Separation / Divorce

Separated and divorced Catholics are deserving of compassion and support from the Catholic community. The impact of divorce is often immense and multiple. Divorce often leaves a lasting and ripple effect for the couple, children and other family members. The immediate and long-term need for support and healing resource is well documented.

The Catholic community “…must do everything possible so that such people [those in irregular marriages] feel loved and accepted, that they are not ‘outsiders’ even if they cannot receive absolution and the Eucharist. They must see that they too live fully within the Church.” —Pope Benedict XVI comment to divorced Catholics, World Meeting of Families, June 2012

Divorced Catholics Support Groups

Divorced Catholics support groups offer caring and supportive peer assistance with:

  • Discovering how to work through the emotions of divorce.
  • Experiencing personal healing and hope.
  • Gaining wisdom and comfort from others who share your experiences.
  • Addressing questions of forgiveness and new family dynamics.
  • Obtaining an understanding of the annulment process.

  • Divorced Catholics Support Groups in the Archdiocese of Detroit
    Divorced Catholics Support Group at St. Regis Parish (Bloomfield Hills) Divorced Catholics Support Group is a peer group that gathers on a regular basis to support Catholics who are divorced.

    Location: The meetings take place at the parish offices of St. Regis. We invite you or someone you know who is divorced to join us.

    For more information and upcoming meeting dates, contact Terry Lindner at tmliii@comcast.net or Nazik Najar at nazik.kissinger@gmail.com
    New Beginnings Divorced Catholics Support Group at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Plymouth New Beginnings is a support group to bring hope and healing to divorced Catholics.

    Location: OLGC Parish House, Upstairs in the East Room, 1160 Penniman Ave., Plymouth, MI 48170
    Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
    Dates: March 15, April 12, and May 10

    For more information or to RSVP, contact LeAnn at newbeginningsolgc@gmail.com.

Resources for Divorce and Separation

Divorce Support Books - Children & Adults

Catholic divorce support web sites

Assisting with the care of children and parents during separation or after a divorce:

  • Make the well-being of the child the top priority – that they are loved above all else as always by parents, family, friends, and God.
  • Communicate in an age-appropriate understanding the meaning and reality of divorce, why parents are divorcing, and in a language that the child can comprehend.
  • Encourage and answer all questions honestly that the child can comprehend and tolerate knowing.
  • Help the child to identify and express all their feelings honestly, acknowledge their feelings – it is a traumatic disruption, loss and change event.
  • Assurance to the child from both parents that they will continue to be there for them, but in a different arrangement, proving stability and structure of lifestyle and relationships.
  • Child needs to know that the divorce is not their fault, or God’s fault.
  • Importance that there be as little disruption of normal routines and continuity of supports – family, neighborhood, school, parish community.
  • Do not expose the child to adult conflict, disrespectful or abusive behavior between parents.
  • Do not speak negatively about the other parent with the child.
  • Notify parents of close friends of the separation/divorce.
  • Notify the school of separation/divorce for support services.
  • Parent(s) should seek out support from parish community for child and parents – Divorce Recovery support group, pastoral support, resources.
  • Seek out professional counseling for the child, family – Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan http://ccsem.org/
  • Attend support groups for separation/divorce for parents.

Parental and Pastoral resources

Children of Divorce
Children of Divorce

When Parents Divorce or Separate Workbook and Leader's eGuide – 8-week group program to help children work through their feelings and the common problems that arise from parental separation or divorce while drawing on their faith and Catholic teachings.

Adults of Divorce

The Catholic Divorce Survival Guide – 12-week DVD parish program that brings healing and hope to divorced and separated Catholics. With the help of expert counselors, theologians, and priests, author and presenter Rose Sweet guides participants from pain and loneliness to hope and healing.