Matt Talbot Ministries... Historical Perspective

Matt Talbot Ministries began in the hearts of several people. The tree above symbolizes the large family of people directly involved in the development and continued operation of our outreach service.

The ministry began at St. Augustine's Parish, in the City of Rochester, during the summer of 1981. It developed in response to the needs of parishioners who were suffering from the effects of alcoholism, drug addiction and co-dependency. The parish facilities were made available for AA and Alanon meetings. It soon became clear that there was a need to give additional pastoral support.

Within a few months the number of people seeking additional help grew to over twenty. That support was given in the form of peer facilitating. Our facilitating style defined itself as spiritual and philosophical rather than scientific and psychological. We taught people how to move beyond addiction and dysfunction and direct their lives toward peace and serenity. The facilitating process as well as facilitator credentialing was and continues to be based on the philosophy of the "12 steps" and "12 traditions" of AA.

In the fall of 1981 it was decided that demands for service dictated the need for more structure. More and more people were coming for help and there was a continuing demand for facilitators. It also became clear that the ministry needed a name. Mysteriously a cassette tape reviewing the life of Matt Talbot turned up in the mail box of one of the facilitators. Although no one had ever heard of Matt Talbot, everyone agreed quickly that what we were doing matched the spirituality and direction of his life. He practiced disciplines resembling the principles of "12 step" recovery. It was because of his example, courage, inner strength and spirituality that our ministry was named in his honor.

As the ministry grew, it became evident that the "12 step" recovery process used for alcoholism was applicable to all forms of compulsive behavior. We now serve people who are suffering from every kind and level of habit or addiction.