Marriage Ministry holds talks and workshops

Father Rob Ruhnke, standing on the left, talks to the participants of the Feb. 8 presentation of the “Marriage and Family Life: The Future of our Church” series by the Archdiocese of Agaña’s Marriage Ministry at the St. John Paul the Great Center for Evangelization at the Chancery Office in Hagåtña. (USY photo/ Tony C. Diaz)
Participants of the New Sponsor Couples Training pose for a wacky-faced photo with Father Rob Ruhnke after their session on Feb. 9, Saturday at Santa Barbara Catholic Church’s upper parish hall. (USY photo/ Tony C. Diaz)

By Umatuna Si Yu’os Staff

The Archdiocese of Agaña’s Marriage Ministry, in conjunction with the Sponsor Couple Program, hosted a series of presentations and workshops, “Marriage and Family Life: The Future of our Church,” for married couples and priests from Feb. 6 to 10, 2019.

The workshops and talks aimed to help couples not only prepare for marriage but for those who are already married to enrich their marriages. Father Rob Ruhnke, C.Ss,R. D.Min., author of  For Better and For Ever, (a marriage resource for pre-nuptial couples and used as part of the Sponsor Couple Program), was invited to Guam for this marriage enrichment series which began with a clergy workshop on Feb. 6 at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. It was followed by a Q&A session on Feb. 7 at the upper parish hall of Santa Barbara Catholic Church with the sponsor couples in which they were able to ask Father Rob questions about his resource, marriage, spirituality, and enrichment.

On Feb. 8, Friday evening, Father Rob delivered a talk entitled, “Prayer and Marital Spirituality” opened to all couples at the St. John Paul the Great Center for Evangelization at the Chancery Office in Hagåtña. Along with Father Rob, guest speaker Joseph Tesoro presented the talk, “Understanding the Difference between Men and Women.”

Marriage Ministry coordinators Richard and Christine Rosario, along with three other couples banded together to coordinate the series. As a new and developing ministry, the Marriage Ministry is seeking to focus on not just marriage preparation, but also marriage enrichment.

“It’s going to be a downward spiral if we only work on one area [of ministry] and not get the whole family involved,” said the Rosarios.

“The parents are the first educators,” Richard said.

“Marriage prep has to start with birth,” said Christine. “So that their kids have good role models and [the kids] see that and parents mirror that.

“There’s a hunger. … I think there’s a vacuum in our archdiocese for marriage enrichment. … To keep being continuously fed throughout the year… Hopefully, that’s something we can [do].”

The series of talks continued through the weekend with a New Sponsor Couples Training on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Santa Barbara. The new couples were commissioned as sponsor couples the next day, Feb. 10 at the 9:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica by Archbishop Michael Byrnes.