The newly re-launched Ministry for the Separated, Divorced and Widowed (SDW) in the Archdiocese, continues to do God’s work, hosting its 2nd monthly meeting on May 19, 2023. Similar to the 1st meeting in April, the SDW Ministry’s discernment team shared personal testimonials on the Surviving Divorce Series: Hope and Healing for the Catholic Family.
The Surviving Divorce program comprising 12 presentations offers assurance that God and the Church are here to help SDW persons through this trying time. The program includes dealing with the difficult emotions associated with divorce; coping with changes in financial circumstances and helping children with their emotions. Further, it helps with understanding marriage through the eyes of the Church, so that when you experience loneliness, sadness, fear, or anger you are reminded you can turn to Jesus in prayer and to the Church in the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist. This helps you to look to the future with hope and forgiveness.
The topic of the 2nd monthly meeting was ‘Finding Strength and Help’ and started with prayer using Scripture. The facilitators again shared their personal testimonies related to the topic and participants were asked to note their thoughts on specific questions to facilitate sharing in breakout rooms. Some questions raised were:
· Are you anxious about finding new love?
· What are some activities you enjoy when you are alone?
· What are you hoping the Church can do for you and your family at this time?
· How have you asked God to help you carry this cross?
Feedback from the participants on the session was again very positive, as follows:
What impacted you the most from the session?
The videos; The sharing from the Leaders: The very direct and meaningful, guided questions; I do not have to be ashamed that I am divorced; Unity; Prayer, Power, Purpose – these words have truly stood out for me; Each individual is impacted in different ways, but suffer the pain of discrimination especially at church and doing church duties after a divorce; There is no one thing. Everything worked together meaningfully.
What would you say is most helpful?
Wow, everything; The feeling that I am not alone; Sharing with others in the same situation; We have a confidential space to share our experiences, which is so important; Listening to other divorced persons and learning how they dealt with it, what was helpful and what was not; Having time to write my thoughts and share with others.
The SDW Ministry discernment team continues to pray this ministry will be a source of God’s Divine Mercy for the Separated, Divorced and Widowed in our Archdiocese.
You are invited to the next monthly meeting on June 16, 2023, 6 – 8 p.m. The Zoom link for this meeting is:
Meeting ID: 827 4447 1163