Transformed in Love is a tool for the New Evangelization of the next generation of marriages and families.
It is my hope that Transformed in Love will be an instrument of God’s grace in the New Evangelization and that it will serve to strengthen the vocation of marriage not only in our archdiocese but also in the wider Church. As we go forward with the work of the New Evangelization, helping engaged couples to understand the relationship between marriage and the life of the Church is of great importance. Also, at a time when society far too easily accepts and in many circumstances even encourages divorce, we must do all that we can to prepare couples for their life-long commitment to one another.
From the Foreword by Seán Cardinal Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap. Archbishop of Boston
It would be desirable if the favorable moment of marriage preparation could be transformed, as a sign of hope, into a new evangelization for the future of families.
Pontifical Council for the Family
Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage
(May 13, 1996)
Transformed in Love
was developed with the following four goals in mind:
Faith: To reconnect engaged couples with the faith.
Knowledge: To educate clearly, concisely, and accurately regarding the nature of marriage and, for Christians, its sacramental character.
Skills: To provide practical skills that will help engaged couples live out their marriage vows.
Witness: To provide the witness of faith-filled married couples.
Transformed in Love
seeks to address the whole human person; body and soul (including intellect and will).
In order to establish and then maintain a successful marriage,
Transformed in Love
proposes that couples need to:
- be wise (intellect);
- be true (will);
- be skilled (body/human formation); and
- be faithful (soul/spiritual formation).
The program concludes by proposing that couples also need to
- be transformed in love (by God’s grace).
Each topic addresses at least one
(and sometimes more than one) of the five areas above.
- Four sessions: 3 hours, 30 minutes each.
- Six sessions: from 2 to 3 hours each.
- Two days: 7 hours, 30 minutes each day.
- Retreat weekend: Begins at 6:30 pm on Friday and ends at 12:00 pm on Sunday.
Transformed in Love can be offered by an individual parish, by a cluster of parishes, or by an organization. The cluster/collaborative option can work well if human and financial resources are limited.
Transformed in Love, without breaks or meals, is 12 hours, 45 minutes. (Or 15 hours, 40 minutes if more time is allowed for large group sharing in the six session format. This may not be needed if the group is small.)
Topic 1: Self Knowledge
Who Am I? Who Are You?—We Are the Builders
Know myself and my spouse and commit to grow in virtue.
Topic 2: Communication
Our Relationship Needs Some TLC—Skills for Building
Use TLC and practice effective communication.
Topic 3: Expectations
What Are We Expecting?—What Will Our Marriage Be Like?
Manage expectations well.
Topic 4: What is Love?
Seeking the Good of the Other—Making a House a Home
Choose to love one another with agape.
Topic 5: What is Marriage?
God’s Plan for Love and Life—The Architect’s Design
Understand marriage as created by God to nurture love and life.
Topic 6: What is Sacramental Marriage?
You, Me, and Jesus—Our Marriage Transformed By and Radiating His Love
Understand sacramental marriage is a sign of Jesus’ love and a means of grace.
Topic 7: The Rite of Marriage
I Do, Do You?—The Promises We Make and Live
Reflect upon, be committed to, and live our marriage vows.
Topic 8: Finances
Yours, Mine, OURS—Resources for Marriage and Family Life
Develop a unified Catholic approach to finances that is both generous and responsible.
Topic 9: Eight Spiritual Practices for Marriage and Family
Nurturing Faith—Building a Firm Foundation
Build a firm foundation through regular spiritual practices as individuals, a couple, and a family.
Topic 10: Teaching Mass
The Presence of Christ—The Cornerstone of Our Marriage
Be open to the presence and grace of God in our lives through Mass and let Jesus be the cornerstone of our foundation.
Topic 11: Marital Sexuality
A Divine Design—The Architect’s Plan to Nurture Love and Life
Cherish sexual intimacy and be generous and responsible with fertility.
Topic 12: We Are on a Mission
To Guard, Reveal and Communicate Love—Making Sure Our Marriage Lasts a Lifetime
Persevere in guarding, communicating, and revealing love.
Transformed in Love—Putting on the Finishing Touches
Stay close to God to be transformed in love!