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A group of single, divorced, or widowed Catholics gather monthly to celebrate Mass and meet one another.  A small group provides meals at a shelter or works on a Habitat for Humanity house.  The music is loud and the dancing is plentiful at a fundraiser for Catholic Social Ministries.  Whether hiking, picnicking, dancing, serving or praying, the Catholic Single/Single Again ministry helps gather people together who have a common bond – singleness.

Twenty-Three years ago, a small group of divorced Catholics approached Sr. Anne Heath and Terry Jackson for their help.  As a result a group was formed to 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, met and organized.  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 have provided counseling, Mass, retreats, and days of reflection. The Mass, commonly referred to as the “Singles Mass” is 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 ads in their bulletin to let parishioners know of the group.  In addition a website is available “singlesingleagain.com” with current information.  A member of the group acts a Webmaster 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, usually 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.