Enhance Your Ministry to Engaged and Married Couples

The Challenge:

Gathered Events: A Double-Edged Sword

Group events and weekend retreats can be great for getting engaged couples together for fellowship and learning.

One drawback: as soon as you have more than one couple in the room, it is difficult to speak to any of their unique needs.

The Solution:

Enhance your gathered events with customized learning resources.

Marriage Ministries offers a continually-expanding toolbox of content designed to speak to the unique circumstances of your engaged couples.

Now you can tailor each PreCana experience to meet today’s couples where they are.

Now You Can Minister to Specific Situations

Cohabitation

For many couples these days, living together seems like a logical step in their progression towards marriage.

In this section, we address cohabitation by citing studies that have clearly illustrated the pitfalls associated with cohabitation. The presenter, psychologist Dr. James Healy, walks through the steps toward commitment and shares ways for couples to match their actions with theirs beliefs as they enter into Catholic marriage as a couple equal in dignity, authority, and power.

Military Couples

All marriages have challenges, but there are certain very real challenges that are unique to military couples.

Father Matt Foley discusses how military couples can stay strong in the face of deployment, distance, separation, and other dynamics they are likely to face. A priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Father Foley was the U.S. Army chaplain at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and served three deployments in Afghanistan.

Children of Divorce

This section provides background on how coming from a family of divorce may affect a marriage.

  • How your engaged and newly-married couples can make it work
  • How your couples can avoid having what happened their parents happen to them as well
  • How they can make sure their kids do not have to go through what they experienced as children

Those issues and more are discussed in this section, featuring respected author and researcher, Elizabeth Marquardt, herself a child of divorce.

Second Marriages

The divorce rate for second marriages is even higher than the rate for first marriages.

In that light, the preparation process for couples entering into second marriages is of heightened importance. If a person has been married and divorced, they must contact their Tribunal to find out if they need a Declaration of Nullity (commonly called an annulment) before they are free to marry again in the Church.

In this section, our presenting couple offers encouragement as they share their annulment experience and skills learned to help them have a successful second marriage.

Forming a Stepfamily

Stepfamilies may look just like other families, but the challenges of integrating children into the new marital relationship can be a surprise for unprepared couples.

This section addresses topics of interest to couples whose marriage will form a stepfamily, whether the children will live with them or not.

The length of time it takes for a stepfamily to “gel” together, parenting, and dealing with “exes” are discussed by Elsie Radtke (Archdiocese of Chicago), who is part of a stepfamily.

Strengthening African American Catholic Marriages

Social data reveals that African American families are particularly in crisis, having the lowest marriage rate compared to all measured groups, while also having the highest divorce rate.

In this section, Andrew and Terri Lyke offer encouragement and suggestions for having a successful marriage. They have been married nearly 40 years.

Andrew is the Director of the Office for Black Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago. He has been involved in ministry to the Church in a variety of ways over the past 30+ years.

Interfaith and Interchurch Marriages

All marriages involve some differences in faith, even for couples that share the same religion.

We are unique individuals with various histories and backgrounds, so our perceptions and understanding about God and our faith experiences will always differ. Couples marrying today, whether they are of the same religious heritage or not, face the same challenge as couples two millennium ago — to combine all the aspects of their lives, especially their religious beliefs, to create that triple braided cord.

Demystifying the Catholic Wedding Ceremony

Todd Williamson

Todd Williamson, Presenter

Do you find yourself constantly answering the same questions from couples about what is allowed for their wedding?

Engaged couples preparing for a Catholic wedding are understandably confused about what is allowed in a Catholic ceremony. Unanswered questions can lead to unnecessary stress and misinformation as they plan for this most important part of their wedding day.

Responding to requests from diocesan and parish leaders, we produced a video to answer the most commonly asked questions from couples about ceremony planning.

With plain-spoken explanations about the rules and traditions behind the answers, couples’ questions are answered about interfaith marriage, whether to have a full mass or ceremony, destination weddings, the involvement of non-Catholics, the size of the bridal party, music and more.

When your engaged couples ask about what they can (and can’t) do for their wedding, simply point them to this site!

A Versatile Tool in Your Ministry Toolbox

We have developed professionally-produced, high-quality video presentations to assist you in your ministry to engaged and newly married couples. By directing your couples to these videos and supplemental resources that pertain to each couple’s unique circumstances, you can personalize their marriage preparation and enrichment experience.

Whether your engaged couples attend a traditional gathered PreCana event, a weekend retreat, or if they complete a comprehensive online Catholic marriage preparation course, the FREE resources offered through this website will help to customize and deepen their experience.

For your newly-married couples, we developed a variety of resources on pertinent topics that they can easily access here. The monthly featured videos and resources will help your newly-married couples to establish the habit of nurturing their new marital relationships.

Next Steps

Interested? Wondering what to do next? 

Simply register to gain access to the site. If you have questions, ideas, or want to talk with us, we would love to hear from you. Just click one of the buttons below.

Frank Hannigan

Using these professionally-produced online video segments enables every engaged couple to have a personalized marriage preparation experience designed just for them. This new “blended learning system” combines both the traditional experience of interacting with other engaged couples and the personalized customization that educators say works so well for learners. It’s the next big step in marriage preparation and there is no cost to the engaged or to you!

Frank HanniganDirector of Marriage and Family Ministries, Archdiocese of Chicago

More online programs offered by Marriage Ministries

Online Catholic Marriage Prep Class

Learn NFP Online