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In 1973, Sister Josephine Stewart, a family counsellor at the Catholic Renewal Center in Fort Worth, Texas and a divorced friend, Jo Lamia, attended a Marriage Encounter weekend with the intention of developing a program for engaged couples. In the course of the weekend, Ms. Lamia adapted the Marriage Encounter process to face issues and concerns in her own life that had never been addressed. At the close of the weekend, Sister Josephine saw a profound change occur in her friend.


Sister Josephine and other professionals in grief resolution, counselling, psychology, education and spiritual renewal, adapted Ms. Lamia's writings to outline the process for the Beginning Experience weekend.

The copyrighted program was soon in motion throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Great Britain and Ireland. Today, certified teams of peer ministers present the program in communities in nine countries on three continents.

They are impressed with our support

I had divorced and Beginning Experience sounded like a way to regain my self-image. I found just what I needed - the hope that I could recover and start my life again.
It had been two years since my husband's death. I saw a notice in my church bulletin and decided to try it. I needed healing and this was where I found it.
Three years after my husband's death, I thought I was coping pretty well. I was so wrong. Beginning Experience changed me into a much happier person.
As a widow of 7 years, I was skeptical about going to Beginning Experience. I felt no one would understand my pain. The weekend literally saved my life. I found the peace I so longed for.