Separated or Divorced
Are you a Catholic who's been separated or divorced? Do you have questions about how your life in the Catholic Church is affected by your decision? If so, you're not alone. Through the years, there has been widespread confusion and misinformation on this issue, and many families have suffered unnecessary distress as a result.
It's important to know that Catholics who are separated or divorced are still members of the Church in good standing, and may continue to receive holy Eucharist along with the other sacraments. We encourage you to continue to find comfort in our faith.
On the other hand, if you divorce and then remarry civilly without the benefit of a Church annulment, you are still a member of the Church, but you may not receive the sacraments. Please feel free to attend Mass and to remain active in your parish.
At some point, you may be ready to consider pursuing an annulment. Please know that there are trained advocates who will help you through the process. If you want to learn more about annulments, please consult with your parish priest or attend one of the diocesan annulment information evenings.
Information about Annulments
For many people, the process of marriage annulment is very mysterious, often accompanied by considerable misinformation. Would you like to know the real story about annulments in our Church? Come to an Annulment Information Evening near you. No need to register, just come as you are. The information session begins at 7:30pm and concludes at 9:30pm. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Msgr. John K. Dermond in the Tribunal offices, email@example.com or 609-406-7424..
How is annulment different from divorce?
People often have mistaken ideas about annulments in the Catholic Church. They even think that annulments are really "Catholic divorces," but an annulment differs from divorce in many ways.
An annulment is a Church decision, declaring that what appeared to be a valid marriage actually was not valid. There can be many reasons for this determination, and these circumstances are called the "grounds" for annulment, which are the basis for the process.
An annulment can only be issued if a civil divorce has been granted to a person first. There are no civil effects from an annulment, such as there are from divorces.
The annulment process can be a beneficial, healing time for divorced Catholics. It starts with a person filing a petition with the assistance of the parish priest, deacon or annulment advocate. If you are interested in finding out about annulments, please contact Msgr. John K. Dermond in the Tribunal offices, firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-406-7424.
Applying for an Annulment (with a little help from an advocate)
The process for marriage annulment can be emotional, difficult and confusing for a divorced Catholic. Through the Annulment Advocate Program, our diocese provides qualified individuals to journey with you throughout the process. These advocates help annulment petitioners to prepare the appropriate materials, as well as offer continuing assistance and encouragement until the case is resolved.
Ready to file for an annulment? For help in pursuing an annulment, contact your parish office to set an appointment with a priest, deacon or annulment advocate. Another option is to contact Msgr. John K. Dermond in the Tribunal offices, email@example.com or 609-406-7424.
Support Groups for Those Who Are Separated or Divorced
Our diocese is affiliated with the Catholic Divorce Ministry (CDM) of the North American Conference of Separated and Divorced Catholics (NACSDC) . Endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, this group has been committed since 1974 to advancing hope and healing in those who experience divorce.
Separated and divorced people, through their vulnerability, courage, and patient endurance, serve as witness to Christ and His redeeming grace. Many of our parishes offer help for those coping with separation, divorce or single-parent challenges. If you’d like to visit a support group in your neighborhood, please click here. If you need additional information or assistance, please contact the Pastoral Care Office at 609-403-7207.
Beginning Experience of Trenton and Metuchen Dioceses: A Weekend Away For a Lifetime of Change
Are you separated, widowed or divorced and yearning for a fresh start in life? The international Beginning Experience program helps place grief in its proper perspective and promotes healing, thereby freeing people to live and love themselves, others and God.
The aim of this program is achieved through the guidance of peer facilitators and includes presentations, private reflection, and optional sharing in small, supportive settings. The weekends are held at Stella Maris Retreat House, Elberon, NJ. A Beginning Experience weekend will be held on November 11-13, 2011. For more information, contact Rosemarie at 732-681-1114 or Phil at 732-747-6287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.