Parish Launching Support Group for Divorced Individuals


By Tony DeGol

Paula Campbell is going through a hurtful divorce.

“It’s extremely painful,” she admitted. “In some ways, it’s worse than someone dying. It’s a betrayal.”

Campbell, a member of Good Shepherd Parish in Port Matilda, is grateful that she reached out to her Pastor, Father Jozef Kovacik, for help.

“He provided me so much hope,” she noted.

She now feels she has a better understanding of Christ’s compassion and mercy, as well as her place in the Church, as she copes with this challenging situation.

Campbell and fellow parishioners Joanie Eyster and Marcella Fickes, who are also divorced, sought the blessing of Father Kovacik to launch a support group for individuals called “Divorced But Not Alone.”

An informational and social gathering will be held on August 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Good Shepherd parish hall.

Those throughout the diocese who are in the process of divorce, recently divorced, or divorced for years are welcome.

“I feel there’s a real need in our community, as a Church, to support one another,” Campbell insisted. “I found out that asking for help is one of the bravest things you can do.”

The future direction of the group will be decided by those who come to the gathering.

According to Father Kovacik, the goal of the group is to do exactly what Jesus did.

“He reached out to people who were hurting, who are lonely, who went through difficult moments,” Father said. “This group will do exactly that: listen to them and hopefully offer some healing and some hope for the future.”

Eyster sees the need for such efforts every time she sees divorced individuals at Mass who often seem withdrawn and perhaps feel disconnected to the Church and others.

“You can see the hurt and distress on their faces,” she mentioned.

Her message to them is simple.

“You don’t need to walk alone in this situation,” she stressed.

Editor’s Note: Watch Father Jozef Kovacik and organizers of the “Divorced But Not Alone” support group on Proclaim! TV on August 6 at 10:30 a.m. on WATM ABC 23.