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Introducing Catholic Couples Network

Put your hands together for another Family Renewal Project ministry coming January 10, 2020!

The Catholic Couples Network is designed to support Catholic couples in their marriages by providing community, spiritual formation, and fertility resources.

Marriage is a beautiful and challenging vocation that calls us out of ourselves and compels us to serve our spouses.  In holy matrimony, we enter into a covenant that mirrors God’s unconditional covenant with His people. And as affirmed in Romans 8:38-39, in this covenant, “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  So it is with our love for one another.  We CHOOSE each other, day after day, in small matters and in big.  And this commitment becomes a sign of God’s love for us and for all who witness our marriages and families.

Sadly, holy matrimony today is threatened by a culture that widely accepts co-habitation, contraception, pornography, and abortion.  Catholic couples need a safe-haven to support them in their holy pursuits.

This is where the Catholic Couples Network comes in.

First and foremost, this group provides opportunities for couples to meet others who share their Catholic values and to build friendships based on common experiences and challenges.  It is a place where couples can be who they are, without feeling like they need to hide their faith or their struggles.  It is our hope that this place of comfort and encouragement will foster growth for couples who participate.

Of course, this ministry will also provide spiritual support, meeting couples where they are and walking with them on their journey to holiness.   This support will take the form of priestly guidance, prayer, and sacramental celebration. We will also dedicate time to deepening our understanding of Theology of the Body: Pope Saint John Paul II’s beautiful vision of the human person that illuminates the beauty of our bodies as gifts to our spouses.

Finally, the Catholic Couples Network will offer fertility resources for married and engaged couples. Katie Parris, FertilityCare Practitioner of the Creighton Model System, and Angela Hobbs, Student Teacher of the Marquette Method, are both members of the group who can offer instruction in these fertility awareness practices. We will also have guest speakers to provide information on NaProTECHNOLOGY for those who may struggle with fertility.

As Pope Francis said in Amoris Laetitia, “The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church.”  As such, it is essential that the Church support Her couples and help them develop in their commitments to their vows and their Catholic values. The Catholic Couples Network is born out of this need and hopes to achieve that goal by providing married and engaged couples with the community and the tools they need to thrive.

To register for January 10th event (which will focus on prayer, with a guest appearance from FRP chaplain Fr. Martin Linebach) please visit: https://www.familyrenewalproject.com/event/couples-night-with-catholic-couples-network/. While you’re there, follow us on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM to connect with other couples and stay up to date on all of our upcoming events!

Give your “yes” to your spouse and your “yes” to God’s call to strengthen your marriage!

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FRP, TOB and Respect Life

Emails, text messages, coffee dates, carpools…our lives are short, but FAST! Many lament about the affects of our fast-paced lifestyles and yet can’t seem to slow down if they wanted to!

But when you get a minute--usually right before you go to bed or maybe as soon as you wake up in the morning–do your thoughts ever bring you to a subject you know not of? In the silence of your heart…What do you wonder about? Are there any “existential questions”–resting just below the surface–that perhaps really only pop their head up in those moments when you’re confronted with silence? 

Questions like: “Is there more to life than what I do on a daily basis?” ” Is there more to love than what I see around me?”  “What the heck am I even here for?” 

If your answer is “Yes!” then could we venture to say: you probably don’t know why? WHY those thoughts are there or what you should do with them? One could argue, if we wanted to, we could banish that silence from our lives completely.  A quick click of the remote or swipe on the smartphone makes it pretty easy. Notice, I’m not saying that’s a good idea (it’s actually a very bad idea), but it is possible and even desirable to some.  But why?

There is deep within each of us the desire to be loved.  Intensely… Immensely… Unconditionally… But then more questions pop up.

What would happen if I actually let myself feel and connect with that desire?  Wouldn’t I just end up being disappointed?  Can anything REAL even come close to satisfying?

I think a good place to start is to think about where that desire comes from. I propose that it is “written in our DNA” and it calls out from within us.  God created you and has inscribed His very own love in your heart.  He loves you with that kind of love and He made you for that kind of love.  You are: Unrepeatable!  Irreplaceable!  Indispensable! 

Do you believe that? When the current world population is estimated at 7.7 billion…and when you imagine the count of all the people who have lived throughout history and will live in the future….how is it possible that you are unrepeatable, irreplaceable, AND indispensable? 

We’re talking about it! October 22nd.

If you attended the “Made for More” event(s) in Louisville this September, the theme of this presentation will feel familiar. We’re giving you MORE about the uniqueness of YOU and every person. WHY it’s so important that we respect ALL life. And HOW we can do more of that in our daily lives–busy or not!

No registration is required. It’s going to be a great night at Holy Family Parish (The Reide Room) and we hope to see you there!

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Creighton Model Q/A

Have you been wondering what the Intro to the Creighton Model Event is all about? Did you think it was only for couples? KEEP READING and see what Katie Parris, FCPI + Instructor for this event had to say in this Q & A!

FRP: The Creighton Model offers something for SINGLE women, right? 

Katie: Yes! The Creighton Model offers an excellent way for women to chart and manage their cycles. This can mean learning what their wonderfully made bodies can do and identifying their times of fertility/infertility. It can also mean pinpointing and treating specific cycle abnormalities such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), endometriosis, PMS, and more. A regular, healthy cycle is an important indicator of overall health, so it can be liberating to better understand what is happening and to deal with any pain or hormonal issues that one may be experiencing. 

FRP: What is your experience with the Creighton Model? 

Katie: I have PCOS and learned the Creighton Model after suffering with infertility for 5 years. With the help of my Practitioner and a Medical Consultant, we were able to get to the root of my issue and restore my fertility! 

FRP: What’s your favorite part of your experience with the Creighton Model?

Katie: I love being able to help women feel like they are being heard in regards to pain, PMS symptoms, PCOS, etc., instead of just being given a “bandaid” or even ignored by an OB/GYN.

FRP: What did you find challenging about using this method?

Katie: Getting into the routine of checking for the biological markers was the most difficult part, but that just took a little bit of practice!

FRP: What should young women who plan to attend the Intro session be looking forward to? 

Katie: Learning new things about the amazing physiology of their bodies! And also understanding that what they have been told is “normal” (pain, PMS) is NOT normal and can be treated. 

FRP: What would you say to anyone on the fence about attending? 

Katie: Just try it out! You are not signing up to chart, just to learn.

Thank you, Katie! If YOU are interested in joining us July 18, click this link to sign up!

Have more questions for Katie? You can contact her @ keparris@gmail.com

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Theology of the Body + YOU!

Hey everyone, summer is beginning, the days are growing long and the warm nights are perfect for hanging out with friends, discussing and debating the important things of life. You might have heard that the FRP team is excited about a huge event coming to Louisville in September called Made for More!  It will be a multi-media experience, involving all the senses and directing our hearts, souls and minds to reflect on the creation of the world, the Creator and the significance of being created HUMAN.  

In preparation for this event, we are offering a four part series based on St. John Paul’s teachings.  Not often available locally, we want to be sure to invite YOU!  

By learning about John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, you will have the answer to the questions:

1)    What does it mean to be human?

2)    How can I live my life in a way that will satisfy the deepest longings of my heart?

Sadly, the world and our culture seem to be unaware of the beauty and goodness that is naturally in created reality!  We no longer allow ourselves to contemplate this mystery and be wowed by the fact that we humans are made in God’s image, having been given divinized bodies.  Instead, we have accepted the lie that our bodies are separate from our spirit, which is another way of saying that all that is spiritually exciting, beautiful and meaningful is totally unrelated to what the physical body finds exciting, beautiful and meaningful.  

This is a grave error and a complete distortion of the magnificent order God created from the beginning of the world!  Subsequently, some of us find ourselves aimlessly wandering from one idea to the next, or one relationship to the next, in search of the truth, in search of a love, goodness, or beauty that satisfies that deepest ache and longing – and we never find it!

This 4-part introductory series is free of charge and includes video presentations each week by Christopher West, followed by discussion and reflection.  Many people leave the series wondering “Why hasn’t anyone told me this before?”  

Why?  Because no one understood and explained it this way before!  St. John Paul II’s teachings are a gift!  

There is a tidal wave of cultural change sweeping America and the world.  Many feel lost, swept up in fear, seeing only confusion and uncertainty.  Now, with JP II’s help, we dive deeper into the mystery of creation itself.  Using Scripture as his guide, JP II helps us to see the absolute goodness and beauty of God’s creation of man and woman from the very beginning, and our ability to image God in love in a way we have never heard of before!   It is stunning, and it will take your breath away!

I hope you do not delay!  Get out your planners, check your calendars!  Then, please, sign up for Introduction to Theology of the Body to learn and hear for yourself what God had in mind when He created YOU!! 

WHO:  Cathy Blandford and John Sohl have been trained at the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia and will facilitate the discussions.

WHERE:  Holy Family Parish, Poplar Level Road, Reide Room.  (Look for signs)

WHEN:  Tuesdays June 11, 18 and July 2 and 9. Choose afternoon 1:00 – 4:00 PM; or evenings 6:30 – 9:30 PM.

SIGN UP: https://www.familyrenewalproject.com/event/intro-to-theology-of-the-body-a-4-part-series/

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The Sacrament

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church. 

Ephesians 5:31-32

Marriage is obviously the mystery Paul refers to in this verse and proves how intentional God was when he patterned marriage after the relationship between his Son and the Church. 

But how exactly?

We were uniquely + individually created to represent God’s love…through the Spirit within us and the body given to us. This is why our bodies—individually as male and female AND through the union of the two—reflect God. Particularly: (1) His participation in an eternal exchange of love (the spousal analogy) and (2) His bodily sacrifice as a perfect gift of self. When they become “one flesh” man and woman (1) fulfill their purpose and (2) foreshadow the eternal union of Christ and His Church.  

Paul continues…

“[Therefore] be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”

Ephesians 5:21-25 

In Ephesians, the spousal analogy takes on another dimension: the wife is a symbol of the Church and the husband is a symbol of Christ. We can clearly see that this biblical calling of a wife’s submission to her husband isn’t blind passivity or weakness. God intended it to be unabashed love–much like He offers us. 

And the man, taking on Christ’s persona, should not take his wife’s submission in a self-serving manner. For Christ came not to be served, but to serve—to lay down his life for His Bride. 

This holy, sacrificial love is what John Paul II calls, “The Sacrament.” Marriage, like every other sacrament, has both a divine and human dimension. We’ll look at the divine dimension now. The Sacrament of Marriage, right from the beginning, “prepared the way for God’s wedding himself to US in ‘one flesh’.” In the beginning, God’s mystery became visible through mans union with woman. At the end of time—at the eternal “Supper of the Lamb”— the mystery becomes visible through Christ’s union with the Church. 

These two signs form one great sacrament (The Sacrament). The great mystery comes full circle…in that we see the purpose of our creation. Not just as man and woman, but in the relationship between God + mankind and it’s being brought to fulfillment through Christ.

Christopher West poses a great question: If the union of spouses in “one flesh” truly reveals Christ love for the church, why, then, are we so prone to think of sexual union as something unholy and defiling? How can we reclaim a true sense of the holiness of sexual union in God’s plan? 

Let us know below! We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

As always, thanks for reading! 

The FRP Team