Bishop’s DVD message to debut at widowed, divorced event

Persons attending the first Diocesan Conference for the Widowed and Divorced on Saturday, June 26, at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria will return home with more than knowledge gained from keynote presentations and workshops.

They’ll also receive a newly produced, 11-minute DVD in which Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, offers a “Message for the Divorced” that will have its debut screening at the conference and is meant to be widely shared.

Like the conference itself, the DVD is a project of Bishop Jenky and the Widowed and Divorced Advisory Board.

While the conference features talks tailored specifically for widowed or divorced persons, the DVD will be given to all attendees because divorce touches so many homes, according to Jeanne Whalen, director of the diocesan Office of Pastoral Services.

She called “Message for the Divorced” a “door opener” in that it doesn’t answer all the questions it poses, but invites divorced Catholics to seek answers within a welcoming faith community.

“I would like to assure all the members of this diocese that our local church, your bishop, and the universal church welcomes the divorced to be a part of our faith community,” says Bishop Jenky on the video, which also includes comments and questions from individuals on their experiences of divorce and annulment.

Many of those questions may be answered during the diocesan conference. Serving as keynote speakers will be Vince Frese and Lisa Duffy from Journey of Hope Productions near Atlanta, Ga. Frese will address “Dating and Intimacy After Divorce” and “Single Parenting: How to Better Manage Your Demanding Life.”

Duffy will speak on “Five Keys to Healing,” and “Journey of Hope: Divorce.”
Other workshop topics and presenters include:

“Healing after Divorce/Prayer” by Deacon Greg Serangeli; “Annulments,” by Sister Marianne Burkhard, OSB; “Finances,” by Brian Osmulski; “Grief—Widowed” and “Grief–Divorced,” by Carolyn Tiger; “On Christian Hope,” by Joseph Piccione;

Also, “Keeping the Faith When a Spouse Dies,” by Msgr. William Watson; “Staying Close to the Lord,” by Sister Diane VandeVoorde, OSF; “Am I Alone in My Grief?” by Donna Medina; and “Prayer, According to Fulton Sheen,” by Julie Enzenberger.

Archbishop Sheen, whose cause for sainthood is being promoted by the Diocese of Peoria, is the conference patron.

The conference opens at 8:30 a.m. with continental breakfast and morning prayer with Bishop Jenky. The bishop will also celebrate Mass with attendees at 4 p.m. at nearby St. Mary’s Cathedral. The opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation will be offered throughout the day.

The conference fee of $40 includes breakfast, lunch, and materials. Financial assistance is available.

In addition to the new DVD, conference attendees will also receive the book “Rediscovering Catholicism” free of charge from the Matthew Kelly Foundation.

Registration materials may be obtained online at, by calling the Office of Family Life at (309) 671-1550, or by e-mailing Whalen at

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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