Fall 2021 Newsletter
Holy Cross Ministries (HCM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing health, education and justice services to families in Utah regardless of race, religion, income or any other defining characteristic. We hope you enjoy the following updates and stories about our work this fall.

For more news, program information and fall updates, check out our website and follow us on social media!
Holy Cross Ministries will be participating in Live PC Give PC!
Please see more details below program updates
Health Programming Spotlight
The pandemic has hit the elderly especially hard; it left many with anxiety, loneliness, and fear of leaving their homes.
After testing positive for COVID-19, Theresa* faced depression and anxiety on her own. She was homebound, fearful and had no economic means to seek professional help or a family to turn to. Theresa needed counseling— just like so many her age.
At the earliest stages of the pandemic, HCM’s Counseling Program adapted to the new reality of embracing online telehealth sessions to reach people in their homes. Theresa's used this service and after each session her anxiety started to decrease.
HCM’s therapist connected Theresa to resources available in the community— including rental assistance and food pantries. She learned a variety of coping techniques and dialectical behavior skills that helped her deal with distress and dread. As a client of the People’s Health Clinic, she received support for her physical health as well as the medications she needed for her mental well-being. Theresa is no longer alone, housebound or frightened. 
HCM's Counseling program was created to provide mental health services for everyone, while focusing on victims of crimes in underserved communities. HCM's therapists are bilingual, bicultural licensed clinical social workers who specialize in trauma-informed treatment. 
Counseling Staff Update
Maren Outsen started working with HCM in 2019 as a bilingual Clinical Social Worker (CSW). She earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Utah and enjoys working with kids and teens. She helps clients address and recover from traumatic events. Today, we are happy to announce that Maren has become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and we are happy to celebrate this milestone!
Justice Programming Spotlight
Joseph* came to the United States several years ago as an F-1 international student. While he was in school, Joseph earned a master’s degree and fell in love with an American woman who became his wife.

About a year into their marriage everything started to change. Joseph became the victim of severe abuse and manipulation at the hands of his United States citizen wife. He was embarrassed when the humiliating and painful incidents continued to occur— and was too ashamed to contact the police. The violence escalated and the police had to be involved when Joseph almost lost his life. Victim advocates referred Joseph to HCM because he was afraid that he would be forced to leave the U.S. if he didn’t remain in the abusive relationship.

A representative from our Legal Immigration Program met with Joseph to talk about his legal status. HCM determined that Joseph could remain in the U.S. legally if he filed the correct applications with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. HCM assisted him by preparing the necessary legal documents and guiding him through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the law that protects victims— men and women. 

HCM helped Joseph receive counseling assistance, providing a safe place where he could talk about the abuse. Joseph has been overwhelmed by the stigma associated with being a male victim; he is grateful to have found an agency where he can freely speak about the abuse without feeling judged or criticized. 

Joseph returned to college this fall, and he is pursuing a PhD. He is regaining control of his life and is grateful to know that someday he will be able to return to his home country, reunite with his family, and return to the U.S. without fear.
Education Programming Spotlight
“The pandemic has been a huge challenge for us as educators as well as for the families we serve. It has been an adapting process that has brought new challenges that we have had to overcome in order to continue with our mission of helping children succeed in their future,” says HCM School Readiness Program Coordinator Miriam Garcia.

For 11 years, HCM’s School Readiness Program has been a place where many children begin their academic journey. Each school year represents a new adventure, new challenges, and new memories. These are days of anxiety and crying about adapting to new faces, new friends, new routines, and new rules. Preschool is an uncertain beginning; it is about discovering numbers, shapes, and colors. It is a time when we can witness magic happen every single day. Watching these little ones grow and adapt to new things is magical and we are truly lucky to witness their academic growth.

This year, to maintain COVID safety, the School Readiness Program is capped at 20 students. Classes are offered to a very diverse student population. Many of them have different cultural contexts, languages and come from countries like Brazil, Venezuela, and Jamaica— to name a few. Regardless of where they come from, we share the same goal for all of them— to provide them with a solid foundation and to help them feel comfortable with the English language.

We are excited to be starting a new school year in which we know that every single one of these children will end up with new knowledge and tools that will allow them to start another stage in their lives— and leave them prepared for much more. This is only the beginning of a long journey; it represents learning, not only academically but also socially and emotionally. We are proud and happy to offer a space in which our little ones can continue to learn, to have fun, and to find a safe place where they can develop their potential.
* In order to protect the privacy of those we serve, alternative names and images are used for HCM clients.
Holy Cross Ministries will be participating in Live PC Give PC — an annual day of online giving — on November 5, 2021. This is your opportunity to support HCM as well as other amazing nonprofits providing services in the Park City community.

Donations can easily be made online on November 5th or in advance, starting NOW! Click HERE to learn more and process your online donation.
Tune In and Hear From Our Program Founders! 
If you were not able to attend HCM's 2021 Autumn Harvest Benefit, tune in and hear from some of our program founders, including Sister Suzanne Brennan, Sister Mary Ann Pajakowski and Dr. John Hanrahan!
2020 Annual Report
In 2020, HCM staff provided 4,318 resource referrals — a nearly 80% increase since 2019. To learn more about how our health outreach, mental health counseling, early childhood education and legal immigration programs worked to meet unprecedented need, please see our annual report in full.