Father Flavin said providing pastoral care can put great stress on the mind, particularly in the climate of public perception since 2002.
"We are getting to a point where we just give priests more work. Where there was one parish with four or five priests, now we are giving one priest four or five parishes," he said.
He said the center treats many cases of depression and alcohol struggles, but often succeeds in preparing patients to return to work after recovery.
The technical aspect of Father Flavin's work puts him in contact with those in need of psychological and spiritual care.
He said the work he undertakes can restore a priest or a nun to ministry serving thousands of others in some cases.
"If I get a priest healthy, that's a thousand people that get a priest, get the Eucharist, and get God in their lives. So, it's good work," he said.
He said a staff of 94 helps him provide the one-on-one care needed to help guide clergy and religious through the symptoms of stress and psychological distress. Medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, chaplains, pastoral councilors, and social workers all contribute to the work of the St. John Vianney Center.
"I work with all of them to make sure the care is coordinated, and we're giving the patient the best care possible," Father Flavin said.
"We look at the human person from all directions in life. As John Paul II said in 'Pastores Dabo Vobis,' we look at the pillars -- the intellectual, the physical, the psychological, the pastoral. We look at the entire human person and try to restore them to health," he said.
He said his team also does psychological assessments for seminary and religious candidates.
"We have the opportunity to screen out serious mental illness or personality disorders. That is our real goal, is to help dioceses and religious orders to screen for healthy candidates for Christian religious life," he said.
"Everybody struggles with something, and everybody is loved by God, so you just walk with people. That is what people want: to know that somebody cares about them and loves them, that God loves them," he said.
"That is what Jesus did, right? He stayed with people in their brokenness. He didn't discard them," Father Flavin said.
Father Flavin celebrated his 25th priestly anniversary in Brockton on June 17.
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