St Rita's in Bellmawr now
Living in Love
St Rita’s in Bellmawr, NJ is the most recent parish in the Camden Diocese to host Living in Love. Thanks to the ambition, perseverence, and generosity of Fr Carmel, Pastor and his parish staff, the 15-16 Oct retreat workshop was a powerful experience for everyone who participated. Not to be outdone in hospitality, St Rita’s welcomed couples from Pennsylvania as well as other parishes in New Jersey, and the Rectory Staff prepared a wonderful homecooked meal Saturday night.
The weekend presenting team included Allen and Alexandra O’Rourke who traveled up from Washington, DC to provide a “young” couple perspective that inspired and challenged even the most experienced married couples. Allen and Alex originally made Living in Love in Philadelphia as members of Old Saint Joseph’s parish in 2009 but since then moved to North Carolina and subsequently to the District of Columbia.
Alexandra and Allen O’Rourke Presenting on the
St Rita’s Living in Love Retreat in Bellmawr, NJ
St Luke Lights Up Washington State
Three cheers would not be enough for all the love and effort that went into making the first Living in Love retreat at St Luke’s Catholic Church in Shoreline, WA a great success. Debra and Fernand Ricard and Dan and Carolina Keenan were the fire power behind bringing the weekend to St Luke’s after experiencing the weekend themselves at nearby Holy Rosary in Edmonds and Saint John Vianney in Bothell respectively. Irresistible in their love for each other and ambition for others, they had already built a base of couples in the parish by recruiting for the last Living in Love at Holy Rosary. Now, the time was right to bring the weekend to St Luke’s, and with the active involvement of an army of couples, they organized and facilitated Living in Love for 23 couples in their home parish on 1-2 Oct.
Fred and Anne Janssen (center) lead
the St Luke’s Living in Love Presenting Team of
(left to right) Suzi and Chris Hansch, Fernand
and Debra Ricard, Wendel and Vicki Parker-Bailey,
and Walt and Mary Davis
Celebrate Love Veterans
make Living in Love 15 Years
and 6000 Miles Later!
Some of us still remember that the very first Living in Love weekends back in the early 1990’s were presented under the title of “Celebrate Love,” and this is still how they are presented in Australia and the United Kingdom. Col Kevin and Jo Richards experienced Celebrate Love while they were stationed in Hawaii almost 15 years ago. Now stationed at the US Army War College in Carlisle, PA, they were thrilled to find Living in Love readily available in the Delaware Valley. Anticipating retirement from active duty in the Spring, Kevin and Jo plan to stay in the area and hope to bring Living in Love to the military stationed at Carlisle Barracks and the local Harrisburg Diocese.
Kevin and Jo Richards (right)
at St Rita’s in Bellmawr, NJ
First Living in Love in the Diocese
of Detroit Hosted by Our Lady
of Good Counsel!
Steve and Audrey Monaghan of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, MI experienced Living in Love at Christ the King in Ann Arbor and helped facilitate the weekend at Christ the King in July 2011. Their enthusiasm and ambition to bring Living in Love and Preparing to Live in Love back with them to OLGC resulted in the first weekend in the Diocese of Detroit on 15-16 October. Two other very strong couples from OLGC, Tom and Jeanne Stevenson and Steve and Jasmin Walker, joined Dick and Stephanie Giba and Joe and Valerie Bozzo from Christ the King to round out the team. OLGC is a large active parish and with Steve Monaghan working as a Pastoral Associate responsible for marriage preparation on the Parish Staff, they are anxious to train mentors and offer Preparing to Live in Love as the preferred parish option for marriage preparation.
The only thing worse than the economy right now is our culture’s toxic attitude toward marriage. If we want to rebuild our country, we must begin at home. Especially during this time of stress with many people out of work, couples deserve and need the powerful boost that Living in Love can offer as well as the skills that Preparing to Live in Love and Living in Love Every Day can provide.
Every couple deserves the opportunity to live in love as a gift from all of us in the church, but the only way we can do so is to ask those who have already benefited to make a financial contribution to the PMRC so that others may also benefit. All our programs are made available at significantly discounted cost so that every couple may participate. Whenever finances are an issue, we offer full and partial scholarships upon request so that no one will ever have to say, “We could not afford to go.”
We encourage every recipient of this Newsletter to embrace the mission to marriage simply by supporting Living in Love through the Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal Center (PMRC). Please watch your mail boxes this week for a mailing from the PMRC. We are grateful to the couples who now include the PMRC in their plans for charitable giving and write an annual check or even set up a monthly direct deposit. In this concrete way, we join in and make possible the vision for empowering the sacrament of matrimony in our midst.
Please, be as generous as you can. If you are ready today, simply write a check to PMRC and mail it to PO Box 2304, Southeastern, Pa 19399, or if you would like to use a credit card, simply click on the following link. Thank you!
World Meeting of Families 2012
We’re pleased to let you know that the registration process has begun for the Seventh World Meeting of Families to be held May 30-June 3, 2012 in Milan. The theme is “Family: Work and Celebration.” More detailed information, including the opportunity to register online, is available at the WMF website, www.family2012.com
The World Meeting of Families is convened by the Holy Father and sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family in collaboration with the host dioceses—in this case, the Archdiocese of Milan. These meetings were first promoted by Blessed Pope John Paul II beginning in 1994 and have occurred at three-year intervals since then.
The structure of the meeting is in two parts. The first involves a series of lectures and presentations aimed at those who are engaged in education and pastoral ministry with couples and families. This part runs from May 30 through June 1. The second part begins on the evening of June 1 and concludes on Sunday, June 3. It includes festive national gatherings, a prayer vigil and testimonials, and the celebration of the Eucharist. Pope Benedict XVI is expected to join the meeting on Friday and to preside at the vigil on Saturday and the closing Mass on Sunday.
The USCCB will send an official delegation headed by Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. We welcome additional U.S. participation from dioceses, lay movements and organizations, and families. Marriage and family life ministers, pro-life leaders, and coordinators of natural family planning will find the gathering of particular interest.
If you decide to attend, please let us know so that we can share information before the event and connect with each other during the event itself. If you have questions or need further information please contact Sheila Garcia (202-541-3041, SGarcia@usccb.org
) or Theresa Notare (202-541-3192, TNotare@usccb.org
Thank you for your ministry on behalf of married couples and families. May God continue to bless you and those with whom you minister.
H. Richard McCord, Ed.D.
Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth