12-Step Journey begins Sept. 29 at the SLC
‘Adult Children’ from dysfunctional families encouraged to attend recovery program
A nationally-recognized program designed to help heal and renew adults who grew up in emotionally repressive or dysfunctional families—sometimes known as “Adult Children”—is being offered starting Sept. 29 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
The Twelve Steps—A Spiritual Journey, is a seven-month program where participants meet for two hours each week with a team of trained facilitators. The goal of this Christ-centered, Scripture-based program is to restore the fruits of the Holy Spirit in one’s life, including joy, peace, gentleness, goodness and faith.
“As someone who has been both a participant and a facilitator in the Twelve Step Program, I want to extend an invitation for interested people to join us,” says Rachel Hughey who joins John Mertes, Pamela Cason, and Steve Batt as facilitators for the program. “The Twelve Steps has been widely praised for its effectiveness and is based on the lessons of Scripture while emphasizing self-understanding and the unchanging love that God has for each of us.”
The opening Twelve Step session is set for Thursday, Sept. 29 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. A total of 30 evening sessions will be offered. Morning sessions of the program will also be offered from 10 to 11:30 beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
Program facilitator John Mertes says the first three sessions typically involve participants getting to know the process and each other. The program is closed to new members after the first three meetings. ”Everything we discuss is held in the strictest confidence,” says Mertes. “As time goes on, a unique bond of trust develops in the group.”
The Twelve Steps is open to anyone who has experienced an incident or situation during his or her formative years resulting in emotional wounds that are not yet healed. This could include growing up in a household where there was physical or emotional abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse or some other dysfunction.
Characteristics of so-called “Adult Children” of a dysfunctional family include: feelings of low self-esteem that cause harsh self-judgment, a tendency to isolate one’s self and a feeling of uneasiness around other people—especially authority figures. Other characteristics include living life as a victim and being attracted to other victims in love and friendship, a tendency to be impulsive where action is taken before considering alternative behaviors or possible consequences and unresolved anger and resentment toward authority of all kinds.
People who have gone through the program say that while it is sometimes painful to confront unresolved issues, the end result is a rekindling of hope that things can and will get better in life and in the relationships they have today with other people. There is also a growth and trust in their relationship with God. One foundation of the program is the sharing of personal stories, but also the knowledge that all information is held confidential within the confines of those participating.
Want to attend?
Anyone interested in learning more about the Twelve Steps—A Spiritual Journey can call the Spiritual Life Center at (316) 744-0167 and ask for a brochure or talk with someone about the program. There is no cost for the program, but a freewill offering is taken and a helpful workbook sells for $20.
After the Gift birthmom retreat an experience of hope
An After the Gift retreat for birthmothers will be held Sept. 23-25 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
The weekend provides a chance for birthmothers of all ages to share their experience, work with a professional counselor, if needed, and find support as they move forward in their journey.
“We invite all birth moms to attend this retreat filled with hope and prayer,” said Bonnie Toombs, director of the diocesan Respect Life and Social Justice Office. “Some of the women who have attended the After the Gift retreat have been waiting years for a chance to openly talk about their experience and the pain of placing their child for adoption. All leave feeling supported by the new connections made with other women.”
Cheryl, who attended a previous retreat, said: “I came to this After the Gift retreat – as I have prayed for many years for something like this to meet on common ground for a sacrifice that we have all made.”
She said participants were able to share their stories.
“I was amazed that we all had similar feelings deep within. It was great to know that there are people – including the diocese – that recognized the pain and sacrifice that a birthmom goes through and are willing to help support us not only through the grief but also to help us in spiritual ways and to help us find hope and support though this retreat.”
Want to make the retreat?
Those interested in participating in the next retreat may contact Bonnie Toombs at 316-269-3935 or at
September Docentium program to discuss politics
The Spiritual Life Center in Wichita will host its monthly Docentium Program on Catholicism and Culture Thursday, Sept. 15. The program includes dinner and a presentation.
“Can a Catholic be a Democrat?” is the question posed by author, sociologist and professor, David Carlin, in his 2006 book of the same name. Jay Bezdek, self-proclaimed “culture observer” will explore this question in some detail. Bezdek is a retired CPA and investment advisor, cancer survivor, and current member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Andover.
His presentation is part of the Docentium series at the Spiritual Life Center, and is open to the public. The three-fold mission of Docentium is to form and equip disciples of Christ with sound teaching, faithful to our tradition, to build camaraderie in shared belief and shared interest, in the context of a shared meal, and to inspire more courageous witness in our families, parishes, workplaces, and communities.
It is held on the third Thursday of every month. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., dinner is served at 6:30, and every month a new lecture will be given on some topic related to religion and culture. The cost is $15 per person.
Want to attend?
To register for the next Docentium, visit the Spiritual Life Center’s webpage at www.slcwichita.org to register or call (316) 744-0167.
Advance registration encouraged.
Dinner with St. John Chrysostom Sept. 13
A presentation on St. John Chrysostom on Sept. 13 as a part of the Spiritual Life Center’s “Dinner with the Doctors” banquet series.
Participants will enjoy a delicious meal and pleasant conversation in the Main Assembly Room, surrounded by the SLC’s collection of icons depicting the doctors of the church. After sharing a meal participants will hear a presentation on St. John, in commemoration of his official feast day.
Want to learn more about St. John?
The next Dinner with the Doctors will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13. The cost is $15 per person until Sept. 8, when the price becomes $20 per person.
SLC Fall Theology Institute begins Saturday, Sept. 17
It isn’t too late to register for the Spiritual Life Center’s Fall Theology Institute.
Students participate in four courses this fall, each presented in three parts on Sept. 17, Nov. 5, and Dec. 10. Students may begin the two-year program at any time, and are welcome to join for any individual semester, with no obligation to complete the full two-year program.
The 2016 fall semester will contain four courses: “Morality: From Slaves to Sons: Liberty and Responsibility as commanded by the Decalogue,” “Scripture: Introduction to the New Testament,” “Praying with St. Ignatius of Loyola,” and “Church History: Theses, Councils, and Telescopes - The Church from 1500-1700.”
Want to enroll?
Class sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on three Saturdays: Sept. 17, Nov. 5, and Dec. 10. The $75 registration fee covers all three class sessions and lunch. Registration may be made by calling the center at 744-0167 or online at SLCWichita.org.
Four-part series on Catholic money management starts in September at the SLC
The SLC will offer a four-part course this fall to help the faithful learn the steps to financial freedom using the three theological virtues.
Catholic Money Management will be presented by Randy Walker, a St. Francis of Assisi parishioner. On four consecutive Tuesday evenings, Walker will teach participants ways to use faith, hope, and love to guide financial decisions and actions.
The group study is for everyone. It can benefit those who are doing fine financially, those who are surviving day-to-day, and those who have encountered some hardships and are struggling to know how to get out of the resulting debt.
Topics addressed over the four-week course include spending, budgeting, net worth, debt management and resolution, insurance, savings and investments, and end of life planning.
All of these are discussed in the context of God’s plan of stewardship and all in a non-commercial manner.
Classes will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Spiritual Life Center. The fall session meets Sept. 6, 13, 20, and 27.
There is no charge for this class. Free-will donations will be accepted, but are not necessary. Participants may pre-register by calling the center at 316-744-0167 or online at www.SLCwichita.org.
‘Divorce Survival Guide’ video series begins Sept. 12
“The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide” will be presented from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays from Sept. 12 to Nov. 28 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
The program, sponsored by the Office of Marriage and Family Life, is designed to bring hope and healing to divorced and separated Catholics. Rose Sweet created the series and has authored several Catholic books on divorce.
Sweet has brought together some of Catholic media’s top personalities for the series, including Dr. Ray Guarendi, a Catholic psychologist and popular talk show host, Father Mitch Pacwa of EWTN, and Father Donald Calloway – both children of divorced parents, and Christopher West, who shares principles of authentic love found in St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
The cost for the 12-week program is $35. To register you can go to CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org/SLC, call 316-744-0167, or via email at
Understand Pope Francis better with a new book study Sept. 6
The Spiritual Life Center will host a free book study of “The Betrothed,” by Alessandro Manzoni, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The book is a personal favorite of Pope Francis. Some have said that much of his theological perspectives and pastoral priorities are best interpreted in light of the book.
The reading group, which is part of a new SLC education series called “Good Books,” begins on Tuesday, Sept. 6, with sessions meeting from 7 to 9 p.m.
The book study begins Sept. 6 and continues on the first Tuesday of each month. Discussion, oral readings, opinions, critiques, commentaries, questions and answers are on the agenda for the informal gatherings.
The only cost will be for the optional purchase of textbooks and freewill donations for refreshments and hospitality.
Next date night Oct. 6 at Spiritual Life Center
The next Date Night will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
Couples are invited for a night out - time away from the everyday to relax and be together and to take advantage of the great food and the ambiance that the Spiritual Life Center offers. Rob and Becky Knapp will share a reflection about “Stewards of the Marriage Covenant.”
More information and registration is available at SLCWichita.org or call (316) 744-0167.(316) 744-0167.