Pope Francis has urged for the establishment of a marriage catechumenate in parishes and dioceses as a way to build thriving catholic marriages families and communities and to nurture outreach and evangelisation. As a way of assisting parishes to embrace such a ministry, I would encourage clergy to consider encouraging a couple from your parish to take on training in the SmartLoving marriage course.
The Marriage Kit by SmartLoving is an online marriage enrichment course. It can be run as a group experience or in an Online Accompanied format with couples doing the course work privately and then joining online gatherings to go through discussion questions with other participants. This leader formation program will familiarise couples with the Marriage Kit course in the hopes that they would be open to running the course at a later date for their community.
The Online Accompanied format offers couples privacy through the immersive online learning platform as well as the benefit of community support in the online gatherings. At the parish level, it enables parish communities to provide quality marriage enrichment with ease to couples in the parish, school, and wider community.
Online Gatherings: Wednesdays @7:30 pm | April 27, May 11, May 25, Jun 8, Jun 22
(Can’t make Wednesdays? If there is sufficient demand, we’ll schedule another series of Online Gatherings. Let us know when you enroll.)
For more information or an expression of interest/conversation with prospective mentor couples, please contact [email protected]
Brought to you by the Marriage Resource Centre, SmartLoving provides resources to support couples throughout their commitment life-cycle. The SmartLoving series is recognised internationally as one of the most comprehensive range of materials for Catholic marriage formation.
Grounded in the Theology of the Body, SmartLoving honours the unique strengths of men and women called to love and to be loved. Masterfully created with multimedia and digital technologies, the courses and publications optimise engagement with participants for a comprehensive and powerful experience. SmartLoving draws from a wealth of research, theology, creativity and practical experience to provide a compelling and focused approach to building marriages and families that thrive in faith and in love.
Founded on the principal of ‘Centrally Enabled – Locally Delivered’ SmartLoving’s leader resources equip local communities to provide quality formation experiences without onerous training or financial outlay. Comprehensive leader materials provide step-by-step guides to establish a marriage catechumenate or host a group experience.
Cofounders Francine & Byron Pirola, have over three decades of experience in marriage and family ministry and are supported by a team of volunteer couples and employed creatives. Residing in Australia, they have five adult children and two grandchildren.
This is not a diocesan event and is not sponsored or administered by the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong. While the diocese endeavours to only associate with events that it understands to be appropriate for the people of God in the diocese, promotion by the diocese of a non-diocesan event should not necessarily be considered as an endorsement of the event.
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.