Our BEGINNING EXPERIENCE weekend begins with check-in on Friday evening at 6p.m. and continues through Sunday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, 138 Beethoven Avenue, San Antonio, 78210. If there is an emergency and someone needs to contact you during the weekend, the phone number is (210) 337-8193.
N.B. In the event we hold the retreat at another location, we will give you specific information for that venue as we take your calls.
Our weekend is very casual. You will be most comfortable in informal, appropriate clothing such as jeans, shorts, sneakers, etc. Remember to pack for the weather as we do have periods when we walk outdoors. You also might want other attire for church Sunday, but casual is fine.
You’ll need your own towels, sheets, pillow case. and toiletries (including bath soap). Pillows and a blanket are provided, as are meals on Saturday and Sunday through lunch. On Friday, we invite you to bring dinner to eat at the retreat center with others, or you may eat before you arrive. You are welcome to bring a snack item to share with others over the course of the weekend.
PLEASE NOTE: Alcohol and/or drugs, other than prescribed medication, are PROHIBITED. If you smoke, there are areas outside the building that you may use.
We are happy to welcome you to this most special weekend experience. You are taking a very important step in your journey towards a new beginning in life. Our past experience has been that it can be a most rewarding time for you, and even for your extended family and friends. Thank you for the trust you have placed in us to assist you towards a new beginning for yourself.
The Beginning Experience (BE) is an international ministry that helps divorced, separated, and widowed individuals resolve their grief surrounding the loss of a marriage partner. Most people who attend a BE weekend find it to be a life-changing event that sets them on the road to resolving their grief in a safe, loving environment. It has proven to be an effective and beneficial aid in dealing with the complicated grief feelings following the loss of a relationship. The process is not quick, but the BE weekend is a catalyst in overcoming grief, obtaining self-awareness of one’s grief, seeing progress in oneself, and proceeding through the stages of grief with more confidence. This proven program has helped in the healing of hundreds of hurting people in San Antonio over the last 30+ years.
Sister Josephine Stewart, a Roman Catholic nun, and her divorced friend, Jo Lamia, founded the ministry in Fort Worth Texas in 1974. The ministry has subsequently expanded worldwide to a current global strength of over 50 English speaking teams. The local San Antonio Team operates as an accredited ministry of the San Antonio Archdiocese’s Office of Marriage and Family Life.
The Team consists of former participants who have gone through similar losses. As they gain experience in working to overcome their own grief, they have chosen to volunteer their time and efforts to help others benefit as well. They are all trained to be good listeners and to ask questions that encourage participants to look inside themselves, and work through the grief process in a non-threatening environment. Team members are not professional counselors but are “wounded healers” and caring individuals who lead the participants through a proven process that helps them confront their individual grief in a supportive way.