In light of the upcoming World Meeting of Families and the Synod on the Family in Rome, the Catholic Church’s teaching on divorce is taking center stage. Pope Francis has urged greater compassion and outreach towards those who have undergone divorce. Here are eight terrific online resources to help.
1. The USCCB web site
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops devotes several pages of its site to the topics of divorce and annulment. The Divorce FAQs and Annulment FAQs list several additional print and DVD resources, and also link to current blogposts on the subjects.
2. The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide
One of the resources highlighted on the USCCB site is The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide, a 12 DVD series with guide either for personal use or as a parish program. The series features Catholic authors Rose Sweet, Dr. Ray Guarendi, Christopher West, and Fr. Mitch Pacwa. The accompanying website offers helpful answers to common questions about anger, hurt, and healing. It also includes advice on helping kids through divorce, learning how to forgive, and even the best movies for cinema therapy.
3. Lisa Duffy on Catholic Match Institute
Lisa Duffy has nearly 600 posts on Catholic Match Institute, the blog of the CatholicMatch.com online dating service. Many of those posts focus on bringing healing to those who are separated or divorced. Lisa has been working in Catholic divorce ministry for decades. Her Journey of Hope program is now being used in more than 50 parishes in the United States and several parishes in Canada as well. She is a co-author of the 2007 book Divorced. Catholic. Now What? and the author of the 2015 book The Catholic Guide to Dating after Divorce. Her personal website includes podcasts and free downloads, and a special page for readers to send in their prayer requests.
Vince Frese, who co-authored Divorced. Catholic. Now What? with Lisa Duffy, has a helpful website called divorcedcatholic.com. Through the website, people can order home study kits, sign up for online programs and subscribe to daily inspirational emails.
5. Catholic Divorce Ministry
The Catholic Divorce Ministry has been active since 1974. The organization “works with family-life ministries in various dioceses to help parishes reach people in the pews with workshops, programs and retreats,” according to an article in the National Catholic Register. The site has resources for catechists and leaders of peer ministries for the divorced and separated. One of its most useful features is a listing of dates and times for many different upcoming events available throughout the country.
This site is a blog started by two women, Carina and Manya. Their blogposts cover important issues like sharing the holidays, taking children’s wishes into account when splitting up household items, and seeking spiritual support through mental prayer, novenas, and the intercession of the saints.
7. Mary’s Advocates
The website of Mary’s Advocates contains a detailed critique of the current annulment system, based on an exhaustive analysis of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and canon law. The organization’s founder, Bai Macfarlane, will be speaking at a Human Life International symposium in Rome, and her written presentation will be distributed to the bishop delegates at the October Synod on the Family. The organization’s book, The Gift of Self, is meant to provide spiritual support for separated or divorced spouses who intend to stay faithful to their marriages.
8. Single Mom Smiling
Strahlen Smith, a single mom of five boys, blogs about renewing her life and her faith after her divorce and annulment. Her personal take on the lessons God has taught her through this painful process is deeply inspiring, especially for anyone in similar circumstances.
If you are aware of any additional resources, please let us know in the comments below!
Copyr. 2015 Karee Santos
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