The 3rd monthly meeting of the Family Life Commission’s Separated, Divorced and Widowed (SDW) Ministry was hosted on June 16, 2023 with the Surviving Divorce Series: Hope and Healing for the Catholic Family. This program helps the Separated and Divorced work through the challenges related to the breakdown in the marriage through the eyes of the Church, which helps persons to look to the future with hope and forgiveness.
The discernment team started with Lectio Divina then bravely shared personal testimonies on the topic of this monthly meeting, which was ‘Getting Through Your Anger’. Participants were asked to note their thoughts on these questions:
- What is at the top of your list that makes you angry about the divorce?
- What are the most significant losses you have experienced related to your divorce?
- Is there some injustice in your divorce that requires you to take corrective action?
- Are you aware of any area in which you feel bitter?
- If it has been a long time since you have been to confession, what is holding you back?
The sharing from participants in the breakout rooms was very deep and reflected the pain many SDW persons go through, regardless of whether recently separated or divorced or having gone through the process many years ago. Some experiences included verbal, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse as well as financial distress due to non-payment of child support. There were other issues including those of a spiritual nature.
Feedback from the participants on the session was again very positive, as follows:
What impacted you the most from the session?
The open forum; the way anger was shown in different ways; the sharing of the participants; the video on the different questions; the strength of everyone; the video presentations.
What would you say is most helpful?
The videos and supporting questions; how others were able to deal with the anger; the speaker breaking down feelings with which I can identify; hearing the different sharing from each person in our breakout rooms will help others cope with their situations; I am not alone.
The SDW Ministry discernment team continues to pray that God, through this ministry will bring healing and hope for the Separated, Divorced and Widowed in our Archdiocese.
The next monthly meeting is on July 15, 2023, 6 – 8 p.m. The link for this meeting is:
Meeting ID: 858 8395 6255
Should you need further information, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or via WhatsApp 299 1047.
By Patricia F. Gafoor
SDW Discernment Team