Welcome to the newly redone Living in Love Monthly Newsletter!  Please let us know how we can continue to improve this newsletter to best suit your needs.

  July 2011

Camden Highlights Diocesan Implementation

Momentum is building in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey as local emergent leadership couples train mentors, present talks on Living in Love, and strategize to spread the word.  Two individuals have already become Catholic, and a third is entering RCIA.  Twenty-three couples have been certified to mentor the engaged using Preparing to Live in Love with two more training groups currently underway. Several more mentor training opportunities will be offered this fall.

Model parishes - St Charles Borromeo (Sicklerville), Our Lady Of Hope (Blackwood), and the Church of the Incarnation (Mantua) are seen as model parishes for the diocese’s vision for evangelization centered on the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Even though all three parishes hosted their first Living in Love early this spring, they each have already trained mentors who are offering Preparing to Live in Love to the engaged with powerfully positive results
St Charles Borromeo has scheduled another LL weekend for November thanks to the enthusiasm of Dick and Marie Schmitt and Fr. Vince Orum who experienced most of the retreat personally.  St Charles has been printing testimonials in the parish bulletin each week from couples who made Living in Love in June.  The November weekend will be the first in the diocese to be presented entirely by parishioners with only behind the scenes support from the PMRC to train the presenting team.
 
Our Lady of Hope typically has more weddings than any other parish in the diocese, and is committed to using Preparing to Live in Love to ensure that their engaged couples are welcomed into the community and experience the church as relevant and helpful.  Because of the large volume of weddings, OLOH will probably be the first to also utilize “Beginning to Live in Love,” a group application of the same content, exercises, and witness contained in Preparing to Live in Love, as an additional approach to parish based marriage preparation during this transitional year.  Whenever, Beginning to Live in Love is offered, it will be open to any engaged couple of the diocese and broadly publicized to pastors who may wish to take advantage of this opportunity and send their engaged.

Utilizing Local Mentors - Even before a parish has its own mentors, it can utilize the mentors from nearby parishes.  Check the Living in Love Web Site (Resources>Locate a Program or Mentor) to locate mentors in your area and feel free to encourage engaged couples to register online or contact Dick and Marie Schmitt (856-435-1629, or schmitt31895@comcast.net) to arrange for a mentor couple.

Personal Contact - The Diocesan Office of Life- long Formation, the PMRC, and local living in love leadership teams have launched a communications campaign to combat misinformation, assess the needs of each individual parish and make every pastor aware of the resources at his disposal.  Ron and Kathy Feher’s meetings with pastors have been personal and productive while providing a very valuable liaison with the diocese and giving rise to new positive initiatives. 

Deanery approach:  Pastors who may be concerned about hosting a Living in Love weekend on their own can join forces with other local parishes to service the needs of a deanery.  Fr. Chris Ruggles from Christ the King in Haddonfield successfully piloted this approach last November.  The parish whose facilities best fit the needs of the retreat workshop can act as the host parish while neighboring parishes advertize and send couples to attend.  This approach is being considered by pastors in the shore parishes as well as those in smaller parishes.

Living in Love can empower couples to support other diocesan goals –Did you know that the Living in Love retreat workshop and the Living in Love Every Day course are not focused only on producing mentors for the engaged?  Both  can be utilized to empower couples to staff any parish ministry where the sacramental presence of a couple is an asset.  In Camden, the new pastoral initiatives can seem daunting without realizing that couples are our greatest resource.  The Vision talk on Living in Love and the Commissioning Ceremony in Living in Love Every Day can be tailored to the needs of the parish and call forth the volunteers needed to staff new and existing ministries
 

June Living in Love Weekends Light up New Jersey and New Mexico

Walter and Min Deery presenting at
St Veronica’s, Howell, NJ
(photo by Maria Dolan)
In June, St Veronica’s Parish hosted the first Living in Love weekend in the Diocese of Tenton, New Jersey.  Ron and Kathy Feher led an exciting team of couples including Robert and Maria Dolan of the Trenton Diocese and Walter and Min Derry of St Charles Borromeo parish in the Camden Diocese who were presenting for the first time having experienced Living in Love themselves only 6 weeks previously.  Parishioners, Anne and John Brunetti were instrumental in bringing Living in Love to St Veronica’s and tireless in the ambition and energy they poured out to make it a success. 
 
A special thanks to Peg Hensler , the Director of Family Life for the Trenton Diocese for all her great support. Peg and her husband Bob made the weekend themselves and look forward to mentoring the engaged for their home parish in Haddon Township. 
 
Robert and Maria Dolan of Allenwood are off to a great start leading the follow up Living in Love Every Day Course on Saturday nights for a large group of couples who made the St Veronica weekend while several parishes have expressed interest in hosting the next weekends in Trenton.  With continued support from the diocese we look forward to an exciting fall.
 

Saturday night Dinner at St Veronica’s, Howell, NJ
(photo by Maria Dolan)
Two-thousand miles away but also on June 25-26, Deacon Bob and Paulette Brotherton and Lyle and Cathy Huber presented Living in Love to a wildly enthusiastic group of couples at St Ann’s Catholic Church in Deming, NM.  The Pastor is enthused about offering Preparing to Live in Love to the engaged, and Living in Love is the first step to training couples to mentor.  In an effort to spread Preparing to Live in Love rapidly throughout the diocese, Bob and Paulette will offer an acclerated one day version of the Living in Love Every Day/Menor Training course this fall .

Couples Participating in Living in Love
 at St Ann’s, Deming NM
Please pray for Deacon Bob on July 29 as he presents a talk on the Sacrament of Matrimony to all of the priests of the Diocese of Las Cruces and on September 29 as he faciltates a clergy panel discussion on marriage preparation.
 

New Living in Love Web Site Launched and Online!

Check out our exciting web site at www.livinginlove.org for all the latest news and information available through the PMRC.  Find a mentor in your area, watch video on line, or download tools to help promote Living in Love.  Visit the site often to see recent Blog posts or order new resources. 
 
Our deepest heartfelt gratitude to Michael Mafodda and Jonathan Desjardin for their incredible leadership and creativity as they developed the site, donating their talent, expertise, and many, many hours of effort to create the unique functionality needed to support our day-to-day communications and program support.  Michael and his wife Allison experienced Preparing to Live in Love as an engaged couple and made Living in Love as newlyweds at St Thomas of Villanova.  Jonathan, a 2010 graduate of Villanova University, has recently taken a position in the Washington, DC area and we wish him great success in his future in web design.  May the Lord bless Jonathan and Michael a hundred fold for the joy they have brought to others through their hard work and dedication

Living in Love Weekends Coming Up!

13-14 Aug: Holy Trinity, Honolulu, HI
17-18 Sep: Holy Child, Runnemede, NJ
1-2 Oct: St Luke, Shoreline, WA
1-2 Oct: Our Lady of Good Council, Plymouth, MI
8-9 Oct: St Matthew, Charlotte, NC
15-16 Oct: St Thomas of Villanova, Rosemont, PA
 

Please Pray for Presenting Teams!

Please pray for each of the couples who will be making Living in Love for the first time in the coming weeks and for those who will be facilitating the weekends for them.

Holy Trinity, Honolulu, HI
13-14 Aug
Ed and Betty Coda
Randy and Maile Domingo
Chris and Jani Cortes
Holy Child, Runnemede, NJ
17-18 Sep
Dick and Marie Schmitt
David and Stephanie D’Arcangelo
Bert and Jeannette Figueroa
Kent and Nancy Van Amburg
St Luke, Shoreline, WA
1-2 Oct
Fred and Anne Janssen
Fernand and Debra Ricard
Wendel and Vicki Parker-Bailey
Walt and Mary Davis
Chris and Suzy Hansch
David and Stephanie Benson

Decoding the TOB:

A central theme of Blessed John Paul II’s Theology of the Body is that we are gift to one another. Like Jesus, Blessed John Paul II went back to “the beginning,” to remind us that when God presented Eve to Adam, Adam’s response was, “bone of my bones…flesh of my flesh”, i.e., “Wow!” Adam was awestruck at the incredible gift he’d received.  For each of us there came a moment when we were equally enthralled. We looked at the one who would one day become our spouse and we knew, “This is THE one!”, i.e., “Wow!”  Today, let us go back to “the beginning”, recall that moment, bring it to mind, savor the memory that this is THE one—God’s gift to me.
©2011 Stephanie T. Giba

What have You Done For Your Marriage Lately?

Share your little everyday kindnesses, sacrifices, and playfulness as an inspiration to others to go out of their way to make their spouse feel loved.
 
Brush by’s – A “brush by” is simply intentional body contact when moving past each other in close quarters like a hallway, doorway, laundry room, or kitchen instead of typically avoiding contact which is what we do when we encounter a stranger or anyone we are not actively flirting with.
 
Advanced Brushby’s – An “advanced” brushby is a little more playfully intimate than the average “brush by.”  Spouses passing each other enroute to or from the shower might just drop that towel.
 

“Thank you for loving me!”

Fr Rich O’Leary, former pastor of St Thomas of Villanova, in his Sunday homily on 10 July, related a story told to him by another priest.  Sitting in a restaurant where the tables were especially close together, it was impossible not to overhear the conversation at a nearby table.  The couple sitting there were holding hands across the table.  Looking intently into her husband’s eyes, and speaking with great emotion, the wife said to her husband, “Thank you, for loving me!” to which he responded simply, “I couldn’t help myself!”
 
Take a minute to let this simple exchange sink in and then think how you would respond if your husband or wife said, “Thank you, for loving me!”
 

“Sexy, Saint or Sinner” - A You Tube video worth watching

Teen Program Photos Needed

If you would be willing to share some of your family photos of happy teenagers in group settings having fun and allow them to be used in the new fundamentals of relationship course for teens, Matrimony – an invitation to Live in Love Matrimony Student Workbook, it would help us to keep down the cost of production by not having to purchase stock photography.  Please, send photos to the PMRC at PO Box 2304, Southeastern, PA 19399 or email digital photos to PMRCusa@msn.com.  Any help you can provide will make this extraordinary program even better.

 

NACFLM 2011

It is not too late to register for the August 3-6, 2011 Conference of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM) in partnership with the USCCB Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth to be held at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.  Join the many Priests, Deacons and Lay Leaders from across the U.S. and abroad who share your passion for Marriage and Family Life and learn from top leaders in the field of marriage and family research, enrichment, education and spirituality!  Details are on the NACFLM.org website. 
Stop in at the Living in Love exhibition booth and support Dick and Stephanie Giba who will be representing the PMRC and answering questions about all the Living in Love programs and resources.

 

Newsletter Contributors Welcome

Please share your local news with the growing Living in Love community.  Simply email a brief write up and any photos to PMRCusa@msn.com by the first of the month to be included in the next monthly newsletter.
 
If you have a special anecdote or heart warming story from your own relationship or someone you know personally that would inspire other couples to marry each other well, we would be happy to publish it.  Please, limit yourself to less than 250 words.
 

Living in Love Every Day Video Course to be available soon

Great progress is being made on the new, self-help version of the Living in Love Every Day course.  Once editing is complete in the next week or two, a couple will be able to sit back in their own home on any night they choose and pop in a DVD to have Ron and Kathy Feher lead them through all the fun exercises and skills training designed to help us all stay in love while navigating the stresses of everyday life.  If it has been a while since your weekend, this can be a great way to refresh yourselves and renew the passion of your 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.
Copyright © 2011 Pastoral & Matrimonial Renewal Center, All rights reserved.
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