I represented PREPARE-ENRICH and the Couple Checkup at a national conference last week hosted by the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers. The goal of the conference was to develop “marriage-building” parishes and churches. A lofty goal, no doubt.
Like other conferences, there were great speakers, exhibits, workshops, networking to be had, etc., etc. If you’ve ever been to a professional conference, you know the routine; they’re all pretty similar. What set this one apart for me was the passion and drive of all the people there. The conference was full of individuals, couples, entire families, priests, deacons, and business people who believed whole-heartedly that healthy marriages and relationships make a difference in the well-being of individuals – and in the health of the church. These are the people that faithfully work with couples in relationship crisis, those looking to go from good to great, and those who just were never given a good example of what happy and healthy marriages could look like. Everybody I talked to said they were driven by their faith and its prominent role in their own marriage.
Whether or not you’ve ever darkened or intend to darken the door of a church, I think you’d agree with me that the people at this conference (and others like it) are often unsung heroes that toil in anonymity, doing everything they can to make sure folks like you and I have a safe place to turn to when our marriage is struggling. They provide resources, classes, counseling, coaching, assessments, retreats, books, CDs, etc. They believe wholeheartedly in the mission of supporting healthy marriages – maybe your marriage, or my marriage – and they do it without a huge paycheck, without recognition, without even knowing if what they’re doing is always making a difference. I appreciate them. I applaud their efforts, their outreaches, their work to make sure you and I have a place to turn when our marriages need it.
If you live in Southern California, and you would like to participate in the PREPARE-ENRICH program, please contact: