Marriage Date Night
By RENEE WEBB, Globe senior reporter
Providing an occasion to spend some time together and the opportunity to socialize with other Catholic couples were just two reasons why the Office of Family Life started Marriage Date Nights about three years ago.
Sean Martin, diocesan director of new evangelization, catechesis and family life, said typically the diocese hosts two date nights – a fall gathering in Sioux City and spring gathering in Carroll – which includes dinner and a speaker.
The next offering is slated for March 15 at Santa Maria Winery in Carroll. The social hour starts at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation immediately to follow.
Sean and his wife, Stacy, will be the guest speakers for a presentation titled “Do Whatever Jesus Tells You” based on John 2:5.
“Stacy and I have a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and at the feast of the wedding at Cana is where we see Mary interceding on behalf of the people for temporal needs,” he said. “We will talk about Mary’s intercession in our lives and how that pertains to marriage and family life.”
Stacy stressed the fact that Mary is a human person, who was married and experienced all the same emotions and difficulties that we face today.
“She can serve as a great source of comfort and support, if we allow her,” she said. “The Blessed Mother while intervening on behalf of the married couple points the servants to her Divine Son as she always does.”
Stacy said it is important as Catholic married persons to turn to Mary for grace and guidance in married life.
The Martins give talks at the marriage preparation classes and they are beginning to do some parish missions as well as talk at Catholic schools. Stacy is a stay-at-home mother of four, who has a zeal for spreading the Gospel message. She earned her bachelor of science in social work from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Sean has been working for the past 16 years in the field of education and catechesis.
The event is open to married couples of all ages.
“We average about 25 to 30 couples per event,” Sean said. “It is a nice gathering to be able to go on a date with your spouse and interact with other couples from throughout the diocese.”
He noted that some couples will attend the events in both locations.
“We’ve also seen that some parishes have begun parish-wide date nights,” said Sean, who added that Holy Trinity Parish of Webster Country just offered a date night at the end of February. “There have been other parishes that have had some and have been very successful. I’m happy to see we are continually offering marriage enrichment opportunities.”
He stressed the importance of events such as this, which provide marriage enrichment, to benefit the marital relationship and enhance communication.
To help with planning the next diocesan date night, please RSVP your attendance by March 8. Cost for the dinner and presentation is $45 per couple.
Online registration and payment can be made at www.scdiocese.org/marriagedatenight. There you will find a listing for Marriage Date Night. RSVPs can also be called into the office at (712) 233-7530.
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