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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Looby

New Retreat Offered for Adult Children of Divorce

June 10-12 The Diocese of Ogdensburg will be offering a healing opportunity called Life-Giving Wounds, a Catholic ministry helping adults from divorced and separated families. The three-day retreat is uniquely created for adult children of divorc

e, ages 18 and older. Participants are invited - no matter the circumstances of their parents’ break-up – to move through the broken image of love that appeared to them in their parents’ divorce to their identity as God’s beloved children and part of His family. The retreat gives participants a greater understanding of the wound of their parent’s loss of love and how it affects their lives; it offers advice about lo

ving and trusting others; and it points to the Catholic faith and the sacraments as essential parts of the healing journey.

Retreats are led by a trained, experienced retreat team of faithful Catholics who are all adult children of divorce. A Catholic priest also serves on the team. Fr. Chris Carrera will serve as the retreat chaplain in June. The national retreat team is traveling from the Washington DC area to facilitate the weekend. A local team led by Steve Tartaglia, Family Life director and Colleen Miner, Respect Life director will also be helping. Both have attended a Life Giving Wounds retreat and saw the benefits of the ministry.

“We often think of the vocations crisis in terms of the low numbers of men getting ordained and women entering religious life,” said Tartaglia. “The numbers of couples getting married, is also extremely low. Even lower are the numbers of couples pursuing sacramental marriages. I believe that children who have grown up in divorced families find the notions of trust and permanent commitment very challenging. Who would blame them? But they miss out on the many blessings that God wants to give to them. This retreat helps them to explore those wounds and begin healing.”

“It helped me to understand how my parent’s divorce and annulment has affected my thinking and actions. It was nice to connect with others who feel the same way or have the same reactions. Often children are told that it’s for the best and not much will change. But that’s not true.” said Miner. “This retreat is so needed and can help many - that’s our goal in offering it in our diocese. Right now it’s in a few dioceses but they are at a distance: ” Georgia, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, Virginia, California, Maryland” but if you visit you’ll now see Ogdensburg, NY listed!”

The weekend includes presentations by the retreat team, facilitated small group discussions, opportunities for prayer, reflection and the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.

Topics covered on the retreat include:

➢Finding our deepest identity ➢Faith and our relationship with God ➢Love, dating, and the Sacrament of Marriage ➢Anger, anxiety, and shame ➢Family boundaries and forgiveness ➢The Christian meaning of suffering

There are also support groups offered after the retreat, in person and online.

The retreat in our diocese will be held at The Guggenheim Center in Saranac Lake. The registration fee is $100 and includes overnight accommodations, food and all retreat materials. To register for the June retreat please complete the online registration at or contact Diocese of Ogdensburg Family Life Director Stephen Tartaglia 315-393-2920.

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