ORLANDO | The pain of a broken relationship can often seem impossible to overcome alone. Faithful Catholics in search of healing are now learning from both God and His saints to remain strong, loving, and hopeful… specifically by emulating Saint Monica and her son, Saint Augustine.
Saint Monica was St. Augustine’s mother and remembered for the suffering caused by her husband’s adultery and her prayerful life dedicated to the reformation of her son. One of the prayers to St. Monica contains this line: “I desperately want my child to return to Christ in his Church, but I can’t do it alone. I need God’s help.” With this same thought in mind, the Monica’s Moms ministry began at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in New Smyrna Beach.
Deacon Lou Bartos and his wife, Kathy, lead the program. After experiencing a rift in their own family and speaking with friends, they realized they were not alone. “It’s a place where we can share how much it hurts to have a child or a brother [or anyone] reject a person,” Kathy said. She shared her relationship with her son and daughter had been very close. Though born ten years apart, the children grew up quite normally and the son, the eldest, shared all of life’s milestones with his parents… from college to marriage and children, all seemed well.
“Now there is a break within the family,” Kathy lamented. Seeing no logical explanation for the estrangement, she reached out for reconciliation, but has yet to reconnect with her son and his family. “We thought it would be good to start this support group.” If you are experiencing the pain and separation from conflict or rejection, the ministry offers resources, support, and most of all a safe place with people who share the same hurt and are willing to listen. Monica’s Moms tries to minister to anyone in difficult relationships – parents/children, spouses, siblings and the list goes on.
Monica’s Moms meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Knight’s Hall at Sacred Heart. Time is subject to change.
By Rachel Bulman, Florida Catholic correspondent – December 12, 2018