Marriage Preparation Tools

wed-5.gif · 1) Give couples an outstanding "marriage prep packet".
· 2) Set out a table with additional resources.
· 3) Build a powerful Marriage Preparation Curriculum.
· 4) Create a library for couples, presenters, and mentors.
· 5) Provide resources for Hispanic couples as needed.


There is now an online marriage preparation service that works with local Marriage support personal and allows couples in unusual situations (such as one partner being overseas for the time being) to complete a full featured marriage preparation program.


Why Marriage Preparation Matters

The goal of Marriage Preparation is to bring about superb marriages, the kind of marriages where people say, "Aren’t they a wonderful couple!" and mean it. The realities of our culture make this extremely challenging. Nearly all of the couples who come to the Church for marriage are already sexually active with one another; nearly all of them are using contraceptives* to avoid pregnancy before marriage, and half to three quarters of them are already living together. By their lifestyle choices, they have already convinced themselves that the Church has nothing to tell them about male-female relationships or fertility management, and certainly nothing worthwhile to say about sexuality.

So why do they come? Plainly they are looking for something more than they can get from cohabitation. They know from observation of other couples (and possibly their own bitter experience) just how fragile sexual relationships outside of marriage can be. They want something better for themselves and hope that a gorgeous public ceremony or maybe some mysterious "blessing" from the Church can give them that extra something.

So what can the Church do for them? Well, Jesus gave us the best teaching on marriage and relationships ever delivered, and John Paul II has taken that teaching and packaged it so well that we now know more about what makes a marriage work (and what doesn’t) than ever before, and this knowledge is mostly available only through the Catholic Church.

Marriage is a fine-tuned, extremely powerful biological/psychological/spiritual package. Marriage moves couples to create the very best setting for bringing up resourceful, contributing members of society.
That setting is the human family with two highly involved parents. The family, however, revolves around the wholehearted sexual donation of each spouse to the other. Anything that attacks that relationship is highly destructive to marriage and the family. Pornography, for example, involves the husband with imaginary sexual images instead of his wife. Both partners are clearly aware of this disconnection, and sexual activity becomes divisive instead of unitive, with typically disastrous consequences. Birth control is even worse. Contracepted sex is the individual pursuit of physical/emotional gratification instead of a mutual pursuit of greater love and family involvement. This self-centered sex, unlike family-oriented sex, has devastating effects, for example, the huge increase in divorce that has come about as our culture has become saturated with birth control.

Marriage preparation programs can now clearly teach what factors, such as birth control, attack the marriage bond and what factors, such as accepting children, support and enhance it. We owe a great debt to John Paul II, because now we can tell couples not only what to do (and avoid) for a life-long, excellent relationship, but we can also tell them why these practices make such a remarkable difference. Effective marriage preparation, however, calls for a thorough re-education of the trainers as well as the trainees, since all of us are immersed in a culture where sexual values are highly distorted.

This is absolutely worth the effort. Healthy marriages lead to loving families. Loving families lead to functional, productive communities—a culture of life, a Civilization of Love. Anything we can do to foster this society will have an enormous payoff!

Four steps to take:



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How living together without marriage has devastating consequences for the people involved, and proven strategies for helping couples achieve a satisfying and long-lasting relationship.

Cardinal Egan presents a beautiful picture of an unborn, 20 week old baby and challenges the viewer to see what is plainly displayed.

A version of Donum Vitae (the Vatican statement on the rights and dignity of newly conceived humans). The authors discuss numerous reproductive issues: in vitro fertilization, cloning, use of embryonic stem cells, embryo adoption, and much more.
Living Together: Myths, Risks, and Answers
CODE: BLTM
Just Look
CODE: PJLE
The Dignity of a Person (Dignitatis Personae)
CODE: BDOP
Price: $19.99


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Price: $5.95



BFRE.jpg

How to take the Theology of the Body  into our hearts and to let this interior transformation reshape our lives.

Pam takes her famous "Sex Has a Price Tag" presentation to a new level. In four talks (2 about an hour long, 2 about a half hour) she gives teens all the motivation and tools they need to make sexual choices that will support their lives and not destroy them. Expressed in Evangelical Protestant terms, this presentation is one that any teen could relate to. Includes a leader's guide on CD.
Freedom: 12 Lives Transformed by the Theology of the Body
CODE: BFRE
Into the Heart: A Journey Through the Theology of the Body (8 DVDs)
CODE: SIHP
Love Lessons - Purity is Possible!
CODE: DLLP
Price: $13.99


Price: $159.95
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Price: $50.00



The Kansas Catholic Conference provides clear, practical help for couples caught up in the potentially disastrous lifestyle of cohabitation.

The testimony of a man who reluctantly agreed to stop using contraception and try Natural Family Planning in his marriage. What followed, in his heart, his marriage, and his family, was nothing short of a miracle.

Humanae Vitae proclaimed the beauty of marital sex unburdened by obstacles opposing fertility. This book explains and defends that teaching.
Pastoral Letter on Cohabitation Before Marriage
CODE: KCBM
1 Free copy of It Brought Me Back to God (with any purchase or donation)
CODE: FIBM
Sex Au Naturel
CODE: BSAN
Price: $2.00


Price: $0.00



Price: $12.95



 The material is presented in 14 short chapters on topics such as meeting men the old-fashioned way, things to consider before committing, and fighting for respect and chastity.

Practically speaking, widespread use of contraception has led directly to massive increases of divorce and abortion. Personal union and yearning for fertility are written physically into the structure of sexual relations, and shutting down one of these aspects hurts the whole relationship.There are practical, workable steps we can take to regain the overflowing life that God desires for us.

If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility, this pamphlet is an indispensable resource.
How to Get to "I Do"
CODE: BHID
1 Free copy Why Contraception Matters (with any purchase or donation)
CODE: FWCM
Infertility and Reproductive Technology A Guide for Catholics
CODE: KIRT
Price: $14.99


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Price: $2.95



This book shows that if you want to maximize your chances of marital fulfillment, you absolutely must avoid using contraception.

Teaching of the Church in light of our culture regarding sexual behavior.

Describes the concept of NaproTechnology as a natural technique for solving the problem of infertility while remaining faithful to Catholic social teaching.
Who's at the Centre of YOUR Marriage...The Pill or Jesus Christ?
CODE: BPJC
Humanae Vitae On the Regulation of Birth Pope Paul Vl
CODE: CHVB
NaProTechnology as an Authentic Treatment for Infertility
CODE: CNTI
Price: $10.00


Price: $12.00


Price: $8.00



What every engaged couple needs to know before they enter into marriage in the Catholic Church.

20 couples, who chose sterilization, tell how they received the grace to get sterilization reversals.

For those who understand the basics of the Theology of the Body and want to go further, Christopher shows how to take these teachings into our hearts and to let the interior transformation reshape our lives.
When Two Become One
CODE: DWTO
Sterilization Reversal - A Generous Act of Love [PDF] 2003 edition
CODE: BSRApdf
Into the Heart: A Journey Through the Theology of the Body
CODE: SIHP
Price: $15.00


Price: $6.00
[this product is electronically distributed]


Price: $199.95


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