Often much time is spent in preparation for the wedding day. The goal of the Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program is to prepare couples for their married life together beyond the ceremony. It is a two-day overnight seminar designed to assist couples in building a foundation for a lifelong marriage in Christ.
|“The goal of the Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program is to prepare couples for their married life together beyond the ceremony. ”|
As you approach this most profound decision to vow lifelong marriage, the two days of focused time away from everyday life can afford you great soul-searching together as a couple.
Time spent at the program is intentional time: It is different than time spent in our busy work and home lives in which we multi-task and complete tasks as quickly as possible. These two days are set aside for couples to focus exclusively on their relationship without distractions of everyday life. The reality is that most of us find it difficult to carve out time from our busy schedules for deliberate, intentional work on our relationships. The Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program is designed to give couples this intentional time together and with God. While you will have the opportunity to meet other couples, the majority of your time will be spent in one-on-one dialogue with your fiancé.
|“The reality is that most of us find it difficult to carve out time from our busy schedules for deliberate, intentional work on our relationships"|
Seminar Format: The program is made up of presentations on many topics relevant to the Sacrament of Marriage. These presentations include video clips, short articles, and stories from married couple facilitators. Following each presentation, participants are given individual time to write responses to specific questions relating to the topic. After they have written their answers, then couples are given dialogue time in which to read each other’s responses and discuss their answers in light of their upcoming marriage.
|Topics include:||Meaning of the Marriage Vows & Wedding Rings
God’s Plan for Marriage & Sacrificial Love
Communication & Conflict
Grace of the Marriage Bond
The Five Love Languages
Sexuality & Children
Finances & Stewardship
Prayer: There are times for prayer including Lectio divina (praying with scripture together) and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Sunday Mass will be celebrated together at the Pax Christi Chapel.
Natural Family Planning: The program also includes Part I of Natural Family Planning Instruction in the Billings Ovulation Method. Couples will review basic fertility and learn how to recognize changing signs of fertility in the woman’s body. Natural Family Planning, Part II is comprised of 4-6 chart reviews with a Billings Teacher and includes instruction in how to use the Billings Method to postpone or achieve pregnancy. Chart reviews assist a couple in gaining proficiency in the Billings Ovulation Method. After completion of the Part I Instruction, a woman begins noting her fertile/infertile symptoms daily and charts these in her paper record or online record. The first chart review occurs 2-3 weeks subsequent to the Part I Instruction. This allows the woman adequate time to chart prior to meeting with a Billings Teacher. At the chart reviews, your Billings teacher will help you understand the woman’s unique symptoms and guide you in accurate charting. While at the Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program, you will have the opportunity to schedule this first chart review. If you reside outside of the Corpus Christi diocese, please contact the Office of Family Life to discuss your chart review options.
Accommodations: Participants stay overnight at the Pax Christi Retreat Center in double occupancy rooms. You will need to bring your own toiletries, towels and bed linens or sleeping bag. Air conditioning is centrally-controlled; planning to dress in layers will insure your comfort.
Meals: Meals are provided during the Seminar (Lunch & Dinner on Saturday and Breakfast & Lunch on Sunday). If you have dietary restrictions, please contact the Office of Family Life. At the Seminar, a communal table with snacks and drinks will be available to you. We ask that you bring your favorite snack and drink to share.
Pax Christi Bookstore: The Pax Christi Sisters have a bookstore that will be open Saturday. You will have time in which you can shop for books or religious goods. If you do not already have a family Bible, this may be a great opportunity in which to purchase one. The store is closed Sundays.