Divorced, Separated, & Widowed


Divorce is not an event but a process, a process that most did not realize they would need to undergo. The pain of divorce is far more reaching than just with the couple. Divorce affects the entire community surrounding the divorcing couple. This process is a time of grief and great pain. It is a form of death. For within it, one is experiencing the loss of a dream which he or she had envisioned would last till death. The individual must face that he or she is single again and will most likely have to inherit many responsibilities that would have been shared with his or her spouse. It is important that an individual seeks assistance and help at this time of grief. Self-care is vital.  The children, one’s job, or extended family will all suffer more if one fails to maintain his or her health.


The Church understands the pain of those caught in this situation. When divorce is the only possible recourse, the Church offers her support to those involved and encourages them to remain close to the Lord through frequent reception of the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist. (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p. 287)


The Church’s view on divorce remains faithful to the understanding that God, who authored marriage, created this special union to be one of permanence.   As we see in the scripture, Jesus taught about this permanence. (Matthew 19:3-6).  With this belief, the Church does not recognize a civil divorce because the State cannot dissolve what cannot be dissolved. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2382-2386)

For more questions regarding the Church’s stance on divorce, visit For Your Marriage, an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Beginning Experience®

A weekend retreat designed for those have experienced the loss of a loved one through separation, divorce or death. This weekend is designed to be a time of closure on the past and renewed hope for the future.

Their vision:

A hurting people, healed, transformed, and free again to love themselves, others, and God.

Their mission:

The purpose of the Beginning Experience ministry is to facilitate the grief resolution process for adults and children who have suffered a loss through death, divorce or separation, thereby enabling them to again love themselves, others and God.

We accomplish the purpose by offering quality, copyrighted, grief resolution programs presented by trained peer ministers. These programs are designed to move grieving people through a transformational process to a new beginning in their lives.

We believe that through resolving the grief of a significant loss:

  • Individuals participate in the death and resurrection of Christ as he lives in the world today;
  • that those working through this experience can effectively walk with others for whom the experience is new and hard;
  • and that the invitation to recover offers an opportunity for life transformation, and for freeing individuals to love self, others and God in new and deeper ways.

For more information contact:

  • Kim Dodson: 714-336-3221
  • Melissa Orosco: 949-697-3352
  • Sandy Possehl: 562-201-1748 or [email protected]
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Upcoming Weekend Retreats:

If you are grieving the loss of your marriage through death, divorce or separation, join us at the ProSanctity Center in Fullerton on March 11-13, 2022.  A trained team leads participants through a healing and growth program. If you are ready to move through your feelings of grief, into the light of a new beginning and hope, this weekend may be for you. Contact Kim at 714-336-3221 or Melissa (bilingual, Spanish) at 949-697-3352 for more information. Early registration is encouraged.

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Life-Giving Wounds is a ministry for adult children of divorced or separated parents.

Visit their website for more information and to register for a support group.

Support Groups Meetings:

The Divorce Ministry Council Committee from San Bernardino welcomes divorced and separated Catholics from the Diocese of Orange to virtual opportunities to share in support and faithful community during this time when our in-person gatherings cannot occur. Check out their website for details and more information: http://www.sbmarriageinitiative.org/catholic-divorce-ministry

**Our support groups in the Diocese of Orange are not meeting in person at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.**

Journey of Hope is a 13-week program to support our brothers and sisters through the emotional pain of divorce and separation. Key challenges and unique family dynamics as a result of this unexpected journey will be addressed as well as a safe environment to share concerns and reconnect with understanding and a new hope. Open yourself up to experience healing and allow Jesus to restore your faith and renew your path.

Key challenges and unique family dynamics, as a result of this unexpected journey, will be addressed as well as a safe environment to share concerns and reconnect with understanding and a new hope. Register anytime.  A donation of $35 and includes a book, journal, daily devotional and drop-in format.

Topics to be covered:

  • Why did God allow this to happen?
  • Anger with our spouses, ourselves, and God
  • Praying in times of distress
  • What does the Church really teach about divorce?
  • What is an annulment?
  • Dealing with the ex-spouse
  • Helping children cope
  • The healing begins
  • Our own self-worth
  • The value of suffering
  • Letting go / Working on forgiveness
  • Dating and intimacy as a divorced Catholic
  • Gratitude and hope for the future

Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Habra

Starting on September 5th  in the Ignatius Room (#3).  Wednesday nights from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. through December 19th.

For more information contact Sandy Possehl at 909-803-8613

St. Irenaeus Catholic Church, Cypress

Starting on September 19th in Youth Formation Room.  Wednesday Nights from 7:00-8:30 p.m.

For more information contact Pat Hansmeyer at 714-713-7412

St. Timothy Catholic Church, Laguna Niguel

Thursday Evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Located in the Church Hall

Donation of $35 is requested, which includes book and journal.

For additional information or to register, kindly contact Kelly Klaus at 949-292-7281

Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic  Church, Huntington Beach

Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
January 9 – March 26, 2020

For more information or to register, contact Barbara Weaver at (714) 614-5517.  You can also register on the day of the group sessions!

Programs also available online:

1355 Terrell Mill Road
Building 1482, Suite 150
Marietta, GA 30067
Telephone: 1-678-905-0565  M-F 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST
Website: www.divorcedcatholic.com

Divorce and Beyond – Spanish Groups – Coming Soon dates TBD

DivorceCare is a seminar/small group resource designed to help your church effectively minister to people hurting because of separation and divorce.

Catholic Divorce Ministry
North American Conference of Separated & Divorced Catholics provides Support for families experiencing separation and divorce.

Regional 14 Representative:
Julie Monell-Auzenne
Phone: 213-637-7249
Phone: 855-727-2269
Fax: 855-729-8751
E-Mail: [email protected]

Provides a bridge to emotional healing for children, adolescents, and adults confronting death, divorce or other painful family transition.
614 Dampster Street, Suite C
Evanston, IL 60202

Phone: 847-952-1770 or 800-266-3206 (USA & Canada)
Fax: 847-952-1774
E-Mail: [email protected]

Divorce Transition Center
The breakup of relationships and families is a long, unknown, painful, and continually changing journey. The Divorce Transition Center, located at 29122 Rancho Viejo Rd; Suite 112 in San Juan Capistrano, provides therapeutic professionals who provide a safe environment to council divorce, separated, domestic partners or unmarried couples and their families.  Interactive programs include support groups, educational groups, and individual therapy for every stage of the transition and rebuilding process.

For more information, contact Kelly Klaus, M.A., LMFT, 949-292-7281