Where is my church when I need it?

An older divorced woman I’ll call Nancy quietly confronted me at a social gathering hosted by a mutual friend. Another guest had pointed me out to her across the room, and she had made a beeline for me. We had not met prior to this, and I was not currently serving as her parish priest, …

Why does my loneliness seem to fuel a sense of desperation to reconnect?

In my pastoral ministry with divorced Cathofics over the years, I have met many persons like two I’ll call Kevin and Sue. They were both middle-aged and divorced within the past year or so. Both claimed that their divorces had been unexpected and thus devastating. They had both been married 20+ years. When the youngest …

Why do I just want to be alone?

I had a friend I’ll call George who was in his mid-40s whose twenty year marriage had recently ended in divorce. George had called me to meet him for coffee at the neighborhood coffee bar a couple of months after his divorce. (This was something we had done periodically for several years.) He told me …

Why don’t I fit in anymore?

I met a young divorced man in his early 30s I’ll call Brad at a large parish picnic. According to Brad, his marriage of five years had suddenly come apart with the stunning revelation to him by his wife that she “just didn’t love him anymore!” He went on to say how he felt so …

Why can’t I stop hating?

I remember a conversation initiated by a middle-aged divorced woman I’ll call Barb. In it, she told me that she had been a life-long practicing Catholic. She had had Catholic schooling through college level, She had been quite active in her local parish prior to her divorce which she had experienced as personally devastating. While …

Why can’t I pray anymore?

Priests are used to being approached even at social events like picnics and ball games to answer religious questions. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lawyers, and tax accountants say that they are also asked “professional” questions even when they are having “personal” time away from the job. During half-time at a parish school football game, a middleaged …

Why am I being punished?

After a retreat healing service in which I had assisted, I met a divorced grandmother I’ll call Ann. Ann was distraught because she believed that the marriage of one of her daughters was “in serious trouble”. Ann told me she was afraid that a divorce was becoming more and more likely, in spite of her …

Why can’t I trust anymore?

I remember a young woman in her late 20s I’ll call Jenny. Jenny came to see me one day to see if I could help her sort out her reaction to the aftermath of her divorce. She had been referred by a mutual divorced friend. She told me her marriage had unraveled after about two …

Why am I still looking for love?

I recall a chat I had following Sunday Mass with two divorced men I’ll call Tom and Joe. Back in the day, Tom had coached Joe in high school soccer, and they were longtime friends. Joe was now in his early 30s and recently divorced after a marriage of about seven years. Tom was in …

Why can’t I stop feeling so sad?

I recall a conversation I had with a divorced man I’ll call Mike. He had been married over twenty years. After the youngest child had finished high school and was on her own (with parental financial support) in college, Mike’s wife had come to him one day to suddenly announce that she was weary of …

Why can’t I forgive and forget?

A woman in her mid-30s I’ll call Ashley stopped by to talk after Mass one Sunday as I was greeting parishioners outside the front doors of the church. After placing her two children on a nearby bench with their favorite story books, she came back up to me and began to tell me how, after …

Why am I so angry with God?

A divorced woman in her 50s I’ll call Liz told me her former husband had stated to her ‘tout of the blue” that he intended to leave their marriage of 20+ years because he simply felt overwhelmed by trying to cope with her chronic serious health problems which had, years earlier, led to her qualifying …