Archdiocese of Santa Fe

Beginning Experience

There is a special loneliness for those who have lost a spouse through death or divorce and find themselves single again. The loss of a spouse through divorce, separation or death is a devastating experience. Life patterns change permanently. There is a great deal of pain and grief, feelings of failure, worthlessness, alienation.

The Beginning Experience is a weekend program designed to help divorced, separated and widowed persons make a new beginning in life in a non-judgmental, caring, Christian environment of peers. It is a weekend away for a lifetime of change.

For more information call the Family Life Office - (505) 831-8117, or Betty Jacques - (505) 455-7197

What is the purpose of the Weekend?

The purpose of the weekend is to allow those who have experienced the loss of a spouse to make closure on the past and to reach out to others who have shared the same loss.

What happens during the Beginning Experience Weekend?

A trained team leads participants through the weekend. The tri-level program consists of written, personal experience talks by team members on specific topics, followed by private, written reflection by participants, and then dialogue in small groups. Confidentiality is emphasized so that every one is free to share his/her feelings and experiences.

Who should make a Beginning Experience Weekend?

The loss of a spouse through divorce or separation is a devastating experience. Life patterns change permanently. The death of the marriage involves all the pain and grief that accompanies death. Adding to the burden are the feelings of failure, worthlessness and alienation. The pain of the separated and divorced is equaled only by the loss of one's spouse in death, especially if that death was premature or sudden. The manner of loss is different between these groups but the pain of loss and sense of alienation in a couple-oriented society involve a similar adjustment process. You need to be beyond the initial feelings of despair which usually follow the loss. You are prepared for the weekend if you desire a new beginning, separate from your spouse, and are ready to work to make that desire a reality.

How Much does it Cost?

Currently the cost of the weekend is $125. This covers 2 nights' lodging, 3 meals on Saturday, and 2 meals on Sunday. and program materials. An initial deposit of $30 is requested in advance and the balance is due on arrival on Friday night. Limited scholarship funds are available for those who are unable to afford the entire cost. Checks should be made payable to The Beginning Experience. Cancellations must be made by Friday preceding the weekend for the deposit to be refundable.

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