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Marriage Retreat #1: “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan”

Day One: Marriage is a Blessing and a Gift Breaking Open the Theme “Among the many blessings that God has showered upon us in Christ is the blessing of marriage, a gift bestowed by the Creator from the creation of the human race” (USCCB, Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, p. 1). The […]


Marriage Retreat #2: “A Retreat with Pope Francis”

Day One: Marriage is the Icon of God’s Love Pope Francis: “The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together. This is the image of God: love, God’s covenant with us is represented in that covenant between man […]


“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Seven: Take Forward the Meaning of Family

“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Seven: Take Forward the Meaning of Family

Pope Francis: “Do not hide your faith, do not hide Jesus, but carry him into the world and offer the witness of your family life!” (Meeting with Families in the Philippines, January 16, 2015) Breaking open the theme: Did you know that families are called to be missionaries? For some families, that may mean moving […]


“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Six: The Family as the Birthplace of Communication and Love

“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Six: The Family as the Birthplace of Communication and Love

Pope Francis: “In the family, we learn to embrace and support one another, to discern the meaning of facial expressions and moments of silence, to laugh and cry together… This greatly helps us to understand the meaning of communication as recognizing and creating closeness.” (World Communications Day 2015, January 23, 2015) Breaking open the theme: […]


“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Five: Three Pillars of the Spousal Relationship

“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Five: Three Pillars of the Spousal Relationship

Pope Francis: “Faithfulness, perseverance, and fruitfulness are the three pillars of Christ’s love for His bride, the Church – three characteristics that are also at the heart of Christian marriage.” (Mass in Casa Santa Marta with Fifteen Married Couples, June 11, 2014) Breaking open the theme: When constructing a building, a blueprint is essential. When […]


“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Four: Christ Gives Couples the Confidence to Say “Yes” Forever

“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Four: Christ Gives Couples the Confidence to Say “Yes” Forever

Pope Francis: “We must not allow ourselves to be conquered by a ‘throwaway culture’. This fear of ‘forever’ is cured by entrusting oneself day by day to the Lord Jesus in a life that becomes a daily spiritual path of mutual growth, step by step.” (Valentine’s Day Address to Engaged Couples, February 14, 2014) Breaking […]


“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Three: The Family is the Domestic Church

“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Three: The Family is the Domestic Church

Pope Francis: “Families are the domestic Church, where Jesus grows; he grows in the love of spouses, he grows in the lives of children.” (National Convocation of the “Renewal of the Spirit,” June 4, 2014) Breaking open the theme: The family can be seen as a domestic Church in two main ways, as explained in […]


“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Two: Christian Love is Concrete

“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day Two: Christian Love is Concrete

Pope Francis: “You see that the love John speaks of [1 Jn 4:11-18] is not the love of soap operas! No, it is something else. Christian love has a particular quality: concreteness. Jesus Himself, when He speaks of love, speaks to us about concrete things: feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, and many concrete things. […]


“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day One: Marriage is the Icon of God’s Love

“Retreat with Pope Francis” Day One: Marriage is the Icon of God’s Love

Pope Francis: “The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together. This is the image of God: love, God’s covenant with us is represented in that covenant between man and woman. And this is very beautiful!” (General Audience, […]


Try a Little Kindness

Try a Little Kindness

Kindness is an essential virtue in a healthy and happy marriage. A recent study conducted in various cultures around the world asked people to name the trait they desired most in a mate. For both sexes, people overwhelmingly wanted their mates to be kind. What does kindness in marriage look like?


Who Me, Pray?… With Her?

Who Me, Pray?… With Her?

How many times have you heard the suggestion to pray together as a couple? But how do you actually going about doing something that can seem strange and awkward, at least at first? Here are some practical tips.


7 Signs of a Functional Relationship

7 Signs of a Functional Relationship

During my year studying Interpersonal Communications, I was introduced to the work of one of the top researchers in marriage and relationship health, Dr. John M. Gottman. Throughout my post college years, I have kept up with his research. He is most famous for developing a formula that accurately predicts divorce after observing a couple interact with one another […]


How Cell Phones Can Hurt Your Relationship

How Cell Phones Can Hurt Your Relationship

People tell me that they are not good at talking on the phone or face to face and so resort to texting. My question is, “What would you have done before cell phones?” Well, they would have developed their communicate skills and overcome their inability. But that is not the case today. Unfortunately, it’s far […]


The Blessing of “Unanswered Prayers”: An Adoption Story

The Blessing of “Unanswered Prayers”: An Adoption Story

November is national adoption month. Read MaryPat and Tom’s story about adopting four children after experiencing the heartache of infertility. “We could not even begin to have known how much more joy God’s plan for us would bring,” writes MaryPat.


Life Matters: Domestic Violence

Life Matters: Domestic Violence

October is both Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Respect Life Month. In this Respect Life pamphlet, psychologist Frank J. Moncher, PhD recognizes the painful assault on human dignity that is domestic violence.


Help for Men and Women Struggling with Pornography Use

Pornography has become increasingly more available and accepted in today’s society. Both men and women of all ages have become entangled in the lies and pain of pornography use and even addiction, which has devastating effects on the user and his or her spouse and family. It is important that those who are using pornography […]


The Song: A Call to Unquenchable Love

The Song: A Call to Unquenchable Love

New music-driven film opening Sept. 26, 2014, inspired by Solomon’s “Song of Songs,” tells an unflinching, believable story of love, marriage, betrayal and redemption, with a final note of hope for all marriages.


Praying the Way of the Cross as a Family

Praying the Way of the Cross as a Family

Stations of the Cross is a revered Lenten tradition. Parish DRE Daniel Allen reflects on the Stations in light of the vocation of marriage and the realities of family life.


“Just Wait”: A Letter from a Newlywed Couple

“Just Wait”: A Letter from a Newlywed Couple

Newlyweds Rocco and Valerie tell engaged couples and fellow newlyweds to “just wait”…because you have so much joy ahead of you!


A Lesson In Love From Our Dying Son

A Lesson In Love From Our Dying Son

In the fall of 2011, my husband Patrick and I had been married eight years and our family was rapidly growing. Our oldest child had just turned six and we were expecting our fifth child in December. John Paul was born on December 6, 2011. We knew immediately that something was very wrong.


Patience: Key to a Lasting Marriage

Patience: Key to a Lasting Marriage

When long-married couples are asked the recipe for marital success, many identify patience as a key ingredient. It’s the indispensable virtue for living together day after day in relative peace, without constant struggles to change the other to our liking.


Till Death Do Us Part

Till Death Do Us Part

In this excerpt from the book “It Is Well” by Chris Faddis, the author writes about the last days with his wife Angela, who died of cancer at age 32. “Oh, that this ring could keep you here longer. It is a mark of our commitment; it is my promise to love you with my whole heart, and yet there is a love greater than mine that will take you soon.”


On Relics and Romance

On Relics and Romance

What could relics – for example, a body part of a saint – possibly have to do with romance? The author writes about praying in front of a relic of St. Francis Xavier (feast day: Dec. 3rd) and what it taught him about marital love.


Loving Parents After Miscarriage

Note: the following is re-posted with permission from the USCCB Life Issues Forum. A friend who recently lost a child through miscarriage called to express disappointment that she didn’t know where to turn for the resources and support she and her husband so desperately needed. This heartbreaking conversation reminded me of another friend who miscarried […]


The Family in Service of Life: An Adoption Story

The Family in Service of Life: An Adoption Story

November is national adoption month. Rob and Robin Laird share their experience of adopting six children from foster care. “God…gave us the gift of serving the lives of those children He placed before us, and we are ever grateful for this gift.”


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