Marriage Preparation

Francis Address to Engaged Couples

Afraid Your Marriage Won’t Last? Here’s a Simple Way to Make Sure It Does (HINT: It’s Endorsed by the Pope)

By | Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Preparation, Spirituality | One Comment

The name of the Together for Life book is no coincidence. When couples join together in holy matrimony they vow to be true to each other in sickness and health as long as they both shall live. They vow to be together for life. Today, however, many people are afraid of making such a long-term commitment. In a recent address by Pope Francis to engaged couples (actually it was more like a Q and A with the pope), he expressed this unfortunate tenancy in our culture that leads us to fear forever. Pope Francis spoke about this fear, saying, “[This is] a general fear that comes from our culture. To make life decisions seems impossible. Today everything changes so quickly, nothing lasts long.” The Holy Father went on to point out a common practice of many couples who decide that when the sentiment is gone, the marriage should end as…

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Dr. Anthony Garascia

Free Webinar: Before They Do: Helping Couples Prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage

By | Marriage Preparation | No Comments

All marriage preparation coordinators and volunteers are invited to join Ave Maria Press for a webinar with tips on designing effective programs to prepare couples for the Sacrament of Matrimony. On Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 3:00pm EDT, Dr. Anthony Garascia will be the featured presenter in the ongoing Ave Maria Press Professional Development Webinar Series. In this Webinar, titled “Before They Do: Helping Couples Prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage,” Dr. Anthony Garascia will focus on how host couples or group sessions can help engaged couples prepare best for their marriage. Critical issues of communication and conflict resolution will be addressed, as well as suggestions on how to integrate the FOCCUS and Prepare-Enrich inventories into the marriage preparation. Sign up for the webinar today!   Dr. Garascia is the author of the marriage preparation book, Before “I Do”, published by Ave Maria Press. Before “I Do” helps engaged couples examine the…

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Financial Questions for Married Couples

Financial Questions and Answers for Engaged Couples

By | Finances, Marriage Preparation | 2 Comments

We were so thankful for Dan Lloyd’s article on the “Ten Financial Tips for Newlyweds” that we asked a few follow-up financial questions for engaged couples. Thanks to Dan and Catholic Financial Life for contributing!  1. What should engaged couples and newly married couples focus on first? Debt? Investing? Buying a house? A newly married couple’s focus will vary based on their financial goals and situation. Generally, achievement of one objective will lead to another. For example, if you do not have an established credit rating, you should focus on getting your debt under control. Once your debt is manageable, you will be able to focus on saving, which leads to the opportunity to purchase a home, invest for the future, or achieve other financial goals. 2. What is the best way to resolve conflicts and disagreements about financial matters? Your marriage partnership is also a financial partnership and it’s…

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Financial Tips for Newlyweds

Ten Financial Tips for Newly Married Catholic Couples

By | Finances, Marriage Preparation | No Comments

We contacted Catholic Financial Life to give Catholic couples a few short tips on managing their finances, especially when just starting out in a marriage. Financial advisor Dan Lloyd, was nice enough to share these ten financial tips for newlyweds: 1. Set Your Financial Goals Discuss your short-term and long-term goals together and write them down. Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-based, and Timed. 2. Open a Checking and Savings Account Set up a joint account for household expenses. Do not use check cashing stores because the effective annual interest rate can be as high as 900%. 3. Communicate and Participate Your marriage partnership is also a financial partnership.  Both spouses should be involved in the household finances. Set guidelines for financial decisions and talk regularly about your progress towards your financial goals. 4. Create a Budget Start by tracking two months of income and expenses. If your…

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Pope Benedict XVI & Engaged Couples

Pope Benedict XVI’s Top Tips for Engaged Couples

By | Marriage Preparation, Spirituality | No Comments

Not long ago Pope Benedict XVI addressed a group of engaged couples with tips and well wishes on their new journeys of love. His message imparts wisdom to couples preparing for the lifelong commitment of marriage and reminds married couples of the significance of their vocation to love one another. Benedict XVI crafted his message around the key wedding story in the Gospels: the wedding feast at Cana. In particular, he reminds us of Jesus’ significant act within the story, turning of water into wine. The celebration was missing the wine and Jesus provided it! Today, wine is lacking from our own celebration of marriage. If so, what are we drinking instead? And, what is the real pleasure of the celebration that we long for? 3 Tips from the Papal Address to Engaged Couples 1. Remember, Marriage Isn’t Going to Be Easy “Ours is not an easy time, above all…

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Communication and the Theology of the Body

Effective Communication and the Theology of the Body

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Preparation | No Comments

The topic of “communication” is popular in marriage preparation programs and pre-Cana retreats. There is nearly always a witness talk on communication in marriage, because it is so important to the success of any relationship. These are often very practical and personal talks. But what about the spiritual side of communication? What does communication have to do with theology? John Paul II’s Theology of the Body provides an important spiritual perspective on the topic of “communication” that can help frame these witness talks and other marriage preparation discussions about communication between couples. To put it simply, we communicate the truth about ourselves as married couples through our bodies. This act of communication should reveal what is at our deepest core: we are made in the image and likeness of God as a communion of persons. Communication in Conventional Language John Paul II specifically addresses “communication” in his catecheses on Genesis…

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Getting Married: Using Social Media to Celebrate the Sacred

Social Media and Marriage: An Interview with Meredith Gould

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Preparation | 2 Comments

Today we are excited to welcome Meredith Gould, author and social media evangelist, to Together for Life Online. Meredith is the author of the book, Getting #Married: Using Social Media to Celebrate the Sacred. In a world increasingly plugged-in and connected via social media, this topic comes at a critical time for couples preparing for marriage as well as those who are already married. She has some interesting ideas about integrating social media into all facets of weddings and marriage. Enjoy. How can couples effectively use social media to prepare for their marriage? While it may seem like an exaggeration, I believe every social media platform has the potential for effective use by couples preparing for marriage—and I do mean marriage in addition to wedding prep. In Getting #Married: Using Social Media to Celebrate the Sacred, I explain how my husband and I used Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to allow…

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New Together for Life Booklet Cover

A History of Together for Life

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It is traditional in many places for a bride to wear or carry “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” on her wedding day. As you prepare for your Catholic wedding by using the Together for Life booklet, you might like to know that it, too, is both “something old and something new.” In 2010 Together for Life marked its fortieth year of continuous publication. It was most likely around this time when your parents got married and they may well have used it. It might be fun to ask them if they recall using the book and how they went about planning their wedding ceremony. Together for Life was the brainchild of a young priest from Syracuse, New York, Fr. Joseph Champlin. Throughout his fifty years of ministry, Fr. Champlin had a special love for working with engaged couples. So when the Church issued a revised Rite…

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