Those I had been close to were supportive but often rightly consumed with their own families and few had time to listen to me cry or the ability to understand how deeply our family’s core had been shaken and altered.Several fearfully expressed concern that, if rather than the dirty word – divorce.
I turned to my local pastor who was as shocked as I was by the events unfolding in my life.
The man was dear and sweet and offered prayers and some financial support when child support failed to come in, but, try as he might, he was unable to relate to my struggles.
I never thought I would be one of the many divorced Catholics.
The phrase conjures up images I want no part of, and many church-goers carry around similar images of divorced men and women.
I tried to keep my boys involved in church activities, but I had five children from pre-born to 11 and now had half the number of weekends to do all parish, school, Scout, and other activities.
My older boys could no longer be counted on to show up for their scheduled masses and stopped altar serving.
The teen youth group met every other weekend, but my boys were often away those weekends so dropped out even before they had gotten fully involved.
Divorced Catholics are leaving the Catholic church in droves because of the church’s perceived lack of understanding and resulting feelings of isolation.
The annulment process can also add to the trauma of the post-divorce period.
As a woman suddenly abandoned while pregnant with our fifth little boy, I fully understand this sentiment.
I too struggled with questions about how I fit in, as a divorced Catholic woman, with my faith and with my fellow believers. I had been youth minister before the sudden abandonment, but with our busy vacation Bible school coming up, I was unable to continue my role.