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Religious leaders in south suburbs join in fight against opiate addiction

A crowd gathered for a vigil against substance abuse last month observes a moment of silence at the end of the program.
A crowd gathered for a vigil against substance abuse last month observes a moment of silence at the end of the program.Debee Tlumacki for The Boston Globe

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Religious leaders south of Boston are tackling the issue of opiate addiction head on, saying it’s their responsibility to be their troubled brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and to offer hope.

“We’re reclaiming an authority that only a religious community can claim,” said the Rev. Grant Barber of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Scituate, who helped the Scituate Clergy Association organize a town-wide “Day of Hope” recently.

The day-long event began with sermons in individual houses of worship and ended with a vigil that filled the bleachers of the Gates Middle School gym. Recovering addicts spoke, as did the mother of a 22-year-old Scituate man who committed suicide in January out of despair over his heroin habit.

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