The One in Christ Marriage Seminar is designed to prepare you and your fiancé for the Sacrament of Matrimony. The seminar will provide you and your fiancé with an all-inclusive and comprehensive appreciation for and knowledge of the Sacrament of Matrimony. One in Christ presents both the sacramental theology and the practical "tools" of Christian Marriage so that you and your fiancé may reach an understanding of how marriage is a participation in the life of Heaven and what that means for your lives together here on earth.
The course takes the Hans Urs von Balthasar approach of presenting the truth, beauty, and goodness of marriage and family life. This approach is very appealing to today’s couples, assaulted as they are by much secular negativity about marriage. Our goal is not just to present information on marriage, but rather to help you and your fiancé see the what, why, and how of the Church’s teaching in relation to marriage. That is why we begin with a basic catechesis on the Catholic Faith and interweave it throughout the seminar. You and your fiancé will find your faith reinvigorated by learning the Church's teachings in the context of marriage preparation. Deeply rooted in Scripture, Catholic Tradition, the Lives of the Saints, and Papal Encyclicals, this seminar will not only prepare you and your fiancé to see the truth, beauty, and goodness of marriage and family life, but also to show how God and his grace are the remedies and the quintessential means to a happy, healthy, holy, and lasting marriage.
The One in Christ Marriage Seminar is two sessions. Couples are expected to attend the entire sessions of the seminar in order to fulfill their marriage preparation requirements.
The first session on Saturday will address: Trinitarian Theology, Creation, Sin, Redemption, Vocation, Discipleship, Covenantal Theology, Covenantal Communication, Moral Virtues and Money.
The second session will address the Unitive and Procreative Ends of Marriage and Family Life, along with the Sacraments of Marriage, Eucharist and Reconciliation. The remaining presentations will address the Church's teaching on contraception, reproductive technologies, infertility and adoption. The day will conclude with an introductory course on Natural Family Planning, specifically the Creighton Method. Each couple will have an opportunity at the end of the day to sign up for NFP follow-up sessions with our trained Creighton Fertility Care Specialists.
Above all, have great respect for the institution of the Sacrament of Matrimony. There cannot be true domestic happiness unless, at the same time, there is fidelity between spouses. Marriage is an institution of natural law, which has been raised by Christ to the dignity of a Sacrament; it is a great gift that God has given to mankind: respect it and honor it.
At the same time, God calls you to respect one another when you fall in love and become engaged, since conjugal life, reserved by divine ordinance to married couples, will bring happiness and peace only to the extent that you are able to build your future hopes upon chastity, both within and outside marriage. I repeat here to all of you that "eros tends to rise . . . towards the Divine, to lead us beyond ourselves; yet for this very reason it calls for a path of ascent, renunciation, purification and healing." (Deus Caritas Est, 5)
To put it briefly, it requires a spirit of sacrifice and renunciation for the sake of a greater good, namely the love of God above all things. Seek to resist forcefully the snares of evil that are found in many contexts, driving you towards a dissolute and paradoxically empty life, causing you to lose the precious gift of your freedom and your true happiness. True love “increasingly seeks the happiness of the other, is concerned more and more with the beloved, bestows itself and wants to ‘be there for’ the other” (ibid., 7) and therefore will always grow in faithfulness, indissolubility and fruitfulness (Pope Benedict XVI excerpt from homily given during his trip to Brazil, 2007).