Advent is upon us!
In a homily this week, Fr Joe Narog, Pastor of St Thomas of Villanova reminded us of the words from St Marks Gospel, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” The dictionary definition of “prepare”, he said, is to “pave the way”
for what or who is coming. In “Preparing” to Live in Love that is what all our wonderful mentors do, clear out the obstacles and pave the way for the couple to invite Jesus into their love for each other and ultimately into every aspect of their sacramental marriage, even into their experience of making love.
Let‘s all use this time of Advent to make more room in our hearts for Christ. As couples, we can clear out all the little hurts and stretch the boundaries of our other centered generosity; so, we can be a living sign of Christ’s love that will light up the church at Christmas.
Transitional Strategies to support Diocesan rollouts in 2012
Camden, New Jersey
The office of Life-long Faith Formation has partnered with the PMRC to provide “Beginning to Live in Love (BLL),” the 4 session, accelerated, large group version of Preparing to Live in Love (PLL) three times in 2012 (January, June and September) at locations around the diocese. Any engaged couple may register online at www.livinginlove.org
This is a transitional strategy which will provide immediate help to priests and engaged couples while we steadily grow a base of trained mentors, presenters, and local leaders to ultimately provide the preferred option of Preparing to Live in Love (PLL) one couple to one couple pre-marriage mentoring for every engaged couple.
Beginning to Live in Love”
(BLL) offers the same content, materials, experiential exercises, practical skills, and inspirational witness as Preparing to Live in Love in a more formal large group setting and is condensed into four three hour sessions. The impact is still powerfully positive and a significant upgrade to traditional pre-cana. It will be offered at the end of each marriage preparation season in order to provide for those engaged couples who were not able to be matched with a personal mentor for PLL. We anticipate only having to offer BLL as an alternative through 2013 because the number of certified mentors is steadily growing with more added after every single Living in Love weekend.
Here is the BLL schedule thus far:
Our Lady of Hope, Blackwood, NJ: Four consecutive Sundays, January 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 1-4 PM. Ron and Kathy Feher will personally present this BLL assisted by 7 of the nearly 40 enthusiastic couples from the Camden diocese who have been trained and certified as PLL mentor couples so that every engaged couple receives personal attention.
Christ the Good Shepherd, Vineland, NJ (St Isidore campus): Four consecutive Saturdays in June (2, 9, 16, 23) 1-4 PM. Space is limited to 15 couples
A Camden diocese host parish is still needed for four Sundays in September (9, 16, 23, & 30). Pastors may reply to this email or contact Ruth Arata at the PMRC office 610-640-4105 to arrange for BLL to take place at your parish facility.
Another accelerated One-day Mentor Training Day
will be held Saturday April 28 at St Charles Borromeo parish in Sicklerville, NJ for couples who have experienced Living in Love but were not able to attend the follow-up 9 session Living in Love Every Day Course.
The office of Faith and Family Life Formation is encouraging every deanery to host Living in Love twice a year to provide mentors for the whole deanery!
Kansas City, Kansas
The Diocese of Kansas City in Kansas is considering a large scale roll out of Preparing to Live in Love in 2012. Deacon Tony Zimmerman and his entire staff have researched all of the available models and programs in response to requests from priest s and laity to upgrade marriage preparation, and have chosen the Living in Love Suite as the most effective paradigm!
To reach the greatest number of couples in the shortest time, plans are on the drawing board for 3 large weekend events to give Living in Love to the 150 lead couples who currently do marriage preparation for the diocese. Following each event, we will offer both the one day and the 9 week options for training. While the first groups begin one on one mentoring for the engaged through PLL, a few select leaders will also offer BLL to large groups of engaged couples.
Deacon Tony quoted Archbishop Dolan, who spoke at the Bishop’s Conference in November saying, “Our urgent task to reclaim “love of Jesus and His Church as the passion of our lives” summons us not into ourselves but to Our Lord. Jesus prefers prophets, not programs, saints, not solutions; conversion of hearts, not calls to action; prayer, not protests: Verbum Dei rather than our verbage.” What Kathy and Ron and Father Chuck are about is conversion of hearts, married couples who are saints—guides and light for others. This is also our call and we are excited with what we see in Living in Love.
Please pray for this exciting initiative!
Techical Solutions to an old problem!
What a great idea! Software to assist engaged couples and priests with the administrative details of preparing for a Catholic wedding. The concept came as a direct response to a meeting that Ron and Kathy Feher had with Monsignor Hodge of St Nicholas of Tolentine in Atlantic City, NJ. From his perspective as a priest working with engaged couples, he is burdened with having to nag couples to get their paperwork in on time which takes away from the pastoral aspects of his interactions with them. From an engaged couple’s perspective, it is often difficult to figure out what has to be done when. The church comes across as out dated and more as a hassle than a gift.
In order to enhance the overall experience of preparing to marry in the Catholic Church, the PMRC has initiated a software development project in cooperation with the Diocese of Camden, NJ. Bob Oliver, a retired software engineer, who with his wife Shirley have presented Living in Love and mentored engaged couples through PLL, has agreed to write the software and the Diocese of Camden has agreed to pilot this exciting new initiative. Bob is currently in third year formation in the diocesan deaconate program and a parishioner at St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Mays Landing.
Follow us on Twitter!
Yes! Follow Living in Love on Twitter! Did you know that Ron and Kathy Feher are on twitter as the PMRCusa? Our posts appear on the new www.livinginlove
website, but in order to really get in to the swing of posting daily we need followers, so please take a moment to go to www.twitter.com
and follow PMRCUSA. Automatically stay in touch will all that is happening around the country.
Living in Love loses a hero!
Jim Hileman of St Thomas More, Lynchburg, VA
James "Jim" Robert Hileman, 73, of Lynchburg, VA, was placed at the feet of Jesus for healing on Monday, November 21, 2011. He was the love of Betty Lou Grubaugh Hileman's life for over 52 years. Only at work did people call him Jim. Everywhere else in life, he was known as Jim & Betty as he was rarely involved in anything that Betty wasn't by his side. They made a Marriage Encounter weekend in 1977 and devoted themselves to a life of love. They worked with WWME in America and Europe for over 20 years presenting weekends, holding leadership positions and training other couples to do the same. When Jim and Greta Morris brought Living in Love to Lynchburg in 2002, Jim and Betty were on the weekend. Then in 2009, they recruited and helped present a Living in Love weekend themselves and were trained to run the Living in Love Everyday follow- up course. Never too old to live passionately in love, Jim and Betty were and always will be an inspiration to us all.
Jim & Betty had a deep love of God and served Him in every way possible, from teaching baptism classes to helping with funerals. Jim was a member of Parish Council, and a lector. He also cherished taking Communion to shut-ins, and was a one-man welcoming committee at liturgy, finding someone every Sunday that he didn't know, introducing himself and making sure they felt at home.
He spent his life teaching us how to live and at the end, he taught us how to die. He will be painfully missed by everyone whose life he touched. Condolences may be sent to Betty and the family by
Fundraising Thank You! - Still time to donate
Thank you to all those who have already responded to the PMRC Annual Fundraising mailing that went out in early November. The limited mailing was addressed to couples who have supported the PMRC in the past and who have recently experienced Living in Love. If you did not receive a personal mailing and would like to, please let us know or simply drop a check in the mail. 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.
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.”
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!