Maria Boyle created Divorce Rebuilders so people would have the support they need to help them through this difficult time.
About Divorce Rebuilders
When Maria Boyle was going through divorce, she sought resources to help her through this challenging time. Finding none that included both an educational and spiritual component, she put her experience as a guidance counselor to work, and created her own.
“As a young divorcee, I also felt that although my parish priest was helpful and supportive in many, many ways, I needed and sought to find other Orthodox persons impacted by divorce like me and wished that I had found an organization or support group for Greek Orthodox that would address and support my many emotional, relational, spiritual and parenting needs,” Boyle explained. “As there was no support group to be found, I resolved that when I was able to successfully recover from my own divorce that I would work to devise a curriculum to address those needs and supports for our Orthodox faithful as a ministry.”
As an Orthodox Christian, it was important to Boyle to support others who are struggling through this life-changing event.
“Our church does this in many ways, however, I found that divorced Orthodox are somewhat alone in this process.”
As she recovered from her own divorce, she began to realize that the support she received to cope with the hurt and pain of divorce were not usually sought after or known by other persons going through the same process. Boyle had worked for more than 20 years as a certified guidance counselor in the high school and college systems, and has an MA in School Counseling. She led several support groups for high school students whose parents experienced divorce. She began to consider these students and their struggles to deal with their parents’ divorces. It was the clarion call that spurred her to action.
“I soon realized that in order to help children and young adults impacted by divorce best cope, it was important to help the adults affected come to an understanding and be involved in a process of recovery and rebuilding.”
Along with her involvement in her church, SS Peter and Paul in Glenview, Ill., she had the insight and knowledge necessary to develop a psycho-educational and spiritual based support group to assist others affected by divorce. With the support of her priest, she launched Divorce Rebuilders at the Glenview parish. Since then, it has been officially recognized by His Grace Bishop DEMETRIOS as an official ministry of the Metropolis of Chicago.
Now beginning its 10th year, SS Peter and Divorce Rebuilders program was created based on evidence-based counseling practices that equips participants with understandings, skills and tools to help rebuild from divorce. In order for recovery to occur, new insights, perspectives and tools must be created and used to help create new understandings and practices towards developing new personal, relational and spiritual goals in one’s life. Maria is also the group leader.
New Topic Series
This year, Maria has developed a new lecture/discussion series as an extension of the Divorce Rebuilders program entitled: Divorce Rebuilders: Topic Series. To date, approximately 100 people have participated in the program; some participating for two to ten sequential years. This new program was created in response to many participants that had requested more psychoeducational and faith-based references and principles from which to continue to apply, learn and grow.
Much time and research has been done to further explore topics and material that have been presented and discussed in the regular Divorce Rebuilders program. Each of the sessions will start with an overview, followed by a taped presentation from one of several known Christian lecturers which include: Dr. Henry Cloud, Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels, and Dr. Elizabeth Marquardt. Topics to be presented include the following: Necessary Endings; Unnecessary Endings; Grieving with Hope; Dating and God’s Design for Marriage; Staying in Love; and the Inner Lives of Children of Divorce. After each presentation, key concepts and practices will be reviewed and a discussion will conclude each session. Each evening ends with a social hour.
Both Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christians may attend the program, and it’s open to those separated or divorced. Past participants are welcome to return to repeat the program, and many do.
Everyone needs support in difficult times. Divorce Rebuilders can provide that support, and give back hope for the future.
The Divorce Rebuilders six-week session will held on Mondays, October 19th through November 23rd beginning at 7 pm at SS Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church, 1401 Lake Avenue, Glenview, IL. Donation $75. Information and Registration.