Fr. Nathanael Maurer MSJ is no stranger to ministry to those in substance abuse programs, having spent every Friday morning and afternoon for the past 15 months in ministry with the men in the drug/alcohol treatment program at the Keating Center and the past 4 years as part of a ministry team that supported them.
Jack Malhall is the 85 year old executive director of The Ed Keating Center, established almost 40 years ago. There are now 3 treatment centers where the men come and spend 3-6 months in an intensive “God-centered” AA – 12 step treatment program. They then move on to one of the dozen or so “sober houses” where the men work and live for another 6 months to 2 years, maintaining their sobriety and actively participating in community AA meetings with their sponsors. The Keating Center has a vast network of support from the AA community of Northeast Ohio and the community at-large. Thousands of men over the years have attributed their sobriety to Jack Malhall and the Keating Center’s help.
This past weekend, Fr. Nathanael led a team ministering with a retreat at the Brookpark facility that included a program of prayer, sharing, reflection, teaching, worship and reconciliation. Says Fr. Nathanael, “I was the first to share and presented my own story of how I found the love and mercy of God and how it changed me. A drug addict for 12 years, in and out of jails and prisons, I came to a place where by God’s mercy, He ‘sat on my chest’. I was no longer able to run. He loved me back to Himself. That was 25 years ago. He gave me a promise from Jeremiah 29:10-14a, “a future and a hope”. God is faithful. He has kept His promise."