recovery Residence, a 501(c)(3) non-profit addiction recovery community for women located in Albany. GraceWay serves women from all over the country who are suffering from various forms of addiction.

The award is named after Sister Mary Ignatia Gavin, Sister of Charity, who worked with Dr. Bob, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, in Akron, Ohio, to help alcoholics and addicts achieve and maintain sobriety. The award is presented annually to individuals who have made a major impact in the field of addiction recovery. For the past 64 years, the award has been presented only to religious Sisters. Mazur is the first lay person to receive the award in its 65th year since inception.

Eleven years ago, Mazur prayerfully identified a local and national problem – the lack of faith-based, long-term, addiction recovery residences where women could access help, healing and a “fresh start”. To read more click here 

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NCCA Celebrates 65 Years with a Special Event- “The Joy of Recovery!”

Posted on May 30, 2014

marriott-chicago-napervilleDate: Tuesday, July, 15 to Wednesday July 16, 2014.

Check -in begins Tuesday at 1:00 pm.

Join us for both days or any segment that interests you!

Event Location:
Chicago Marriott Naperville
1801 North Naper Blvd.
Naperville, IL  60563

Recovery is something to celebrate and so is 65 years as an organization that has offered hope and support to many who are suffering from the disease of addiction.  We invite all NCCA members and friends; SAM leaders and team members and Diocesan Liaisons to join us for all or part of this inspirational event!

Click here for more details and registration

Click Here to Download Full Brochure

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People Attending NCCA Educational Workshop Act as Ripples that can Make a Difference

Posted on Apr 4, 2014

Ripple EffectThe shared information and discussion was so helpful and inspiring we couldn’t help wishing that more people could have joined us to reap the benefits of all that was shared. Yet, in all things worthwhile only a very small segment of people will take part and we must keep in mind Mother Teresa’s quote, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

One important focus of the NCCA is to bring education and inspiration about addiction and recovery to people all over the country via complementary workshops that offer segments on topics such as Addiction and Spirituality; How Addiction Affects the Older Person; Internet  Addiction; and Addiction and Youth.  This past Wednesday, April 2nd, we held such a workshop for the people of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  Partnering with local treatment centers, Talbott Recovery and Ridgeview Institute enhanced the experience as presenters from these treatment centers offered their expertise and insight into various aforementioned topics. There was much discussion about how people benefit from having a purpose and becoming involved in something bigger than themselves.  This can be a project, a cause or faith in God.  Sharing this idea with just one other person or better yet, encouraging a young person to choose to get involved with something outside themselves can be one ripple that can affect the young person’s life that can then have a domino effect.

A recent Wall Street Journal article by Byron Johnson and Maria Pagano entitled “Can Faith Rewire an Addict’s Brain” explains that new evidence shows that ‘God consciousness’ can keep young people off drugs and alcohol.

“Young people who regularly attend religious services and describe themselves as religious are less likely to experiment with alcohol and drugs, a growing body of research shows. Why?

CLICK HERE for the entire article.

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Many thanks to our sponsors Ridgeview Institute and Talbott Recovery

Posted on Mar 25, 2014

Screenshot 2014-03-25 15.59.06Many thanks to our sponsors Ridgeview Institute and Talbott Recovery for supporting our Addiction & Recovery Workshop scheduled  in Atlanta for Wed, April 2nd!

Also, we thank Mr. Robert M. Fink, Founder and President of Ridgeview Institute for sponsoring our Spanish Addiction & Recovery Workshop also in Atlanta on Tues, April 1st!

For everyone who is afflicted with an addiction, a minimum of four other people will be affected. One segment of the workshop offers information on our Substance Addiction Ministry (SAM).  SAM is a quality of life ministry. Many of us deny the presence of the problem or the magnitude of addiction’s affects. SAM is a support ministry that helps people face the challenges that accompany addiction.

SAM teams’ mission is to:

  • Increase awareness of addiction through education to various ministries and groups within the parish family and the community at large; and
  • Provide a safe, confidential place for parishioners to call for help and receive appropriate referral and support

How do I get started?

Visit for more information 

You can still register for the workshops in Atlanta next week.  Go to to register today!

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STEP 11 – Lenten Reflection

Posted on Mar 21, 2014

Change is Process“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will and the power to carry that out.”

It’s all about change – change in perspective, change in habits, change in how we view ourselves AND  change in our connections.  After all, spirituality is all about connectedness- with ourselves, others and God.  The basis of the 11th step lies in our spirituality.

How do we best achieve the change we seek?  Make time for prayer and meditation.  The Lenten season is the perfect time for this.

Pray, meditate and let the process of change unveil as we continue to grow in our recovery.

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Addiction, Recovery and Hope at Guest House for Clergy and Religious

Posted on Mar 6, 2014

Many thanks to Randy Hain and The Integrated Catholic Life along with Eileen Homire, our dedicated Atlanta friend, for coordinating the excellent interview  below, with Archbishop Gregory.

In the secular world we frequently hear of drug and alcohol addiction affecting almost every segment of society.  Nobody seems to be immune from this scourge.  However, we don’t often hear about how addiction sometimes affects our Clergy and Religious.  These men and women of the Church face pressures and stress that many of us seldom see or appreciate.

What happens if they become overwhelmed by these challenges and seek relief in alcohol or drugs?

How can we help them come to grips with their addictions, find healing and return to active ministry?

Looking for answers to these questions, I sought out an interview with Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

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