Ministry helps people heal from divorce or death of spouse
Published: November 9, 2004
LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- For more than 20 years, Beginning Experience, an independent Catholic healing ministry in Los Angeles, has been helping divorced, separated and widowed Catholics work through their difficult experiences and get a new start on life. Arcelia Vargas knows about such experiences firsthand. She was married 22 years and raising three children when she finally had to face her husband's ongoing betrayal and dishonesty and decided to divorce him. "I could have pulverized stones with the rage that I felt," Vargas told The Tidings, Los Angeles archdiocesan newspaper, in a phone interview. "I knew my anger would only hurt me. I could die from it." Through Beginning Experience, she said, she found the support she needed to release her anger and attend to the deep hurt, frustration and fear she was going through as well. In this peer ministry, offered in a workshop format running from a Friday evening to a Sunday afternoon, participants listen to talks by other divorced, separated and widowed people who are the facilitators. They also keep a journal and share with one another in small groups. There is also a reconciliation service and Mass near the end of the weekend.
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