We came into this marriage seminar thinking that it was going to be a waste of time. This seminar was just one more thing we needed to cross off our list to do. We are happy to say that we were wrong. We have to admit that without this seminar we would have never looked at marriage the way we do now. Our outlook on life and marriage has changed in a way that we never thought possible.
Kathleen & Matthew
Following Christ in the Vocation of Marriage and understanding the Trinity is something we had never thought about before. We had talked about 'always loving each other until death do us part,' but we understand that our love has to be the same unconditional love that God has for us. We will ultimately learn the MOST about love, through love. We should model our marriage after the example of Jesus Christ and that this will help us in our ultimate goal, which is to get to Heaven.
Ashley & Jeremy
We never understood the importance of going to Mass every Sunday and that it was a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday. Now that we understand the 'why' behind what we are doing, especially the Mass, we are excited to go each week and can't imagine life without it. Instead of seeing it merely as a commandment to be followed, we are going to Mass because we love the commandment and where it is leading us: closer to God and one another.
Cindy & Tim
As a non-Catholic, I was a bit hesitant to attend the seminars. But I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn about my fiancés faith. After two days, we really felt that we grew closer together spiritually. I didn't realize how passionate my husband-to-be is about his faith and I have never seen him so happy and satisfied in a long time. This experience has brought us valuable tools for our future marriage.
Jessica & Frank
After the first weekend of the seminar, we have learned to have deeper conversations, to really listen to each other and to think of each other as one, no longer two. We have talked in detail about our different love languages and are both seeing HUGE changes.
Heather & John
The section on growing in virtue really made us think about what is important in life: growing out of our selfishness and sin so as to develop good habits and virtues that will sustain us and keep us in relationship with God and each other.
Erin & Jesse
Prior to the seminar, we were confident that every stone had been upturned and we had consciously discussed every aspect of our future. However, the One in Christ seminar has opened our eyes to the reality that our idea of the 'perfect life' may not go according to plan. Before the seminar, our conversations sounded a lot like this: a condo in the city, traveling to exotic locales before having kids, and focusing on our careers before expanding our family. And then once the kids entered the picture (of course we would have three to four, all perfectly timed according to plan), we would move to a beautiful house in the suburbs. As you may be able to tell, we are planners. The seminar has taught us that we are not alone in the planning process. In fact, the reality is that we have a relatively passive role in the planning process, and God is really in charge. Although this realization has, in effect, compromised our 'plan,' it has not compromised our hearts. We have become more open to God's grace and will in our lives than ever before.
Ellie & Justin
We initially thought we were well-versed on the Church's teaching on marriage, children, contraceptives and abortion, but soon realized just how little we really knew. It was enlightening that the seminar and readings did more than simply tell us the Church's teachings. They taught us the reasoning behind the teachings and showed us what living those teachings looks like in action through the couples that spoke. Now we see how practicing the church's teachings will strengthen our love, our marriage and our family.
Tori & Dan
Through the One in Christ discussions and readings, we have come to fully understand that the conjugal love act is a renewal of wedding vows, which is meaningless outside of the sacrament of marriage. After last weekend's seminar, we have chosen to discontinue the use of birth control and commit ourselves to chastity. We eagerly await fully giving ourselves to each other through our marriage vows and blessings that the unitive and procreative aspects of marriage will bring to our lives. We are forever grateful for the impacts this seminar has had on our lives and upcoming marriage.
Clare & Jay
Honestly, I don't think anyone in all of my nine years of Catholic education, ever explained to me the importance of choosing life over self. In fact, I don't think anyone took the time to talk about the value of my virginity either. We were told not to have sex because we didn't want to deal with the consequences: a baby. All I could think when I read through the articles was, 'Why didn't anybody explain this to me?' We want to know more. Not just about Natural Family Planning and good communication in our marriage, but more about everything. We want to read Scripture and pray together, to study the bible and get involved in the Church. We want to lead a long, happy life as husband and wife. We want to encourage others to do so, too.
Alanna & Jason
Going into this seminar our mentality was, 'It's our life, we have the right to plan it as we see fit.' After the seminar and contemplating on what the unitive and procreative end mean, the description of our mentality has not changed, but rather the meaning has. Whereas the initial thought was 'we' meant 'you and I,' it is now understood that 'we' includes God, as we welcome Him into our marriage.
Rachel & PJ
In regards to Natural Family Planning, God knew we would want to have sex and he knew that we would not always want to have children with every marital act. So, he gave us a way to naturally prevent or space child birth while still remaining open to the life and building up of the unitive end of marriage. We look forward to becoming co-creators with God as we embrace the selfless and natural way of Natural Family Planning.
Jennifer & Chris
We also think that we just assumed that it is in God's plan to allow every married couple the opportunity to have children, so we wanted to make sure we are in control of when we started to have children and how many we had. After having a few conversations together, we realized that a few couples in our lives were unable to have children and sometimes that is part of God's plan. It is selfish for us to try to control what God has already planned out for us, and we need to allow ourselves to be open to His gift. We are fully ready to accept the gift of life in whatever manner God gives us. However, we also decided that if God does not bless us with having our own children, we would want to consider adoption to help give a life to someone who may not be as fortunate.