Glorious Easter – the tomb is empty!
As Saint Augustine said, “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” Part of the Easter Mystery is that we have inherited the mission of Jesus, and each of us lives out through our own passion and self-donation the love of Christ Jesus and makes Him present in the world today.
Aloha - Hawaii
Having just published their book, Passionate Parent Passionate Couple, Ed and Betty Coda pulled out all the stops to rewrite their sharings and present the best possible Living in Love retreat for couples at Holy Trinity Parish in Honolulu, HI over the weekend of 16-17 April. It had been several years since the last weekend in Hawaii, but the enthusiasm and passion was just as strong as ever. They held the retreat in a former convent that still has a chapel containing the blessed sacrament where parishioners can come to pray. It has an ocean view from the back yard, and is one block from a beautiful beach.
What a setting for all of us to remember the romance and excitement of Living in Love! The weekend was very powerful and the dinner on Saturday night was the most focused they had ever experienced. Every couple could not wait to share their love story. Tears, goose bumps, smiles and laughter filled all of our hearts with so much love, hope and promise.
The best part of the weekend is that there are 7 couples already on the waiting list for the next weekend which we are currently coordinating to be in July or August. For those who experienced the weekend in April, the Codas will lose no time commencing Living in Love Every Day.
The situation has changed somewhat for marriage preparation in Hawaii in the last year or so. Engaged Encounter is still the primary diocesan option but there is some flexibility for alternatives and we pray that Preparing to Live in Love will gain a foothold as a result of Ed and Betty’s renewed efforts this spring.
A Weekend of Preparing to Live in Love
Over the weekend of 9-10 April, John and Cathy Scansaroli, Bob and Carol Dooley, Tim and Christine Coleman, and Steve and Rosa Krause teamed up to provide an experimental weekend version of Preparing to Live in Love for 8 engaged couples from Our Lady of the Mount parish in Warren, NJ. With four experienced mentor couples present, the team presented content to the large group but also worked one-on-one with each engaged couple to personalize each of the seven topical areas.
Engaged couples had time for individual reflection and couple sharing on key homework assignments in between talks. The weekend included a romantic Saturday night dinner and a poignant closing mass on Sunday.
Many thanks to the cooperation, discipline, and attentiveness of all the couples who participated and to Fr Sean Kinney who celebrated the closing mass. His passion and ambition for the engaged was evident and his remarks were universally appreciated. Fr Sean is grateful for the ability to meet the marriage preparation needs of the parish through a combination of individual mentoring and small group events such as this. Feedback was indeed positive with a high degree of enthusiasm and appreciation for the efforts of the entire team.
One-Day Living in Love Everyday/Mentor Training
On 30 April, Ron and Kathy Feher presented a one day version of the eight week Living in Love Every Day course to couples eager to mentor. It turned out to be a wonderful experience for everyone involved.
In addition, the entire 11 hour event was professionally video-taped and will be available as a resource for local leaders or perhaps for couples from remote areas who are not able to participate in the normal follow up after Living in Love. If you are interested in purchasing a very nominally priced DVD of this event, please contact the PMRC at PMRCusa@msn.com or 610-640-4105. We will rush them out as soon as they are available.
Many thanks to Dick and Marie Schmitt and St. Charles Borromeo parish for their hospitality and to Robert and Maria Dolan, Ernie and Diane Gutier, David and Andrea Nepa, and Dave and Sue Maynard for their enthusiastic support and willingness to be a sign of Christ ‘s love to others.
National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers 2011
You are Invited to join the many Priests, Deacons and Lay Leaders from across the U.S. and abroad who share your passion for Marriage and Family Life! On August 3-6, 2011, the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM) in partnership with the USCCB Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life & Youth are hosting an incredible international conference where you will be able to learn from top leaders in the field of marriage and family research, enrichment, education and spirituality!
In these few days, and for an incredibly low cost, you will be able to increase your knowledge of Marriage & Family issues, Catholic Teachings on Marriage & Family, and the many Resources you can bring back to your Parish and/or Diocese to further the work of the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage and Marriage & Family Ministry.
Attend Pre-conference Workshops and Trade School classes for in-depth learning geared to Clergy, Marriage Prep Ministers, Marriage Ministry Teams, Marriage & Family Counselors, Religious Educators, Youth & Young Adult Ministers and Parish Pastoral Ministers.
Be inspired by some of the most respected speakers in the United States. Conference Keynoters and topics include:
"...in the Construction Zone"- Bishop Thomas Doran and Don and Lorrie Gramer
"Envisioning the Future of Marriage and Family Ministry"-John Roberto
"Love, Sex and the Catholic Church"- Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
"The Loving Heroic Role of Husband and Father"- Fr. James Farfaglia
"Toward a More Virtuous Family"- Marybeth Hicks
"Catholic Marriage & Family: Building a Culture of Life and Love"- Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers
Finally, we are thrilled to announce that there will be an exclusive premier showing of the Movie: "Courageous" to be in theatres September 30, 2011! Produced by the makers of "Fireproof", this new movie on fatherhood is sure to change lives and you will learn how to use it to augment any Men's Ministry in your parish or diocese.
Details are on the NACFLM.org website. Consider becoming a member of NACFLM, if you are not already, and help us to continue to advocate for and lead in Catholic ministry to Marriage and Family Life. Membership includes conference discount.
Register online at www.nacflm.org
or call 937-431-5443.
Lorrie & Don Gramer, Conference Co-chairs
Office of Family Life, Diocese of Rockford
and Conference Committee