Advent began in 1969 as a support group for priests and religious, both men and women, in the Catholic Church who had left the official ministry, or religious life. Members meet to share experiences and to offer mutual support. Some have married, others have remained single. The group also offers support for partners and families, and constitutes a renewal group to bring about changes in the priestly ministry of the Church.
Advent offers advice, support and a friendly ear. All individual contacts are treated in complete confidence.
Remember, we are not attempting to entice people out of the ministry or religious life: just trying to help them if they feel in conscience that God wants them somewhere else. Things can get very tough for them.
TODAY...Advent continues to offer support, both practical and emotional, as well as a forum for matters of justice that surround the issue of compulsory celibacy.
The Aims of Advent
+ To be a support group for men and women and their partners who have left the active ministry, or religious life.
+ To offer a safe haven for men and women who are considering change.
+ To be a support for others closely involved with the priest's or religious' decision.
+ To work for change in the Church and its ministry
If you are thinking of change...
Members of Advent understand what you are going through.
They understand the struggle with vocation and celibacy...
The indecision that has brought you this far...
The worries about family and parishioners...
The other clergy...
Members of the Religious Community...
...and most of all the fear of change itself.
And then there are practical issues...
So where do I start?
If I leave...
Will I be able to find a job?
National Insurance Contributions? (obtain a pension forecast online)
The list of problems is long
But don't be daunted
Advent does offer practical advice based on personal experience; we have already made most of the mistakes! Most of all we can offer a listening ear.
Remember, you are employable. You have developed skills that can be used.
Your contact with us is confidential.
We can direct you towards the help that is available - whether your change involves leaving or staying.
Someone else involved?
If someone else is involved with you they will have more than shared the pain and anguish of your indecision.
They will have probably borne the secrecy of your relationship with considerable pain.
Most likely they will want you to live honestly and to resolve your indecision.
They will definitely need understanding and support as well as you.
If you are in this situation, as well as offering our support, Advent can put you in contact with groups who meet to share this experience.