The Archdiocesan Family Life Commission’s Ministry to the Separated, Divorced and Widowed (SDW) held its first in-person event on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at the Living Water Community.
This Ministry has been hosting monthly meetings via Zoom since May 2023, using the Surviving Divorce Video Series, which helps SDW Catholics deal with some of the challenges experienced during and after separation or divorce.
For this inaugural event, people who are separated, divorced, or widowed were invited to Mass at the LWC chapel, followed by breakfast and a presentation. The presenter was Lorraine Pouchet, who introduced Original Pain Therapy (OPT).
OPT is a hybrid combination of individual counselling and psychoeducational workshop. The two components can be used together or separately according to one’s needs.
The individual therapy is a brief, effective therapeutic technique which targets your wounded inner child’s pain to heal past hurts and allows you to change your core material, thus freeing you to become your authentic self.
Lorraine has been involved with OPT for many years and previously shared during the New Beginnings Weekends for persons who are separated, divorced, or widowed, which was last held in 2019.
At the Mass which preceded the session, Fr Matthew Ragbir shared on the readings of the day (Rom 16:3–9, 16, 22–27 and Lk 16:9–15). He said the readings “actually help us appreciate and understand the ministry of separated divorced and widowed”, but also the ministry of family life. “Our First Reading ends off our readings from St Paul’s letter to the Romans and it’s a very beautiful reflection on Paul’s journey and the way in which so many people had to help him, support him, journey with him, accompany him on this journey.
“And therefore”, he continued, “it underlines for us the importance of accompaniment, a word that more and more, the Holy Father has brought to the fore in our reflections. We are to be disciples as we walk together in the synodal time. Walk together with each other. We cannot underestimate our need to accompany.”
The Survey Feedback from the participants on the session was positive and encouraging:
Please share your feedback on the Mass, Breakfast and Fellowship on November 11, 2023
…Great; It was a morning well spent; A wonderful experience; It was an awesome event. Very thought provoking; Meaningful and spiritually to the point.
What would you say was the most helpful to you?
…Info on Original Pain Therapy; The Homily; Reminder of OPT and that I still have a lot of work to do; Learning about original pain that can follow you through life if not dealt with; I also loved how the morning flowed, starting with Mass; Talk on Original Pain Therapy.
The next monthly Zoom meeting will be held in January 2024. For info, contact the AFLC 299-1047, or email email@example.com