Things That Matter

Parents Angered After Priest Refuses To Offer Autistic Son First Communion

First Communion is a very important moment in any Catholic child’s life. The family gets together to watch the little ones walk down the church aisles in white and partake in the sacrament for the first time. For one family, however, a priest has taken that moment away from them because their child is autistic.

The LaCugna family is upset that their autistic son was denied his First Communion.

Credit: Jimmy LaCugna / Facebook

Jimmy LaCugna took to Facebook to share his disappointment with his church for denying his special needs son his First Communion. First Communion is one of the most important moments in a young Catholics life and the family feels like it has been taken away from them.

“They said there is no way he can make his Communion. He doesn’t understand what the Holy Communion is about,” Nicole LaCugna told News 12 New Jersey. “Nowhere in the Bible does it ever show discrimination of anybody.”

Since the Facebook post by Jimmy, the church tried to change course then deleted their reversal from Facebook.

Credit: Jimmy LaCugna / Facebook

Allegedly, the church released a statement that painted the LaCugna family as being dishonest about the situation. However, it was deleted from their Facebook page without warning.

The post initially stated that “new information has come to light” stating that children with intellectual and cognitive disabilities “should be presumed to have an inner spiritual relationship with God.”

“My heart shattered,” Nicole told the New York Post. “My first thought was, how do you take a child who was one of God’s children and say that he is not good enough, basically, to be making the sacrament?”

At the center of the controversy is the fact that Rev. John Bambrick made the decision but hasn’t addressed the family personally.

Credit: Facebook

In a statement posted to the church’s website, Rev. Bambrick blames the controversy on a breakdown of communication.

“With the guidance and support of Bishop David O’Connell, we were able to discern a way for the child to receive First Holy Communion without any delay,” Rev Bambrick stated. “We have made the family aware of this development and hope to be able to meet with them to discuss it. Their child continues to be welcome in our program, and will be able to receive First Holy Communion this year.”

Catholic parishioners have been shocked and dismayed by this church’s handling of a child with special needs.

Credit: @TaylorCVaughn / Twitter

The decision to withhold the child’s First Communion for mental or health issues isn’t the first time. A quick Google search brings back several cases of children being denied their First Communion because of mental or health issues.

READ: 21 Things Latinos From Catholic Families Know To Be True

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Gloria Estefan Reveals She Contemplated Suicide In Her Teens In Episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans’

Things That Matter

Gloria Estefan Reveals She Contemplated Suicide In Her Teens In Episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans’

Photo: Lars Niki/Getty Images

In an emotional “Red Table Talk: The Estefans” episode, Gloria Estefan opened up about a particularly dark time in her life.

In the special episode dedicated to mental health, Estefan revealed to her daughter, Emily and her niece, Lili, that she once contemplated suicide as a teenager.

“I’ve always felt very good in my own skin, except when I was fifteen, and my dad had already spent a year at home and I was taking care of him. And he was heading downhill fast,” she explained on RTT.

Photo: Red Table Talk: The Estefans/ Facebook Watch

Estefan went on to describe how her mental health crisis was largely due to her father’s declining emotional state and physical health after he returned from fighting in the Vietnam War.

“Even though my father survived the Vietnam War, he still became a casualty of combat,” she said. “His exposure to ‘Agent Orange’–a poison used for warfare–resulted in his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.”

According to Estefan, being a teenaged girl having to take care of her sick father took a deep emotional toll on her.

“He lost his ability to speak, he couldn’t walk, he would stand up to try to go to the bathroom and he would fall and he would soil himself,” she said. “I would have to bathe him. He would be crying, embarrassed. And trying to make me feel better. That’s what would kill me.”

She also explained that she didn’t want to burden her loved ones with her painful feelings. “I didn’t want to tell my mother that I was starting to feel cracks in my armor. I didn’t want to tell my grandmother because I didn’t want to worry her,” she said.

Estefan was visibly emotional as she told her daughter and niece that she even had specific fantasies about taking her own life–which is one of the major warning signs of a suicidal person.

“I knew where [my father’s] gun was and I started having desperation thoughts,” she said. “I remember going to the place thinking, okay the gun is there, but what if instead I hang myself because that might be bloody? I had even picked out the tree that I might do it on.” Her daughter Lili looked distressed as Estefan recounted this painful time in her life.

Estefan says what “got her through” her suicidal episode was “thinking of other people that she loved” and how they would react to living without her. “I took myself through the whole process [of what would happen afterward],” she said. “I think it helped, for me, to imagine what life was going to be like forever for the people that I loved.”

After she got through this dark emotional period, Estefan said she got her life back by “focusing on school” and eventually meeting her husband, Emilio, which also helped bring her out of her depression.

The powerful episode aired on Wednesday and includes special guests Karla Souza and Lele Pons who also talk about their mental health battles. You can watch it on Facebook Watch here.

If you or someone you love is depressed or contemplating suicide, please don’t hesitate to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for support.

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Women Are Opening Up On How To Address Postpartum Depression During The Lockdown

Fierce

Women Are Opening Up On How To Address Postpartum Depression During The Lockdown

ABC

At some time or another everyone struggles with their mental health. These days, with the world in lockdown and so many of our human interactions limited, things can feel at best bleak and at worst a complete nightmare. This truth can be doubly true for women who are in the throes of a postpartum.

New mothers are facing a different type of difficulty when it comes to the after-effects of giving birth. Postpartum or postnatal depression affects one out of every 10 new mothers. According to the PANDAS (Pre and Post-Natal Depression Advice and Support organization, during the first week of the pandemic, there was a 75% increase in calls to its helpline, underlining the fact that new mothers need support more than ever.

We asked women for advice on how to cope with Postnatal depression and found some enlightening answers. Check them out below!

“We must be more open to being supportive instead of telling us things like “querías niños no??”. ” This is what u signed up for”. I never received the support from family and when shit finally hit the fan I was judged for my extreme actions. My attempts and self harm were seen as attention seeking.” –flor___venenosa

“This is so cultural. I am so sorry you went through this. It’s no wonder we don’t seek help, we are ridiculed for it.”- mrs_tori_rose@flor___venenosa 

“I think I had PPD when I talked to my mom about it she brushed it off and til this when she brings it up in front of others saying, “I thought she didn’t love her daughter. She kept crying and saying how hard it was. It’s not hard I really thought you didn’t want your daughter.” It is so hurtful every time she makes those comments and really makes me angry. Because it’s not that I didn’t love my baby I was having a hard time adjusting to motherhood. I need to figure out a way to tell to stop saying or making those comments because they aren’t helpful. For me it lasted for about a year. It got better as time went on. I was scared to talk to my doctor about it and was never on medication or anything.” –poncigue

“Did you know even when women finally speak up and say I THINK I HAVE POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION THAT THERES IS NO REAL HELP? You can google all you want and call all the hotlines you want but if you don’t have insurance- you are getting much help.” –90dayfrump

“I did after my daughter was born. I couldn’t figure out why I was so angry & sad when it should’ve been one of the happiest times in my life. This lasted for about a year & half for me.” –dee_mahree

“It would have been so helpful to have known this. My first year of motherhood was so challenging; I had no idea how depressed I was until I went to therapy.” –gg_luv

“I had PPD after my three pregnancies. During the third one I also had perinatal depression which is even less talked about. Like a lot of mental health issues I think it’s hard for people to understand especially when you are expected to be happy all the time because you have a bebé.” –piraguadeframbuesa

“I can believe this because I had postpartum depression with my first pregnancy for 9 months.” –mjtobeone

“Generational healing together.” –cynthiarey_jefa

“More post like this please!”- stephreyesfig

“I was just talking about this last night on how I didn’t get any help from anyone around me I still had to do everything! And I would forget to eat! To feed my new born baby I was detached and I would scream and I hit my 3yr old and still crying right now because my family still tries to throw it in my face that I was a bad mom! I said with people like you around me yes now I regret not leaving when I could I probably would of been better off for my kids and especially for my self I hardly smile now, I’m bitter, I try to make things better but I can’t take back what I did.” –ambelly11212

“I think I had both.” –claudia_renee@rrsls10 

“do you follow this page? If not, you should.. and get yourself highlighted here!” –nicleff@lescarbajalxo 

“*nuestro poder*” – florycantoacademy@fiercebymitu

“I ‘m still surprise on how I made so much profit after seeing many people complains of being scammed this is just amazing am still shocked thanks.” –investor_with_johnw22

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