Press Release: 2-27-2013
A New-Evangelization Approach – Inviting Married Couples to Go on a Date
In this Year of Faith Catholic parishes around the country are reaching out to the people in their communities to spread the Good News. Married couples are one of the groups pastors want to reach. Pope Benedict XVI stated at the opening of the Synod on the New Evangelization: “There is a clear link between the crisis in faith and the crisis in marriage.” In fact, researchers are finding that couples that practice their faith are more likely to be successful in their marriage.
Among the programs used by parishes to help married couples grow in faith two stand out for their ease of use and their effectiveness. They are: SIX DATES for Catholic Couples, and The BEATITUDES: A Couple’s Path to Greater Joy.
The effectiveness of these programs is tied to their approach, which is appealing especially to busy couples with young children at home. With these programs parishes invite spouses to go on regular dates. Couples bring their children to the parish for childcare, watch a short video, and then go to their date on their own, as they did before they got married. Spouses are also given conversation starters on the subject of the evening. The topics range from remembering our love story, to the meaning of Christian marriage, the problem of selfishness, to living the Beatitudes in our daily life.
The experience of dating is natural/organic to the marital relationship. In today’s busy world spouses know that spending time together is good for their marriage, but often other priorities take precedence. Couples welcome such invitation from their pastors.
Parishes have found that these programs are well received and appreciated by spouses. One husband wrote: “That was the best date Melissa and I have had in years! Just wanted to thank you for arranging all of this.” Another couple said: “The program reminded us of what we as Catholics believe about marriage.”
Many parishes across the USA are offering these programs in 2013, especially during Lent. Pastors recognize the need to strengthen marriages by strengthening a couple’s faith.
Find out more about these programs at: www.happy-together.net.