The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) awarded the Michael Q. Ford Journalism Award to Chaplain William “Bill” Lenters of the Rosecrance (Rockford, Ill.) at its annual conference, held May 19-22 in Phoenix.
The award recognizes Lenters’ long-running series of recovery-focused columns, which are published under the title “Bread for the Journey
.” The award is named for NAATP’s first executive, Michael Q. Ford, who died in 1999.
Lenters, who came to Rosecrance as chaplain in 1998, counsels adolescents and adults in treatment for substance abuse at the Rockford campuses. In his straightforward, colorful and often humorous columns, he addresses everyday life struggles of people who may or may not be in recovery.
“It surprises me to get recognized for writing down what I think is fairly obvious,” Lenters said. “It makes me happy that I might have something meaningful to say to folks who struggle with addiction and other life issues.”
Introducing Lenters at the NAATP conference, Rosecrance President/CEO Philip W. Eaton said the chaplain has helped thousands of patients find the strength and wisdom within themselves to face obstacles in their lives.
“I would say there’s not much about the human condition that surprises Bill,” Eaton said. “Yet, he accepts every person, every story, as unique and meets patients where they are.
“He helps patients dig through layers of loss, guilt, trauma and self-loathing to find and fan a spark of spirituality that can help them sustain recovery for the long run.”
Lenters, an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, previously served as campus minister at Purdue University, parish pastor at churches in Chicago and Cleveland, and chaplain at a treatment center in Phoenix, AZ.
He holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees. Lenters is a published author in the addictions field, having written The Freedom We Crave – Addiction, The Human Experience. His “Bread for the Journey” column is distributed to pastors and churches of many denominations in Illinois and Wisconsin, to Rosecrance staff and to many other avid readers. To subscribe, email firstname.lastname@example.org