Recently, St. Andrew Church hosted an evening program entitled, “Jesus and You – Living a Single Life With an Open Heart” for divorced, widowed, never married or otherwise single people from both St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parishes. This is the first program of its kind in our Pastoral Region and hopefully, from the feedback received, not the last.
Over 30 men and women were present, as well as, the Holy Spirit. Fr. Chris began the evening with prayer and a short talk, sharing his humor, family stories, and kind heart; drawing people in and putting them at ease. He opened the door wide to a wonderful evening of discussion.
Following his words, each person was assigned to a small group and each group received 2 different scripture passages related to leading a single life. These passages were used as a basis for discussion on how these words related to their lives. Many people shared stories of the joys of single life, some pain and suffering, and even the aloneness of their lives and how they attempted to deal with this, using these scripture readings to help focus the discussion. Many others talked how adjusting to being single takes time and lots of prayer.
While we all knew we were in the same boat, many came to the boat for very different reasons, and we all had to learn how to live in silence, by ourselves. As Fr. Chris said, “we all have the capacity to love and that is what we are called to do. Living alone provides us with the time and availability to do just that.”
While sharing a personal story of pain and grief with strangers is never easy, there was a certain comfort when you realize that on this path, you are never really alone. While the discussions from each of the 6 groups was very different, there was clearly a common thread – whatever your situation, you have to trust that God will care for you and if you do trust in his wisdom, you will live in peace.