What is Recovering Origins?

The Good Samaritan (1852)   , Delacroix,  oil on canvas

Recovering Origins is a pastoral program that invites participants to move through the broken image of love that appeared in their parents’ divorce or separation to the Love that stands at the origin of their being. Participants follow the path of the Our Father prayer, and through it begin to recover the memory of God the Father, the loving Origin that is deeper than its reflection in the unity of one’s parents, broken or not.

Undertaken in this comprehensive light, the path of the Our Father proposed by Recovering Origins offers an occasion for adult children of divorce and separation to encounter the faith more deeply, especially through fundamental questions they face in a particularly intense way. These questions include concerns about identity and origin, suffering, their capacity for trust, love, forgiveness, and their confidence in a good future, especially their hope for a life-long vocation. In this way, Recovering Origins addresses adult children of divorce and separation not just as a group in need of pastoral care, but as witnesses to authentic love that they can, at times, see more clearly on account of their wound.

The format of Recovering Origins can vary based on an individual diocese’s or parish’s needs, but the most popular is the three-day retreat model that the Life-Giving Wounds retreat team created and offers. The written component of Recovering Origins, which is the underlying content of the retreat, consists of eight chapters around the eight petitions of the Our Father. Each section includes: a common prayer, a reflection, questions, and witness stories of healing from adult children of divorce or separation. At the end of each section there is a prayer taken from the Catholic tradition. This section, “Learning to See,” offers a way to help participants see the Love that defines them, however imperfect was its image.

View “What to Expect” for more detail about the retreat, including a sample schedule of the retreat.

View the history section on the “What is Life-Giving Wounds?” page for a short history of the development of the Recovering Origins ministry by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and its relation to Dr. Daniel Meola and Life-Giving Wounds.

View a sample from the retreat guide here.