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History of the SSA Ministry

Twenty-three years ago, a small group of divorced Catholics approached Sr. Anne Heath and Terry Jackson for their help. They wanted to form a group that would include single, divorced, or widowed Catholics that could gather monthly to celebrate Mass, make new friends, and help each other face the challenges of being single and single again in the Catholic Church.

The initial group of 12 people – 6 men and 6 women. They were divorced, widowed or single persons over the age of 35 desiring a safe atmosphere to meet other people and form friendships. The Mission Statement of the group reads, “We are a group of single or single-again adults brought together through common interest as we pray, work and play together. We share Christian beliefs and values as we minister to each other and the community around us.”

In prayer, the group desired to center their ministry on the Eucharist. The first Mass celebrated with this group was in January 1995 at St. Andrew’s Chapel in Apex. The Dominican Fathers Michael Burke and Jude Siciliano were recruited and provided spiritual direction and service. These dedicated priests provided counseling, Mass, retreats, and days of reflection. The Mass, commonly referred to as the “Singles Mass” continues to be held once a month and is now located in the Cardinal Gibbons High School Chapel on Edwards Mill Road in Raleigh. The social after each Mass includes a pot luck dinner, fellowship and an opportunity to sign up for future activities. These activities include opportunities for social, spiritual, and service experiences. An attempt is made to have parish representatives place notices in their bulletin to let parishioners know of the group. We also post information on our facebook page -

Different members of the group act as Webmaster and Facebook Administrator to keep others informed of the latest activities. All are welcome to join us in prayer, service and social life regardless  of their religion.

The highlight of each year has been the annual retreat at Trinity Center in Salter Path. This retreat provides socialization and spiritual renewal at a unique beach setting. People from all over the Diocese, for example, Wilmington, Rocky Mount, Fayetteville, New Bern, Winston-Salem, and the Triangle typically attend the retreats.

Guided by the Holy Spirit, this ministry has grown from the idea in the minds of 4 people to a ministry that is vibrant and supportive of single people as active members of the Church. Catholic members are encouraged to become active in their parishes advocating for sensitivity to and recognition of the needs of divorced, separated, widowed and single Catholics. The ministry has provided an outreach to those who have felt estranged from their religion and faith life. It has provided a safe spiritual home for all who find their way to our door.


Contact us for more information about this ministry. Or, join us for mass and meet other members of the community, sign up for upcoming events and activities, and enjoy a potluck dinner.