Twitter icon
Pinterest icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
Google+ icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon

Diocesan Marriage Task Force -- working to support and strengthen marriages

Phil and Mary Wrubleski are chairs of the diocesan Marriage Task Force: they are excited about ideas such as Marriage Mentoring that support and strengthen marriage.

Phil and Mary Wrubleski

By Kiply Lukan Yaworski

Phil and Mary Wrubleski are eager to bring practical marriage enrichment opportunities to couples in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.

The Wrubleskis are current chairs of the diocesan Marriage Task Force, which over the past 15 years has worked to affirm, celebrate and enrich marriage. Finding new ways to strengthen marriages in an era when programs such as Marriage Encounter have ebbed is a priority, says Phil.

Married couples seem to be getting into trouble earlier, adds Mary. “We need something more between Marriage Preparation and Retrouvaille (aimed at marriages in crisis).”

One exciting new idea is marriage mentoring, in which a younger couple is invited to meet monthly with a more established mentoring couple in the parish who is trained to engage in helpful conversations about marriage, life and children. The diocesan task force has been connecting with Family Life Canada, looking into the training required to prepare mentor couples for this role, says Phil. A training session for mentoring couples will be offered May 13 from 9 am to 12:30 pm at Circle Drive Alliance Church (see information at end of article).

The strength of marriage mentoring is that it is low-key, relational and grounded in real-life experience, based on the idea that “most marriages don’t need an overhaul, just regular tune ups.” Couples who have weathered difficulties have a lot to offer younger couples, says Mary.

“Phil and I would not still be together, had it not been for the crises we went through together. You develop tools, your marriage gets stronger.” Sharing insights with younger couples in a social setting can plant seeds and provide critical support that helps a marriage grow rather than breaking up.

In recent years the diocesan Marriage Task Force has led a number of initiatives – such as marriage enrichment evenings, re-examining marriage preparation materials, and leading local “Lineamenta” discussions on marriage and family life in response to the Extraordinary Synod on the Family.

This spring, the Marriage Task Force partnered with a number of evangelical Christian churches for a Saskatoon Marriage Network event. The “Weekend of Impact” conference featured a number of marriage and parenting workshops by Dave and Donalyn Currie of Doing Family Right Ministries April 27-29 at Circle Drive Alliance Church.

The Christian churches involved in the Saskatoon Marriage Network all recognize the importance of marriage and family life, says Phil. “We have a lot in common.” Conference sessions included a day for couples married 20-plus years; a second day-long marriage-building experience with a special focus on those married less than 20 years; and a luncheon session for clergy and ministry leaders about the issue of pornography. How to leave a spiritual impact on confident children was the topic for a separate parenting workshop on the evening of April 28.

Exploring “Amoris laetitia”

Working with Catholic dioceses and eparchies across Saskatchewan, the Wrubleskis are also busy developing a study guide for Amoris laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), Pope Francis’ post-Synod apostolic exhortation on marriage and family life; and they are also assisting in planning for a provincial Catholic conference on Amoris laetitia to be held in Saskatoon next spring (2018).

Amoris laetitia is a beautiful document, easy to read and filled with insights that deserve to be widely known and discussed, say the Wrubleskis.

“It is such a pastoral document,” says Phil. “It is timely and very brave.” It doesn’t shy away from the real challenges facing families, and it is filled with hope for healing and strengthening ordinary family life, fitting in with Pope Francis’ image of the Church as a field hospital, tending to wounds in the world, the couple notes.

“We need to remember how many people that we meet and talk to have a situation that is real, that is difficult. They need to be listened to and loved,” says Mary.

The April 2018 provincial Catholic conference on Amoris laetitia, will feature ordinary couples connecting their lived experiences to the document themes and insights. “Our dream is to get this out to the whole diocese, the whole eparchy,” says Phil.

The Wrubleskis also hope to attract other married couples from all areas of the diocese to participate in the work of the Marriage Task Force and move toward putting other ideas into action – including digital outreach. “We want to offer people something to sink their teeth into, to get more things into motion,” says Phil.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the Marriage Task Force is invited to contact Blake Sittler at the Catholic Pastoral Centre in Saskatoon at (306) 659-5834 or director [at] saskatoonrcdiocese.com

Marriage Mentoring Training for couples 

Marriage Mentoring is an excellent way for couples to invest in and enrich their marriages while building a relationship with another married couple. Two couples meet once a month for about 1 1/2 hours, over the course of a year, for a meaningful conversation about topics like Gratitude, Rituals & Habits, and Pace & Priorities, etc.

It is relaxed, conversational, and meaningful!

If you and your spouse would like to be mentors, please attend the Marriage Mentor Training hosted by the Saskatoon Marriage Network Saturday, May 13, from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at Circle Drive Alliance Church, 3035 Preston Avenue South, Saskatoon.

Please join us and invite others!! The cost is only $40/couple (please bring cash or a cheque to the training time), and this includes your mentoring manual. Come and you will be equipped to mentor other couples, a season or two behind you, to help them experience greater oneness.

Register at p2c.sh/mmitrain

Want to know more?

1. Watch this short, 3-minute video: https://vimeo.com/145304313

2. Go to www.marriagementoringinitiative.com , or

3. contact Brent Trickett (306.262.4463, brent [at] familylifecanada.com).

Diocese of Saskatoon In Video