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Two New Ways to Teach the Program!
As instructors prepare to teach the Discovering Our Deepest Desire marriage enrichment program, we would like to offer some time options for running the 12 sessions curriculum as well as the option for presenting key concepts of the material over a 7 sessions period or over an extended weekend as a marriage retreat. Each recommendation comes with time suggestions as well as what sections of the program to cover when teaching the shorter version of the DODD curriculum. Sections that are not covered in the 7 sessions programming, can be utilized in optional follow-up sessions (or Booster Sessions) for participants who desire more marriage enrichment information. Though instructors may choose to utilize the shorter versions for the sake of time restrictions at their parish, they are encouraged to stay true to the sections they do teach as well as encouraged to offer the longer duration version of the curriculum when the option is available.
12 Sessions Option
The 12 sessions option is the most optimal since it covers the entire bulk of information. The entire curriculum is set up in a therapeutic progression for helping couples in changing poor patterns as well as in developing new healthy patterns. This longer duration is meant not only to address, in a more complete way, the key areas of marital difficulty, but it is also designed to get couples in a pattern of setting aside time each week for their marriage. The hope is that it will assist them in building a new habit of focusing on the well being of their marriage on an ongoing basis. So to assist you with running the 12 sessions program more efficiently, we have given you 3 guides for running the class either for 2 ½, 2, or 1 ½ hours each week. Each guide gives instructors not only a breakdown of how much time to spend on each section and topic, but also indicates what information can be truncated or eliminated in order to address the majority of key issues in the overall time allotted.
7 Sessions Option: Building a Eucharistic Marriage
The 7-week option focuses on the 7 key habits that are critical for transforming a surviving marriage into a thriving marriage. In this 7-week journey, also known as “Building a Eucharistic Marriage,” couples learn the importance of developing not only a deeper relationship with each other, but also about the importance for building a deeper connection with Christ, through the Mass. The 7 areas in which an instructor will focus, are on the importance of:
- Spending more time with our spouse as well as with Christ.
- Understanding God’s design for marriage and the Wedding Feast of the Lamb – the Mass.
- Looking inside ourselves and recognizing our own unhealthy patterns and sinfulness.
- Listening to the heart of our spouse as well as to the heart of our Heavenly Spouse – Jesus.
- Apologizing and giving forgiveness.
- Recommitting to our spouse and to Christ and making changes to our life that support our relationship rather than sabotage it.
- Being Eucharistic in how we feed the needs of our spouse as Christ feeds all of us.
Extended Weekend Option
The extended weekend option utilizes the same 7 key habits critical for healthy marital growth, but presents it over a weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). The 7 habits are split up and covered over the 3 days.
Check out what others have to say about the DODD program!
¡Mira lo que otros tienen que decir acerca del programa!
Too often, couples wait to seek help for their marriage until they reach a crisis point and sadly, by then it can be almost too late to rescue the marriage. In Familiaris Consortio 86, John Paul II said, “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.” This short sentence sums up the irreplaceable relationship between the family and society. Marriage is the foundation of the family. It exists to foster love between a man and a woman and their mutual growth and spiritual fulfillment. Marriage, a communion of persons, is the basis of the family: a good willed by God himself. The Second Vatican Council insisted that, amidst all changes and social transformations, the identity of the family must be protected (Gaudium et Spes, 48).
The family is more broken today than at any period in our lifetime. Catholic families are as susceptible, as the rest of society, to cohabitation, unwed pregnancy, and divorce. As Catholics, we say we value commitment and faithfulness but how are these principles being supported in our parishes? How are we showing others that we believe in marriage? Is there anything more that can be done to revitalize the domestic church? In order to help invigorating the Domestic Church, Marriage Works! Ohio is seeking to help parishes in becoming “Believe in Marriage” parishes. Based on the New Evangelization, the Believe in Marriage Ministry effort seeks to evangelize and support couples before they are in crisis mode, knowing that godly marriages lead to godly families. This ministry can augment marriage prep and marriage enrichment programs already in your parish and possibly enliven a new urgency to promote strong, faithful marriages.
We have developed a guide to help you and your parish in starting and maintaining a parish marriage enrichment ministry. The goal of setting up a Believe in Marriage Ministry in your parish should be to build a marriage support system that is ongoing, sustainable and one that utilizes parish resources in order to support and educate the domestic church. We want to help you in three areas towards getting this effort up and running:
1) We want to help you and your parish in starting marriage enrichment programming along with preparing them for this endeavor. As the starting point, we offer the Discovering our Deepest Desire (D.O.D.D.) marriage enrichment program, along with promotional materials, for helping you in getting an initial class off the ground. It comes with an eight DVD series of the program, taught by the author, and an additional Facilitator’s Training DVD for those in the parish who choose to facilitate the video series with their church. Marriage Works! Ohio staff are also available to work with couples in your church on training them in becoming Instructors of the DODD program. Trained couples who lead the classes add that personal touch to this learning experience.
2) Next we want to empowering parishes in continuing their efforts toward building further community support and marital strengthening through the development of ongoing Marriage Support Circles (see below). We have materials through our Reaching Deeper Series that can help facilitate ongoing learning for couples who want to continue in marital support long after the DODD class ends.
3) Lastly, we work with parishes and trained instructors on encouraging couples that have gone through the DODD program, to consider facilitating or teaching future programs by also getting trained in the curriculum. Also, couples can be encouraged to become part of a Believe in Marriage Ministry team to help with the process of putting on future classes, to be mentor couples to other couples in need or to mentor Pre-Cana couples going through marriage preparation. We also encourage these couples to consider hosting and leading a Marriage Support Circle.
To get started please contact us.