This past weekend, we assisted in the Marriage Enrichment Weekend for the class 8 couples who attended at Hyatt House in Norristown, Pennsylvania. This event was hosted by FIAT-ME Ministry of Pennsylvania, there were also others like in North of New Jersey (North Jersey for short). Some members of the North Jersey ministry were also present to assist last weekend.
This event was made possible by the shepherding couple Armand and Minda who has supported the marriage enrichment weekends from day 1, financially as well as opening their home hosting the first events before moving to Hyatt House. Their home has been front and center in the organization of the said event, from holding various meetings and gatherings, staging of materials needed or even just a meeting place. They have built extensions to their home to accommodate such activities.
The weekend event was a long process starting from the creation of committees who will be responsible to make the different parts during the meeting a success, from logistics to food and others. Each committee was headed by a couple and backed up by another couple with the assistance of several couples who had attended previous marriage enrichment weekends. An overall coordinator oversaw everything and were advised by Marriage Enrichment director who informed the committees of the requirement as well as their various job responsibilities.
As you would have probably noticed, couples. In everything, it’s always couples because two married individuals should always act as one.
There were 12 candidates who were selected, or the better term was invited. In the past couple of months we have had about 16 couples going to the event, however, the number went down because of unforeseen reasons why couples could not make it.
The couples who attended need only to bring themselves and change of clothes for the duration because everything was provided to them: rooms; food; drinks; materials and other things that they may need during the event even cater to their dietary concerns. Writing what has transpired and even trying to describe them will not do justice, one has to be there to experience the joy and emotion of that weekend. Need I say that the event was free of charge!
We are seeing everywhere the deterioration of families that may be the cause of so many problems we’re facing and even the decay of our communities. Communities are built by families. Families start with a husband and wife. The weekend event centers on the husband and wife. A priest was present during the duration who provided spiritual advise and to moderate during inspirational talks of several invited couples who shared their life changing experiences. And as you may have guessed, this event is God centered.
You may be saying: “I am happily married”; “there’s nothing wrong in our marriage”; “we go to church whenever we can”; “we don’t need this”; and so on and so forth. Then I will say: “good for you, but wouldn’t you want to make it better?” In the world that we live in: we always want to be ahead; we always want to give our family a big house and lots of cars; we wanted to give our family so many material things. Nothing wrong with that, but most of the time these things cause us to lose focus on what is really important and what is really needed.
I attended in class 7 three years ago at the same location. I attended but I was skeptical. There was nothing wrong with my family much more with my marriage. I attended because I don’t want to have a disagreement with my wife because we were invited. It was free and the only thing I can never get back was the time lost. After an hour in the event my whole outlook changed and it has gotten better and better as it progressed. There was even one couple who attended, the wife tricked her husband: they just came from a week long vacation and instead of going home they went straight to the event. Both of them did not know what’s going to happen, the wife did not know how her husband is going to react. But the husband stayed. They were the head of the committee that my wife and I belonged.