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Therese J. Borchard: 'Beyond Blue' View Comments
By John Feister

Therese J. Borchard, on a dock close to home, holds the book about her struggles with bipolar disorder and tips for tackling depression. Sometimes serious, sometimes funny, she is realistic and hopeful.

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THERE WAS A MOMENT in Therese Borchard’s life when she found herself crouched in a closet, terrified, with her kids in front of the TV in the other room. The bouts of depression and anxiety she had fought since she was a teenager—the same depression that had led her aunt-godmother to suicide—had become unbearable to her.

Eric, her husband of 10 years, persuaded Therese to allow him to take her to the hospital for help. That trip to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore was the beginning of a journey that led Therese to become one of this nation’s leading advocates for people with manic depression. You sometimes can find her books Beyond Blue or The Pocket Therapist on the racks at stores nationally; she’s been interviewed for Psychology Today, among other magazines, and has been a guest on national television shows.

But she is most known on the Internet, at a Web site of many religions called www.beliefnet.com, where she blogs and interacts with online visitors. Hers is an advocacy of caring.

“It was my Catholic faith that saved me,” Therese says unabashedly, as Eric helps two children up the stairs toward bed. At home in Annapolis, Maryland, Therese shares her story of faith, struggle, how she found a way to cope and how she now helps others. Faith is clearly at the heart of her story.

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John Feister is editor-in-chief of this publication. He has master’s degrees in humanities and theology from Xavier University, Cincinnati.

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Philip Neri: Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise. 
<p>At an early age, he abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate. </p><p>As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome. </p><p>At the urging of his confessor, he was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way. </p><p>Some of his followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers, and composed music for the services. </p><p>The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns! (Cardinal Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory three centuries later.) </p><p>Philip’s advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.</p> American Catholic Blog When we suffer, we don’t just come to understand the pain of Christ’s cross more, we come to understand the depth of God’s love for us: that he would endure such pain for us—in our place. We have a God who endured death so we would never have to do so.

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