Separated and Divorced Healing Ministry

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The Catholic Church, which always upholds the dignity of marriage as a lifelong and exclusive covenant, recognizes the reality of separation and divorce. In an effort to reach out to those who have undergone the pain of a broken marriage, the Church has a Separated and Divorced Healing Ministry.

This support group seeks to make God’s love visible by extending compassion to those who are separated or divorced, by striving to create greater awareness that their anguish can become a source of new personal and spiritual growth for themselves and a source of grace for the whole community, while always affirming our Catholic teachings and values on marriage and family life.

This Separated and Divorced Healing Ministry is an organization under the authority of the Diocese of St. Catharines. It is a peer support group run by lay volunteers with financial support from the Diocese and kind assistance from the Carmelite Fathers. The meetings are geared toward a Catholic community but are open to people of all denominations. The topics of discussion range from spiritual issues

(such as relationship with the Catholic Church community, challenges to personal faith, receiving the sacraments, and marriage annulments); emotional issues (such as loneliness, anger, stress, mourning and acceptance); and practical issues (such as childcare, single parenting and part-time parenting, legal and financial issues, sexuality, readiness for new relationships).

The group has a social dimension; however, it is a support group and not a dating service or a counselling agency. Those who attend meetings are encouraged but never pressured to share their personal experiences. Through personal sharing, people are supported and reassured that they are not alone and that others have felt and experienced the same challenges. The meetings will usually feature a video or guest speaker, with time for discussion and/or questions.

The Separated and Divorced Healing Ministry Support Group will meet every second Monday, from September to June, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Meeting are held at Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre, 7020 Stanley Avenue, Niagara Falls. For more information or for the schedule of featured topics for the coming months, please contact Mount Carmel at 905-356-4113 or the Diocesan Catholic Centre at 905-684-0154 or email separatedanddivorced@saintcd.com.

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