Office of the Permanent Diaconate, 

welcome to your counseling page

Rejoice Counseling Apostolate is delighted to partner with the Office of the Permanent Diaconate to offer professional counseling services to inquirers, aspirants, candidates, and permanent deacons across the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Through individual, marriage or family counseling we can work with you in the human dimension, cultivating qualities with a view to diaconal ministry. A few examples include human virtues, becoming a bridge between people, affective maturity, and a training in freedom that leads to servant-leadership. We are also available to assist with common issues people want to work through in counseling, such as depression, burnout, anxiety and stress, grief or bereavement, marriage healing and enrichment, parenting, and more.

Placing our gifts of counsel at the service of men who are being formed into Christ the Servant is a beautiful way for us to support you, your families, and the local Church. We look forward to meeting you.

Dr. Chris Stravitsch, DMin, LPC-S, LMFT-S, President

Counselors serving the Office of the Permanent Diaconate

Larry Freeney, Jr., PhD (cand.), LPC

Larry Freeney, Jr., PhD (cand.), LPC

Parish Counselor

Meet Larry

Larry is a Licensed Professional Counselor completing a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at Sam Houston State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Christianity (2014) and a Master of Arts in Counseling (2016) at Houston Baptist University. Read Larry’s full bio

Locations

Christ the Good Shepherd, Spring
St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spring
St. Theresa, Memorial Park, Houston

Dr. Bia Lima, PhD, LPC-Associate; Supervised by Dr. Chris Stravitsch, DMin, LPC-S, LMFT-S

Dr. Bia Lima, PhD, LPC-Associate; Supervised by Dr. Chris Stravitsch, DMin, LPC-S, LMFT-S

Meet Dr. Bia

Dr. Bia Lima has a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; a Masters in Psychology, Development, and Education from Universidad de Cádiz, Spain; and a Specialist Degree in Clinical Psychology from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, supervised by Dr. Chris Stravitsch.

Dra. Bia Lima tiene un doctorado en Educación y Supervisión de Consejeros del Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Ella es una asociada de consejera profesional con licencia, supervisada por el Dr. Chris Stravitsch.

Read Dr. Bia's full bio

Locations: Localizada en:

Virtual only

Matthew Pici, M.Ed., LPC-Associate; Supervised by Dr. Chris Stravitsch, DMin, LPC-S, LMFT-S

Matthew Pici, M.Ed., LPC-Associate; Supervised by Dr. Chris Stravitsch, DMin, LPC-S, LMFT-S

Parish Counselor

Meet Matt

Matthew Pici is an LPC-Associate with an M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Houston-Victoria. He is under the supervision of Dr. Chris Stravitsch, DMin, LPC-S, LMFT-S. Matthew is also a certified School Counselor in the State of Texas. He has worked as a Catholic school counselor, principal, campus minister, art teacher, and theology teacher. He counsels individuals, couples, and families. Read full bio.

Locations 

Virtual Only

Laura Aguirre, MA, LPC

Laura Aguirre, MA, LPC

Parish Counselor

Meet Laura

Laura Aguirre is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Sam Houston State University. She counsels individuals, couples, and families in both English and Spanish.

Laura es una Consejera Profesional con Licencia. Ella logro su bachillerato de ciencia de psicología y su maestría de arte en consejería clínico en salud mental de la universidad de Sam Houston State. Laura ofrece el servicio de consejería a individuos, parejas y familias en dos idiomas, Ingles y Español. 

Read Laura's full bio

Locations / Localizada en:

Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Spring
St. Jerome Catholic Church, Houston
St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Humble
Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic Church, The Woodlands

 

Janet Sturtz, MA, MSW, LCSW-S

Janet Sturtz, MA, MSW, LCSW-S

Parish Counselor

Meet Janet

Janet Sturtz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Supervisor with over 20 years of experience as a therapist. She has a Masters in Spanish Literature from Kent State University (Ohio) and a Masters is Social Work from the University of South Florida (Tampa). She counsels individuals, couples, and families in both English and Spanish.

Janet Sturtz es una trabajadora social clínica licenciada u supervisora con más de 20 años de experiencia como terapeuta. Tiene una maestría en literatura española de Kent State University (Ohio) y una maestría en trabajo social de University of South Florida (Tampa). Janet ofrece el servicio de consejería a individuos, parejas y familias en dos idiomas, Ingles y Español. 

Read Janet's full bio.

Locations / Localizada en:

Virtual only

Gary Russell, MA, LPC, LCDC

Gary Russell, MA, LPC, LCDC

Parish Counselor

Meet Gary

Gary is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. He completed a Master of Arts in Counseling at Houston Baptist University. As a parish counselor, Gary can address depression, anxiety, self-esteem, relationships, substance and behavioral addictions, emotional abuse, marital healing and enrichment, divorce distress and recovery, parenting, and authentic masculinity from a Catholic perspective. He works with adults, youth, couples, and families. Read full bio.

Locations 

St. Joseph Catholic Church, Downtown Houston
St. Michael Catholic Church, Houston

Availability

Across our many locations, we have a variety of morning, afternoon, and evening availability Monday thru Friday. We also have a limited amount of Saturday availability in a few locations. Our Client Coordinator will discuss all the options to find a location, counselor, and time that works well for you.

Locations

As part of our partnership, you are able to meet with our Catholic counselors at any of their current parish assignments or office locations:

PARISHES
Christ the Good Shepherd, Spring
Christ the Redeemer, Houston
Most Holy Trinity, Angleton
St. Bartholomew the Apostle, Katy
St. Cyril of Alexandria, Houston
St. James the Apostle, Spring
St. Jerome, Houston
St. John the Baptist, Alvin
St. Joseph, Downtown Houston
St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spring
St. Mary Magdalene, Humble
St. Michael the Archangel, Houston
Sts. Simon and Jude, The Woodlands

Contact us for scheduling

Please contact our Client Coordinator to schedule your first appointment. Our main line is (844) 295-3167. Be sure to inform us you are with the diaconate program.