Master image of Father Jim Talks

Have you been at a crossroad where you needed to summon real courage to proceed?


Have you felt the sharp sting of failure, pain of loss, paralyzed with fear?


Being vulnerable, accepting failure and having hope when there seemed little to hope for is the beginning of a new start, new direction, and fresh chance to grow.

Father Jim



Father Jim Swarthout is an Episcopal priest who began his career as a Catholic priest thirty years ago ordained in the Rockford Diocese and also served within the Chicago Archdiocese. His professional expertise includes being the only clergy in the United States certified intervention specialist and as the only Rosecrance Health Network’s Florian Chaplain (first clergy for first responders working with trauma and addiction issues). His unique position as a priest and community collaborator creates an unexpected ability to visualize potential where others see obstacles.

 Father Jim and his wife Claudia

Selective rule-breaking while keeping the bridge of relationships is a specialty of Fr. Jim. When he married a Catholic nun, the couple evolved to the Episcopal Church yet maintained strong bonds with Catholic colleagues. Today, Fr. Jim serves as an expert and certified “Invitational Interventionist”, a measured outcome process with treating addiction and mental health concerns with compassion, understanding inviting resilience instead of guilt and shame. Collaborator on the ARISE program; Fr. Jim has expanded this approach by inviting a language of invitation vs. confrontation. His approach is using a “conspiracy of compassion” initiated by “premeditated mercy” an approach that he is teaching to leaders to improve recovery results nationwide.

Certified as an Advanced Addiction Counselor and Relapse Prevention Therapist, bishops, clergy, congregations and corporations rely on his ability to connect with those who have constructed elaborate barriers to their ego and mental health. Fr. Jim has given counsel to top level leaders of Fortune 500 companies, governments and religions; as well as individuals from all ages and walks of life. His gift is breaking down the barriers and reaching each person where they are struggling. Then, he assists them in learning how to overcome their particular obstacles. His methods include acceptance of failure, loss and pain using love and tolerance. And, his methods work!

The focus of ARISE® is on both individual and family healing and recovery. ARISE® gets over 83% of addicted individuals into treatment in three weeks,  96% enter treatment in six months, 61% sober by the end of the first year, with 10% more using less.


Few people have the ability to lead and influence small groups and large networks for unimagined results. Fr. Jim Swarthout can see the potential in creative ideas and enhance outcomes for positive good works in communities. He knows when and how to bring together ideas with folks who can fund them and implement them.


With his extensive network of clergy, educators, business and community professionals throughout the country, he has a solid foundation of leaders able to develop initiatives.


Here are a few of his skills…

  • Licensed and certified in conflict mediation, mental health counseling and education
  • Board of Governance: Carver’s Policy in Nonprofits
  • Baldridge: Recognizing model practices of world-class organizations
  • Proven ability to manage results-oriented community events, forums and fundraisers
  • Expertise in strategic leadership development within parish boards and community agencies
  • Creative thinker, problem-solver, consensus builder and public speaker


Beyond leading in mental health methods and modalities, Fr. Jim is open to leading community improvements. He founded the St. Paul’s Diaper Bank Partnership in McHenry, Illinois in 2009. Learning of the serious need for diapers in low-income households, he leveraged media exposure to connect with Kimberly Clark/Huggies for a national sponsorship. Millions of Huggies diapers were donated as well as significant dollars to structure and fund a new National Diaper Bank Network. Because of this work, communities throughout the country have a proven model and network for Diaper Bank success thanks to the effort of Fr. Jim Swarthout.



You can watch all 8 videos in a row by clicking on the large player below.

You can also select each individual episode by clicking on the smaller players.

Father Jim Swarthout - No 1 - “Invitational Intervention”

Father Jim Swarthout - No 2 - “Intersection of Walk and Don’t Walk

Father Jim Swarthout - No 3 - "Falling Upwards"

Father Jim Swarthout - No 4 - "Broke the Rules, but Didn't Lose the Relationships"

Father Jim Swarthout - No 5 - “Diaper Bank”

Father Jim Swarthout - No 6 - "Fire Fighter’s Chaplain”

Father Jim Swarthout - No 7 - “New Pathways"

Father Jim Swarthout - No 8 - "Gratitude"

Father Jim Swarthout

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