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One man I spoke with, now divorced, took Scott Hahn’s Christian marriage class with his theology-major fiancée.Another couple, now divorced, made the twin sacrifices of building a large family and allowing the wife to stay home — because, in the ex-husband’s words, “Simpleminded me, I looked at every sacrament as precious and worthy.” Two others, now divorced, helped at their parish and were sacrificing to send their kids to Catholic schools.

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“So many of the people who come to the Church seeking help are hanging on to old hurts or ideas about what’s going to make them happy, and it ends up just making them more miserable,” said Rose Sweet, author of “A Woman’s Guide to Healing the Heartbreak of Divorce” (Hendrickson, .95).In general—I am wondering how non-Catholics can give valid consent, if they don’t know what the Church teaches about marriage?—Lenka A: Lenka has hit on a very fundamental theological and canonical issue that arises often in cases involving the marriage of non-Catholics.“In the immediate aftermath of divorce, you feel like you’re not wanted by anybody,” said Greg Mills, president of Catholic Divorce Ministry (formerly the North American Conference of Separated and Divorced Catholics).“Your self-worth is zero.” Helping people address those wounds is a serious challenge for most priests and lay ministers, many who have little to no background in counseling.

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