Retreat day offered for divorced, separated Catholics
The diocesan Department of Pastoral Care will sponsor a program for separated and divorced Catholics Oct. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in St. Barnabas Church in Father Rucki Hall, 33 Woodland Rd., Bayville.
Mary Lou Rosien, author and speaker, will be the keynote presenter for the program, titled “There Is Life After Divorce – A Day of Renewal, Hope and Healing.”
“We became aware of so many divorced and separated Catholics who feel alienated from their parish community,” said Deanna Sass, director of the diocesan Department of Pastoral Care. “We also recognize the great desire for the opportunity to move forward from that painful experience … [they’re seeking] God’s forgiveness, healing, compassion, mercy and unconditional love… [which] is something that can really touch these wounded hearts, these really hurting folks.”
Both men and women are invited to attend the day, which will begin with coffee and check-in at 9:30, with the retreat following at 10 a.m. Lunch is included, as well as copy of Rosien’s book, “The Joy-Filled Broken Heart.” Opportunities will be available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and Mass will conclude the day at 4 p.m.
A Catholic author, columnist and national speaker, Rosien has written hundreds of articles for Our Sunday Visitor, CatholicMom.com, AmazingCatechists.com, and DynamicWomenFaith.com. She has a master’s certificate in catechesis, is a Pre-Cana instructor, a coordinator for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and core team member for youth group, having taught the faith for nearly 40 years. Her 2017 book “Three Things Divorced Catholics Need to Know” was granted an imprimatur.
Sass noted that many who have gone through separation and divorce feel distanced from their parish community because of misperception.
“There is so much misunderstanding about their status,” she said. “Being divorced is not a sin, and does not separate you from your sacramental life in the Church unless you are remarried without an annulment.”
“We just want to offer an opportunity for our Church to reach out in that way … with a community of others who understand what they’re going through,” Sass explained. “It’s a day of community, of prayer and learning from the presenter and one another, with sacramental opportunities.”
Sass said the day also sends the message that the Church cares and loves those who have lived this difficult experience.
“We need them to be whole, and we need them,” she said. “They teach us about strength, faith, resilience and hope. We love them, we’re there for them and they are very important to our Diocese.”
Registration is open at www.dioceseoftrenton.org/day-of-healing. For more information about the retreat, contact Deanna Sass, 609-403-7157, [email protected]. Rosien’s website is www.catholicfamilybootcamp.com.