Receiving separated Catholics, bringing them together while caring for them and returning them, spiritually fruitful, to the Church: The association «Separated Faithful» has been accomplishing this task for over ten years.
A spiritual journey proposed to separated Catholics who have made the choice of faithfulness to the sacrament of marriage, confirming the promise to live a love "forever," beyond the test of human failure. This is the experience promoted by the "Separati fedeli" (Separated faithful), an association created in Milan in 2001 on the initiative of some separated Catholics with the support and encouragement of the National Office for Family Ministry of the Italian Bishops‘ Conference.
The association helps the separated faithful to reach four goals: first, the deepening of Christian life and the unveiling of the truest sense of the choice of fidelity, which not only means refraining from a new relationship, but also following Christ in a new way; then, being a sign of hope in the Church and in society, showing through their lives that where human love is not reciprocated it is still possible to live peacefully even in face of the most serious difficulties, recognizing them as opportunities for spiritual growth. The third objective is, consequently, to remain spiritually "fruitful," in the midst of their daily tasks, at work and in the family, in order to—and this is the ultimate aim—bear their experience courageously in the Church, giving the appropriate importance to the problems and sufferings of separated families: a treasure to be valued and not lost. Precisely with this objective the members of "Separati fedeli", gathered in the association of "Separated Christian Families", are called to be at the service of all those who live the painful experience of separation, welcoming them wholly and unconditionally, without any judgments, while fully respecting their personal stories. The association promotes prayer meetings and sharing on a local and national level, as well as courses of formation. Meetings intended for those who want to become "one with them," ready to give up some outward forms to realize this concretely, through prayer, perhaps not in a very formal manner (although with forms and in correct ways), always favoring the relationship with God, our common Father. The journey of sharing can thus recreate the basic fabric of human and social relationships that have often become loose and in some cases have been destroyed by the events of the separation. This means facing the bonds of each with the children, dealing with difficulties, hopes, and feelings: these are at times enormous weights that seem crushing and in fact hide, behind the cross, the light of the Risen Christ.