against the odds a time for rediscovery
In an article, Can the Church Help Hurting Marriages posted on the Catholic Online website, Father Jerry Foley references a survey conducted by the Associated Press. The news agency asked divorce lawyers what are the main causes of divorce. The lawyers responded citing the No. 1 problem among couples was a lack of communication skills. The other major cause – couples drifting apart. “No wonder,” said Father Foley. Yale University studies indicated the average American couple communicates only two minutes a day!
With half of all marriages in the United States ending in divorce, the Catholic Church has responded by developing a faith-based ministry called Retrouvaille (a French word for rediscovery).
Retrouvaille is a program designed to salvage troubled marriages by breathing much needed life back into relationships. Retrouvaille uses a weekend session at a hotel, and six follow-up meetings to address the reasons why couples are hurting and provides them with the tools to rediscover a loving relationship. The program is run by teams of married couples who have been through the program, not psychologists or therapists. A priest serves as the spiritual director for the weekend.
Ed and Ceci Birk, the subjects of our cover article, have courageously agreed to let us tell their story – a story that is very moving and uplifting. They hope their story will encourage other couples on the verge of divorce to give Retrouvaille a try.
According to the Retrouvaille team in the Diocese of Saint Augustine, the ministry for troubled marriages has more than a 70 percent success rate among couples that have committed to seeing it through. What have you and your spouse got to lose?
Summer is nearly here and Kevin Wright, an award-winning author of three religious travel guidebooks, shares his secrets on faith-based travel. Turn to page 16 and discover the ultimate getaways for your summer vacation. It’s a wonderful opportunity to refresh your mind, body and soul.
Elizabeth Solsburg in her Theology 101 column shares with readers one of the more beautiful expressions of public prayer in the church – the Liturgy of the Hours or the Divine Office. There has been a growing interest in the Liturgy of the Hours among lay people. What was once a fundamental practice among contemplative monasteries and convents is now a daily ritual for lay Catholics everywhere.
Who is Ernie Bono and what can we learn from him is the topic of our profile for this month. I would venture to guess that many of you know Ernie through his parish involvement and service on several diocesan boards and commissions.
He has written a book, There are No Shortcuts: Enjoying the Balance of Faith, Family and Career. In it, he shares his experiences of growing up in a 1950s Italian family in the “Devil’s Pocket” neighborhood of Philadelphia. Now in retirement, Ernie is busier than ever as a motivational speaker. He enjoys sharing his secret to balancing faith, family and career.
Enjoy your summer reading!
– Kathleen Bagg-Morgan, editor
|In The Next
Adult Faith Formation Who is it for?
Catholic Schools How they have evolved
The Da Vinci Code Is this stuff for real?
Pornography Confronting our spouse’s addictions