COURTESY OF LIFE-GIVING WOUNDS
Life-Giving Wounds retreat coming Aug. 19-21
New retreat ministry offers healing to adult children of divorce
BY DANNY MAY, OFFICE OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE
According to Dr. Daniel and Bethany Meola, founders of Life-Giving Wounds, millions of Americans are adult children of divorce or separation, and one quarter of all young adults are adult children of divorce, an experience that has deep effects on a person’s identity, faith and relationship with God, future relationships, and more.
To address these issues, the Meolas founded a ministry called Life-Giving Wounds, a Catholic, peer-led ministry helping young adults and adults whose parents are separated or divorced give voice to their pain and find deep spiritual healing.
“Life-Giving Wounds exists to bring God’s healing to the many wounds experienced by adult children of divorce or separation,” said Bethany Meola, co-founder and vice president of Life-Giving Wounds. “We acknowledge their pain, we grieve with them, and we want to accompany them on the healing journey to reclaim their identity as a child of God, capable of great love, faith, hope, and joy.”
After a year of planning, the Diocese of Owensboro, in collaboration with the Diocese of Evansville, will host a three-day Life-Giving Wounds retreat on August 19-21 at SARTO Retreat Center in Evansville, Ind.
The retreat presentations are delivered by trained leaders who are adult children of divorce themselves. Topics including forgiveness, family boundaries, dealing with anger and anxiety, building strong relationships as an adult child of divorce, addressing wounds to one’s identity and faith, and more. The small group sessions, which are led by trained peer leaders, are an opportunity for attendees to connect with other adult children of divorce who understand the challenges of their situation and can provide support and encouragement.
“We acknowledge their pain, we grieve with them, and we want to accompany them on the healing journey to reclaim their identity as a child of God, capable of great love, faith, hope, and joy.” – Bethany Meola, co-founder and vice president of Life-Giving Wounds
After this initial retreat, the long-term goal is to officially launch Life-Giving Wounds here in the Diocese of Owensboro and train a team to continue offering this retreat annually. To do that, we are partnering with the Diocese of Evansville to bring the Meolas here to train and equip a local team to present future retreats. As part of the retreat process, follow-up groups and occasional social events will also be organized here in the Diocese of Owensboro to support participants after the weekend.
The cost of the retreat is $175 per person or $85 for college students (age 18 or older), which includes six meals, a private room in the retreat center, snacks, and materials. Scholarships are available upon request. We never want anyone not to come because of finances.