| Contra Costa group meets monthly
The Catholic Divorced Widowed and Separated of Contra Costa (CDWS) has been providing peer support to individuals who are struggling from a loss due to separation, divorce or the death of a loved one, for the past 40 years.
"You are not alone," is the theme of the meetings which occur on the third Thursday of the month at St. Mary Church in Walnut Creek. CDWS's monthly support group meetings are free and all are welcome.
CDWS was founded at the Walnut Creek church in 1973 by Father Loren Blessing, a Franciscan priest, and the late Bob Arieta in response to a need within the diocese to provide empathy and compassion to this group of single Catholics. The group continues to meet these goals "of helping people heal, rebuild their lives and to find comfort within our diocesan family through a monthly grief support meeting plus various social and spiritual activities," said Joan Spalding, the group's president-elect.
In addition to providing a place where people can speak of their loss and the challenges they are facing, CDWS keeps members updated on events and activities in the wider community that support group members can explore together. The activities in October alone include a book club meeting, a walk at the Lafayette Reservoir, gatherings to celebrate birthdays and holidays, and places to go to like concerts and other events not only in the East Bay but in the greater San Francisco Bay Area as well.
The group has approximately 100 members and, according to Spalding, there is room for more. She added that the group's framework offers "an opportunity for any Catholic single, not just those who have suffered the loss of a partner, to find social activities and friendships to enjoy. We welcome anyone interested to join in the fun."
The singles support group, Catholic Divorced Widowed and Separated of Contra Costa will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 17 at St. Mary Church, 2039 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek. These meetings are free and open to all.
Contact Joan S. at 925-939-1007. If no answer, please speak clearly leaving a phone number where you can be reached.
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