Divorced, Separated, Widowed
Marriage and Respect Life
400 E. Monroe
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Director of Marriage and Respect Life
Coordinator of Respect Life Parish Leadership Support
And I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know the LORD.
- (Hosea 2:19-20)
Divorced and widowed persons: relationships and circumstances within your family may have changed, but God’s love for you is ever present and does not come to an end. Grasp the hands of those who reach out to you in loving concern. Extend your own hand to others whom you meet on the road to healing and reconciliation. There is a home for you within our parishes and communities of faith. (U.S. Bishops, “Follow the Way of Love,” 1994)
When a marriage ends, whether through death, divorce, or separation, a grieving process naturally follows. Every individual moves through the grieving process in their own way and must be allowed to process the wide range of emotions they may feel as they adjust to a post-married life. The needs of each individual during this time will vary greatly depending on their circumstances. For example, an elderly widow who has lost her husband to a degenerative disease will need different community support than a young mother who has separated or divorced herself from her spouse. However, each of these people will need God’s grace and his loving comfort to endure these life-changing circumstances, and God waits with eagerness to provide a refuge of comfort and care.
One program that is helpful for people who are embarking on a life after marriage is Beginning Experience. This recovery program for widowed, separated and divorced individuals facilitates the resolution of the grief surrounding the end of marriage/relationship and promotes healing. They offer a program to help single-again persons emerge from the darkness of grief and into the light of a new beginning with a future renewed with hope. This program helps deal with the natural grief process and offers an opportunity, through God, to turn the pain of loss into an experience of positive growth.
Another helpful resource can be found at www.divorcedcatholic.org