“Divorce: The Impact on Families and Children” Seminar – Wednesday, March 22 6:30PM

Holy Trinity Parish’s Olive Branch Divorce Ministry will sponsor a free evening seminar, “Divorce: The Impact on Families and Children” on Wednesday, March 22 6:30PM, meet and greet,7-9PM presentation. This event is free and open to the public, and no advance registration is necessary.


This event will be held at Spalding University’s Egan Leadership Center, 901 S. Fourth Street. (Adjacent parking is available.)

Dr. Loren Townsend, PhD, MDiv. and Dr. Leslie Smith Townsend PhD, LMFT will be speaking at the seminar. Two staff from the Archdiocese of Louisville – Dr. Pat Norris, Associate Director of the Metropolitan Tribunal and Deacon Stephen Bowling, Director of Family Ministries – also will be available to answer general and individual questions.

Divorce touches so many people in so many ways. Everyone is invited to come and learn more about how to cope with this difficult occurrence no matter how they are affected or how long ago the event took place.

Dr. Loren Townsend is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church (USA). He is the Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), an approved supervisor by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Dr. Leslie S. Townsend is a pastoral counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist.  She has more than 30 years counseling experience working in agencies, hospitals, private practice, and churches.

picture7Holy Trinity Parish’s Olive Branch is a faith based parish ministry for those who have experienced divorce and are seeking new friendships and horizons.  The program provides a welcoming atmosphere focusing on restoring peace, reclaiming joy, and practicing forgiveness.

“Healing the Hurt” – Divorce Care and Recovery Programs

by Michelle Herberger

This is the month that celebrates love. Everywhere we look there are signs that point to romantic relationships. However, there are times when regardless of how much you want to make the relationship last, it simply doesn’t work. This is especially difficult if this means the end of a marriage.picture5

Rarely would couples say they came to their wedding day anticipating the marriage ending in divorce. Rather, they come with hopes and dreams that theirs will not be added to the statistic of “failed” marriages.

A sense of failure is often experienced as a result of divorce. Couples ask themselves and may be asked by others, “What happened?” Hopes are dashed, feelings are hurt, and egos are wounded. That can be in part, the reality that accompanies those who come to the Church as persons who have experienced divorce.

As Church, we must be aware of the woundedness of those who have divorced and, as Church, become as Pope Frances has said, “field hospitals” whereby their wounds are bound and healed. There are many opportunities to offer comfort and facilitate healing.

  • We must be intentional in our inviting and welcoming those who’ve experienced divorce
  • We must accompany in a non-judgmental way, those who’ve been divorced as they examine their marriage
  • We must provide sources of support and care for the divorced as well as for their children

The following is a list of various parishes offering divorce support to anyone in the archdiocese. We encourage folks dealing with the pain of divorce to reach out to them for more information, or feel free to email Family Ministries Office at family@archlou.org.

“Journey of Hope” Divorce Recovery Program picture6
Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral
310 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004
Contact Henry Greenwell at henryg@newcomboil.com


“Olive Branch” Divorce Care Ministrypicture7
Holy Trinity Parish,
423 Cherrywood Rd, St Matthews, KY 40207
Contact Mary Jean Gandalfo at mgandolfo@htparish.org


picture8“Divorce Care” and “Divorce Care for Kids”
St. Margaret Mary
7813 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY, 40222
Contact Denise Ruiz at druiz@stmm.org

picture9Our Lady of Lourdes
508 Breckenridge Ln, St Matthews, KY 40207
Contact Joni Richter at jonir@ourlourdes.org

“Choices Have Consequences” – Historic Pro-Life Pilgrimage to the March for Life

by Ed Harpring

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

This famous quotation from Martin Niemolle, a protestant pastor who spent seven years in a Concentration camp, jumped out at me as our March for Life Pilgrimage group (consisting of high school youth groups and adults from the Archdiocese) visited the Holocaust Museum. Nina, our Tour Guide, led us through an intriguing Exhibit entitled Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust.

Nina asked the question “How was this possible that an entire country could acquiesce to a hate-filled racist belief system?” While most of us attribute the Holocaust to the wildly violent racist views of Hitler and his Nazi Regime, what is less known, but 16406626_1680268358938784_6905494625525696949_nequally as poisonous, were attitudes of apathy and indifference of everyday citizens. As the Nazi propaganda machine knew well, “Repeat a lie often, and people will begin to believe the lie.” While partially fueled by fear of reprisals for speaking out against racist propaganda, the vast majority of German citizens and most of the world, blindly went along, avoiding conflict, in essence, in full complicity with the fallacious predominant cultural hate-filled view of that time.

However, there were many heroes. There were those who did speak out, who risked their lives, and many who did lose their lives because they were willing to speak the truth. Nina gave us many examples of the lesser known stories of individuals, a police captain, a priest, a businessman, as well as many German families that risked everything to save lives of those they did not even know. How providential it was for our group to hear that choices have consequences against the backdrop of today’s pro-choice propaganda that espouses the lie that the abortion choice has no consequences.16265237_1680267705605516_3748183866073239091_n

On Friday, we all gathered to participate in a historic March for Life that some say was the largest March for Life gathering of all time with over 700,000 participants from across the country, including the first-ever personal appearance by a Vice-President – Mike Pence. There were many outstanding speakers, but one of the most memorable was from Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), she spoke about a couple who courageously immigrated to the United States from Haiti to find a better life. The couple already had two children, and was in dire straits on their way to the United States, when they found out they were now expecting another child. The couple considered abortion. “Forty-one years ago, that couple could have made the choice to abort, but they didn’t. They chose life,” Rep. Love said, referring to herself. “I’m certain that this couple would never have thought that that child would become the first female, black, Republican member elected to Congress.”

Our choices always have consequences. As Scripture reminds us, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

(A longer version of this article appeared in the RECORD, February 2, 2017)


“Parental Love”

by Martine Bacci-Siegel

It is a well-known fact that warm-loving parents create equally warm and loving children. Through this relationship, your children would learn things about life initially. It has been found that young people, who grow in and around secure attachment, stand a much better chance of developing happy and content relationships with others in their life. A child who feels insecure due to lack of attachment from parents is at an increasing risk of depression, aggression, and even emotional deregulation. So for that, here are our simple tips for you to strengthen the bond between you and your child:

Always Express Yourself. It is very important for you to tell your child how you feel about him. picture1

  • Express yourself, say I love you often.
  • Express love day in day out.
  • If you disagree on something, sit and discuss what exactly you didn’t like and why.

When you express yourself, nothing is left unsaid, leaving you both on the same page. This goes a long way in building a strong relationship.

Let Your Child Be Inquisitive:

  • Tell your child what you believe in and explain why.
  • Let him ask you questions. Answer all questions with patience.

Remember, you are building the foundation of your child’s future belief and faith. So always be ready to nurture the queries. It will help him form his own opinion and views later.

Let Your Child Help:picture2

  • When you let your child help, you are not only teaching him to be responsible, but also getting closer.
  • Ask for his opinion on what to wear while going out and be ready to opt for what they suggest.
  • When you take his suggestions seriously, he gets your respect too and feels good.

Play With Your Child:

  • Play time is the best bonding time.
  • It is a good way of getting to know each other and brings you closer.
  • It can always be a great way of teaching your child about winning and losing.
  • Get silly with your child and show him your side that he doesn’t often get to see.

Always Eat Together:picture3

  • Meal time should always be family time.
  • Let it be the place for discussion and sharing stuff.
  • You can spend some quality time at your meals.
  • The dinner table is the most common place for family talks.

The relation that your form with your child is actually the foundation upon which he will later define himself. This is going to help him develop and sustain more meaningful and close relationships in his life.

The love and care that you offer to your child determines your equation with him not just now, but for years to come.

“Marriage Matters: Our Search for Right Relationship”

735by Deacon Stephen Bowling

It’s that time of year when again Ordinary Time makes a short appearance in our lives . . . and I always love it when we hear Matthew’s gospel like we are doing this cycle.

The Beatitudes are always one of the very first readings we hear; fitting since they are the beginning of the famous “Sermon on the Mount” to which Matthew devotes three whole Chapters.  Every time I get to proclaim that Gospel I find myself hardly looking at the text, I know it so well, as I think many of us do.

To me, one of the most powerful aspects of the well-known words of the Beatitudes is the fact that every one of them is, at their heart, a call to “right relationship;” every one tells us how we are to live, both in relation to God as well as with each other.  Each one is a promise from God to us . . . if we can only let ourselves “be right” with others, we will ultimately be rewarded by Him.  God very much wishes us to be in “right relationship” in all that we do, and he gave us these eight beautiful roadmaps on how we can make it a reality.

Nowhere is “right relationship” better encapsulated than in the marital relationship.

As the Church teaches, marriage is the life-affirming, permanent and indissoluble bonding of a man and a woman together for life.  Indeed, the dignity and sanctity of marriage flows inexorably from that same inherent dignity and sanctity that human life itself possesses . . . which should be no surprise as both were lovingly created by God himself at the very beginning.

While everyday married life may not feel quite so “lofty” as this teaching makes it sound, there is no doubt that goodness and holiness is the intended outcome of such a union . . . just ask anyone married for very many years and they will tell you such.  Right relationship may be hard work – most things that are worthwhile generally are – but in order to form our marriages as God intends, it is certainly worth every effort, even through those many tough times that we all face. romance-and-marriage-showing-love-2

By living for the good of the other in the marital relationship, the salvation and betterment of both people is made attainable . . . rather like our  relationship with God himself.

It is no accident that marriage reflects the divine life in us; God gave us this marvelous gift so we may better understand and experience him as well as our beloved.  In this wonderful month where we so especially celebrate the joys of married love, let us always remember to witness its joys wherever possible to our friends, neighbors and everyone we encounter.

God’s great gift of married love deserves nothing less!

“The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide” Training Program for Ministers

The Archdiocese of Louisville Family Ministries Office is pleased to announce a Leader Training seminar on “The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide”, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

This day-long training program is specially designed for anyone involved in ministry to divorced Catholics or those interested in starting a Catholic Divorce Recovery group (clergy, DRE, catechist, any adult lay person).

Details and the registration link are below. catholic%20divorce%20survival%20guide%20logo%20purple_for%20web

This is a wonderful opportunity to delve deeply into more effectively ministering to a large number of Catholics, many of whom are not truly acquainted with the Church’s teachings on this issue. Please feel free to pass this information along via your Church bulletins, social media or other channels to best reach those to whom this program might be of benefit. The registration deadline is February 23, 2017.

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Mass: 8:30 AM
Check in Time: 9:00 AM
Event Time: 9:30 AM-4:00 PM

St. Maximilian Kolbe Church
5720 Hamilton Mason Road, Liberty Township, OH 45011

$85. Includes training materials, continental breakfast & lunch


There is also an evening session “Healing the Divorced Heart & Finding Lasting Love” for people who are experiencing the pain of divorce – cost is $10 per person. The registration link for that event is www.ruahwoods.org/resources.

healing-the-divorced-heart Flyer