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After Divorce: A SmartCatholics Online Event

October 10-11 | Divorce is a source of pain and confusion for many Catholics. It shouldn’t be! You’re invited to the After Divorce Online Conference for answers, hope, & community. Together, we’re helping the divorced dream again! 

October 10-11, 2020


Range of Catholic Experts


Live & Recorded Video

Watch 5 videos

Watch 5 talks for free
No payment or account needed

group Access

  • Join the conference community
  • Connect with families and new friends
  • Chat with speakers
  • RSVP to LIVE Q&A Sessions and Panel Sessions

All Access


  • Unlock all the videos to access any time
  • Download MP3 audio files of all the talks
  • Get bonus replays from live sessions

Questions? Leave a comment! →

You CAN be Catholic, divorced and happy.

On October 10-11, 2020, the After Divorce Online Conference launched a community around a range of expert speakers and guides for you.

It is presented by certified coach and retreat leader, Rose Sweet. Join us to grow your confidence in truth, affirm your faith in God, and revive your belief in a good life.

Let God in – and let the dreams begin!

Top Catholic experts
Life coaching
Experienced support group leaders
Recovery coaching
Theology of the Body
Real answers
Reason to hope
Fellowship in community

Welcome Letter from Rose

What does it mean to be Catholic… and divorced?

Divorce is a hard road to travel. Among Catholics, it’s an even trickier topic to discuss. Too often, conversation around divorce is as bitter and acrid as the experience itself.

The After Divorce Online Community is here to change that.

We promise that clarity is possible – without forsaking charity.

We also promise that living by religious principles doesn’t mean we can’t live with hope and joy. Light and love are at the end of the tunnel.

Church teachings and the sacred truth of Scripture will lead the way in the talks and discussions After Divorce presents.  

Hurting? Hear inspiring stories of happy and holy saints ‘after divorce’ to renew your hope. Hesitant? Get wisdom and guidance from pastors, counselors, and support group leaders.

You’ll learn about products and programs geared to specific concerns of persons going through divorce.

Discussion groups and coaching sessions will bring opportunities for everyone to be seen, heard, and understood.

All are welcome, whether newly divorced, years past a divorce, or concerned friends and family.

If divorce is affecting you or someone you love, register today for peace, purpose, and a practical path to the abundant life.

Looking forward to seeing you there, 

Rose Sweet

Get access to advice and inspiration on a host of topics ranging from the practical to the theoretical, including such questions as:

  • How do I trust anyone again?
  • What effect will this have on my children?
  • How do I bring my children safely through?
  • Where is God in this situation?
  • What steps do I take to start over?
  • How do I pursue legal justice?
  • Can I receive the sacraments?
  • What do I do with my sexuality?
  • How do I keep faith, hope, and charity alive?
  • What are the best ways to support the divorced?
  • What does forgiveness mean?

“. . .hope does not disappoint us.” (Rom. 5:5)

Welcome friend!

Our Catholic Faith is smart, beautiful, and actually makes life more exciting!

But too few of us know about this smart heritage, or the real-life impact Christ is having on the world today.

Most of all, we need friends on this sacred pilgrimage called ‘life’.

If this is your first time hearing about SmartCatholics, here’s what we believe: when Catholics understand our Faith in the modern world, we experience greater personal joy, and confidence in sharing the good news. Read the About Page to learn more!

We need smart Catholics…

We all work hard to be 100% Catholic. That means we’re a mission Church, united to Pope Francis’ call to bring the joy of the Gospel to every corner of the world – starting with ourselves.

Catholic brands we love:

Dominic de Souza is your founder and host, a young dad with a small family and a smaller corgi, passionate about all things Catholic, watching movies, and reading the mystics.

Why you should join this community:

We need somewhere online that’s ours, where we can

  • Uplift and inspire each other, and make new friends
  • Swap stories and ideas (not just advice!)
  • Be free of toxicity, trolls, and ads. (Bye bye, Facebook. We love you, but…)

When you join, you’ll get to dip in and out of discussions whenever you want.

Each time we host a new event, you’re welcome to join.

Sometimes we’ll host workshops. Or firesides.

But most exciting is this – the veterans and new voices that you meet in the events are sticking around. They’ll host group chats, share tips, and accompany your journey.

Because we need more than just information. We need insights we can trust. We need friendship to help us live lives of hope and meaning.


Who this group is not for:

For any community to mean something and take action, there must be focus. And our community exists for a clear goal: unity, friendship, and formation.

Pope Francis is a source of unity for us. Please don’t enter if you reject Pope Francis and the 2nd Vatican Council, thrive on impending apocalyptic prophecies, polarized politics, and constant argument. 

There are plenty of other groups out there for you! Discussion on all topics is welcome, but bad manners aren’t. Ever. Offenders are warned or removed. God love you!


"I wanted to see what [SmartCatholics] was about, as I love being Catholic and all about Catholicism."

“I was actually surprised at the warmth and spirituality of the messages and people on it. It’s keeping me closer to God.

I used to always go on Facebook but now it’s very shallow compared to SC. So I think it’s providence me being on SC! It’s what I’ve been searching for and has brought me home!”

Paula E.

"I have been doing a ton of poking around on Smart Catholics today and this is what I see. "

“We are all united in Christ with many different abilities that make this platform beautiful. We have the recruiters, prayer warriors, counselors, technicians, comforters, teachers, and students.

“Many different branches coming and going back to the main source just like the Celtic symbol… Dominic, you have created something beautiful.”

Melinda K.

"This initiative is really cool

“I am impressed by the quality and range of discussion and the app is quite versatile and user friendly. Keep going; this is a contemporary way to engage Catholics to come forward! Awesome work!” Adam P.

Meet the Speakers

Press a face to learn more. 


    Rose Sweet

    Rose Sweet is a Catholic author, retreat and conference speaker, and a certified life, relationship, and divorce recovery coach. She’s the creator of the “Surviving Divorce” video series used in hundreds of US parishes and other countries. Drawing from Scripture, the Catechism, Theology of the Body, (and more), Rose’s inspiring books and talks offer heart, humor, and hope to those seeking lasting happiness, authentic romance, and the strengthening or healing of relationships. Website | Facebook | Instagram

    "Divorce completely shatters a person’s world, their sense of being, belonging, and maybe even their basic belief in God. They CAN’T just dust themselves off and move along. They need love, support, and truth . . . and that is what this conference will deliver!" - Rose

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        Anne DeSantis

        Anne DeSantis is the Director for a non-profit called the St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation for Freedom, Family, and Faith. The foundation offers spiritual accompaniment for families in crisis especially those affected by divorce and separation. Anne is a Wife, Mom, Author with CatholicMom, Catholic 365, and Catholic Lane. She will graduate is 2021 with her Masters in Pastoral Theology. Anne's talks will offer practical healing tips for Adult Children of Divorce. She is an ACOD herself, and she wishes to help others to find healing. In addition, she is a podcast and TV host of her own show "Journeys in Faith with Anne DeSantis" on Fiat Ministry Network. More information about Anne can be found at

        Talk: 10 Ways to Experience Healing for Adult Children of Divorce: The talk will offer 10 practical tips for the adult child of divorce to experience healing. No matter your age, this talk will offer great tips to understand how God is working in your life in light of family break up.

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            Debbie Georgianni

            Debbie Georgianni, M.A. is a writer, inspirational speaker and certified health/wellness coach. She dedicated 25 years to Catechetical Ministry in the Diocese of Phoenix working with all age groups. Debbie spent 5 years in Community Relations and as an Announcer for Immaculate Heart Radio. Debbie co-hosts with Jerry Usher, Take 2, a live weekday radio show on the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network.

            This interactive, fast paced show takes a fresh look at life from a whole new approach. Debbie is also the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Third Millennium Media. Her lifelong passion has always been to assist people in nurturing their mind, body and spirit so that a healthy balance will lead towards a blessed life. Debbie has two grown sons and a beautiful daughter in law. She looks forward to the day when grandchildren arrive but for now Debbie and her husband Marty enjoy life with family, friends, and a great game of golf! Debbie has a passion for our Catholic faith and a deep commitment to spreading that faith using the media to its greatest potential.

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                David L. Gray

                David L. Gray is an American Catholic Theologian and Historian, and the President and Publisher of Saint Dominic’s Media. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central State University (Ohio) and a Masters of Arts in Catholic Theology from Ohio Dominican University. His most recent books are, 'The Divine Symphony: An Exordium to the Theology of the Catholic Mass' and 'The Catholic Catechism on Freemasonry'. Website

                Talk: Living the Liturgy: Lord Save Me Integrating the liturgy of the Mass with our daily life is so essential to our spiritual health, but we don't teach Catholics how to go about doing that. What if the liturgy of the Catholic Mass is providing a road map on how to live your life in the world? What if God is calling you to be in the world who you have received through the liturgy? Through exploring Simon Bar-Jonah's encounter with Jesus on the Sea of Galilee, I'm going to explain how all this is possible and applicable to your life.

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                    Dr Ray Guarendi

                    Dr. Ray Guarendi is a Catholic father of ten, clinical psychologist, author, professional speaker, and national radio & television host. His radio show, “The Dr. Is In” can be heard on over 440 stations and SiriusXM® channel 130, and he is one of the experts in the “Surviving Divorce” video program in hundreds of parishes. He captivates audiences with his compelling humor, providing practical advice and proven techniques—especially in areas of grief, forgiveness, parenting in difficult situations, and much more.

                    Talk: Responses with Rose The ripple effects of divorce will continue throughout the family and the culture unless we can stop the bleeding. I'm a Catholic father of ten and licensed clinical psychologist who has helped thousands of families affected by divorce. The Church offers us real hope and practical answers to finding what we all need: healing, peace, and love that lasts.

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                        Lynn Kapusinski

                        Lynn Cassella-Kapusinski, LCPC, NCC is a licensed clinical professional counselor, pastoral counselor, happily married “child of divorce,” and a leading figure in Catholic pastoral care of children from divorced or separated families. Her work has been recognized by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, the Knights of Columbus, and various dioceses. She has appeared on EWTN and Relevant Radio and speaks at conferences around the country. Facebook | Website

                        Talk: What Your Children Need Most from You Now Divorced or separated parents have the most impact on their children’s healing and growth, but seldom realize what is most important in helping, not hindering, their children in this regard. They, along with other adults, should watch my talk because, in addition to being a licensed clinical professional counselor who has worked with these families for over a decade, I have lived this journey. I am a Catholic “child of divorce” who was able to “beat the odds” and “get marriage right,” in large part because of the graces and wisdom of the Catholic Church.

                        This topic is important given the major impact that divorced parents have on their children's healing. If not armed with sufficient information regarding the nature of divorce grief for children and how to assist in children's healing and growth, parents may, inadvertently, cause further harm which, in turn, can perpetuate the divorce cycle for children. Further complicating this difficulty is the fact that many divorced Catholics are no longer attending Mass, which removes children further from the graces of the sacraments and the wisdom of Church teachings, which they also need in order to grow fully.

                        Listeners need to hear my message because, in addition to being a licensed counselor and author, I have lived this journey. I am a Catholic child of divorce who was able to “beat the odds” and “get marriage right,” thanks to the Catholic faith. Divorced parents, in particular, need to hear the hope and wisdom that I offer so they may be encouraged to “keep on keeping on” and allow God and the Church to help them.

                        "Many adults, including divorced or separated parents, do not understand the unique nature of divorce grief for children. They also do not know specifically what to do in order to support their children’s healing. My talk will provide detailed instruction and guidance in these regards so parents can maximize their positive impact on their children’s healing and growth." - Lynn

                        Featured: Resource: The Divorced Catholic’s Guide to Parenting
                        In “The Divorced Catholic’s Guide to Parenting,” Catholic author, speaker, and licensed clinical professional counselor and pastoral counselor Lynn Cassella-Kapusinski, herself a child of divorce, takes parents step by step through these challenges. Drawing on her own story and professional experience, she helps Catholic parents walk with their children through the heartbreak of divorce into the healing, peace, and even joy that is possible in their lives.

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                            Fr Dwight Longenecker

                            Fr Dwight Longenecker is an award winning blogger, speaker and author of "Immortal Combat" and twenty other books and booklets on Catholic faith and culture. Website | Facebook | Twitter

                            "There is a lot of confusion amongst Catholic regarding divorce and family breakdown. There is also grief, guilt and anger. After the pain of family and marriage breakdown people need practical tools to help put their faith to work bringing healing and forgiveness. This conference will help bring healing and light to those in need."

                            Talk: Finding Forgiveness
                            When we have been hurt very badly it is impossible to forgive in our own power. This talk unlocks the power of God's forgiveness with practical tools of prayer.

                            Talk: Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing
                            The Holy Rosary connects with different stages and challenges in life. Learn how to pray the rosary to unlock God's healing power in your life.

                            Featured: Resource: Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing
                            Classic book on a fresh approach to pray the rosary to heal past wounds.

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                                Ben Nguyen

                                Ben Nguyen is a canon and civil lawyer who serves as Chancellor for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, where he is also Canonical Counsel & Theological Advisor and Promoter of Justice in the Diocesan Tribunal. Holding degrees in music, theology, law, canon law, and Scripture, he has served numerous positions in parish, diocesan, and academic arenas. Ben is a national lecturer and canonical legal consultant for dioceses, religious institutions, apostolates, schools, and non-profit organizations throughout the United States.

                                Talk Title: Understanding “Annulments”: The What, the Why, and the How

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                                    Fr Matthew Phelan

                                    Father is friar and priest in the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (Mercedarians), with an STB in theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia and an STL in the Theology of Consecrated life from the Lateran University's Institute for Consecrated Life (Claretianum). He has served as a formator for the Mercedarians and the former Spiritual Moderator for the St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation for Freedom, Family, and Faith. Currently he is pastor of Our Lady of Mercy (LeRoy, NY) and St. Brigid (Bergen, NY).

                                    Talk: The Surprising Power of Confession
                                    The thought of confession in the midst of the trauma of divorce can be intimidating. Be not afraid. God desires to strengthen you through this Sacrament.

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                                        Ronda Reil

                                        Ronda is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in counseling those dealing with grief, divorce recovery, addiction recovery and blended family issues. She facilitates two support groups, including a group for survivors of divorce. Her practice is in Palm Desert, California, where her reputation for wisdom and compassion have helped her lead men and women toward joy and peace for almost twenty years.

                                        Talk: Divorce: Bad News and Good News Who are you, really?
                                        What is your role now? Where do you belong? Where do you want to go from here? These are questions one must ask after a divorce--or face being painfully stuck. I offer helpful considerations to make and steps to follow in getting YOU back.

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                                            Mary Jo Rennert

                                            Author, speaker, and retreat guide Mary Jo Rennert is a powerful witness to a Beautiful Way to TRUE happiness. Divorced after forty-four years of marriage, she helps others navigate beyond the dark night to discover and explore the outrageous love the Bridegroom has for each one of us.

                                            Her latest book, You Are Still Beloved: When Your Long-Term Marriage Ends in Divorce, offers humor, hope, and practical advice for emotional and spiritual healing. Website | Facebook

                                            Talk: You Are Still Beloved Betrayal by a spouse is a fracture of the deepest level of our trust, making it hard to place our confidence in anyone—perhaps even God. Divorced after forty-four years of marriage, Mary Jo Rennert searched for and found her Beloved. She invites others to travel out of the darkness of divorce on the Beautiful Way to True Happiness.

                                            "As a divorced Catholic, I know it's easy to feel isolated and even marginalized. Divorce ministry is hard to find, and persons who haven't experienced divorce have difficulty understanding the depth of pain, anger, grief, and fear (etc.) that accompany the breakup of a marriage. The After Divorce Conference offers a solidly Catholic lineup of speakers who will address a wide variety of topics for persons in all stages of divorce recovery. Whether you're new to the game or an old pro, you'll find information, inspiration, help, hope, and healing--and a whole community of people who understand where you've been." - Mary Jo Rennert

                                            Featured Resource: You Are Still Beloved: When Your Long-Term Marriage Ends in Divorce Divorced after forty-four years of marriage, Mary Jo Rennert offers humor, hope, and practical advice for emotional and spiritual healing. In this book, she shares the honest and vulnerable account of her own post-divorce journey and the Beautiful Way to TRUE happiness.

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                                                Fr. Steve Porter

                                                Priest of the Diocese of San Bernardino for 30 years, Diocese of East Anglia, England for 10 years before that. Spent all that time in parish ministry, with families, with immigrants, with divorced, and others marginalized.

                                                Talk: Spirituality of strength in the face of the falsity of fear The world runs on fear, Catholics don't need to. I am a Spiritual Director and one of the experts on Sweet's "Surviving Divorce" Catholic video parish program; I continue to offer separated and divorced people the wisdom of the Church when it comes to navigating through wounded emotions, questions about God's will, and the importance of the interior life.

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                                                    Marek Rudak

                                                    An Army Ranger who fought in two wars, Marek Rudak had many challenging experiences, but nothing prepared him for the devastation of his divorce. Today, he helps Christian men grow from divorce and start their next chapter. In 2020 I published a #1 Amazon New Release, "The Love Driven Man." Website

                                                    Talk: Five Strategies for Finding Your Way Again I am an Army Ranger who fought in two wars. Serving in the military, I had many challenging experiences, but nothing prepared me for the devastation of my divorce. In this vulnerable talk, I will share how Jesus healed me and five strategies that will be key to finding your way again.

                                                    This topic is important because I lived it. I was lost and I wished I heard these tangible actions steps when I was struggling.

                                                    "Divorce was, by far, the most painful experience in my life. As heartbreaking as it was, I've learned that divorce can also be a tremendous change catalyst. Please join us for this fantastic opportunity to learn how to grow from your divorce and start your next chapter." - Marek

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                                                        Christopher West

                                                        Christopher West is a devoted husband and father of five. As President of the Theology of the Body Institute, he leads an international apostolate spreading St. John Paul II’s life-transforming teaching through graduate level courses, on-site events and programs, clergy enrichment training, and an online global community dedicated to ongoing formation. West is the author of more than a dozen best-selling books and numerous video and audio programs. He cohosts the popular podcast Ask Christopher West with his wife Wendy, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, on ABC News, Fox News, MSNBC, and in countless Catholic and evangelical media outlets.

                                                        Talk: Your Wounds Are Destined to Shine With Glory The pain of divorce breaks our hearts; the truth is that our wounds are Christ’s wounds and his wounds are our wounds. Just as Christ’s wounds were glorified, so can and will our wounds be glorified as we unite them with Christ. This pain CAN lead to later joy. This talk will guide you along that path.

                                                        "Divorce is a deeply personal and cultural tragedy; but the hope we have in Christ is REAL. Rose Sweet has courageously hosted an event that offers a multitude of uplifting, professional, practical, and powerful resources and community." - Christopher West

                                                        Featured: Resource: Theology of the Body for Beginners Broken families, pornography, infidelity, sexual abuse, and more; we are in a profound sexual crisis. Is there a way out? For such a time as this we have been given St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Based on the words of Jesus, St. John Paul II's powerful reflections on the body and sex take us to the root of the marriage crisis and chart the path to true liberation...and ultimate happiness.

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                                                          "The After Divorce Conference offers a solidly Catholic lineup of speakers

                                                          “They will address a wide variety of topics for persons in all stages of divorce recovery. Whether you’re new to the game or an old pro, you’ll find information, inspiration, help, hope, and healing–and a whole community of people who understand where you’ve been.

                                                          – Mary Jo Rennert

                                                          "There is a lot of confusion amongst Catholic regarding divorce and family breakdown.

                                                          “There is also grief, guilt and anger. After the pain of family and marriage breakdown people need practical tools to help put their faith to work bringing healing and forgiveness. This conference will help bring healing and light to those in need.”

                                                          – Fr. Dwight Longenecker

                                                          "Many adults, including divorced or separated parents, do not understand the unique nature of divorce grief for children.

                                                          “They also do not know specifically what to do in order to support their children’s healing. My talk will provide detailed instruction and guidance in these regards so parents can maximize their positive impact on their children’s healing and growth.”

                                                          – Lynn Kapusinki

                                                          Meet Your Hosts

                                                          Would you like to sponsor this event? Learn more →

                                                          Support a Catholic mission

                                                          This event is supporting ‘Select to Give’

                                                          Select to Give was founded in 2014, by Select International Tours, Inc. as a not-for-profit 501 c (3) Foundation with the intent of helping Christians of the Holy Land and the Middle East stay in their homelands with freedom to worship, be educated and work in a safe and healthy environment.

                                                          They are a fabulous group and support Christians in the Holy Land! – Rose Sweet, Presenter

                                                          Frequently Asked Questions

                                                          Can I get audio files?

                                                          Yes. Everyone who purchases an access pass will get a folder of audio files to keep.

                                                          How can I watch the videos?

                                                          The videos will be sent to the email you registered with. You’ll be able to watch them for free during the 7 days before the live event.

                                                          I can’t attend the event. Will there be replays?

                                                          Yes, all the recordings will be stored in a beautiful, on-demand library that you can watch any time.

                                                          Access the replays is $10 a month. Everyone who purchases a full access pass gets a 100% free coupon to the collection. 

                                                          The replays will be stored on

                                                          Can I meet and chat with the speakers?

                                                          Yes, we will have live events, workshops, and Q&As during the live part of this event. 

                                                          Is there a community?

                                                          Yes, this event is launching an ongoing group within the SmartCatholics community, here for you for years to come. Get formation, feedback, answers, and new friends!

                                                          Join the Community

                                                          Watch the videos, and then enter the ‘After Divorce’ community. We look forward to supporting and listening to your journey.

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