Faith in Marriage


Pictured: Ann O'Brien, Robyn Moore, Otto Henfling, Peter O'Brien
Pictured: Ann O'Brien, Robyn Moore, Otto Henfling, Peter O'Brien

The inaugural Faith in Marriage Conference for couples was held at Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta. The conference, sponsored by Catholic Care Social Services and the Australian Catholic University was held in memory of Ray Reid, former Director of Centacare Parramatta for over 30 years. Before his death in 2012, Ray agreed to a memorial lecture focusing on ‘Hope and Faith in Marriage’.

Bishop Anthony discussed marriage as sacrament, emphasising the grace God that is provided in marriage, drawing the family closer through prayer into a stronger relationship with God. Dr Ryan Messmore discussed the ancient Israeli ritual of betrothal. Exchanging vows, providing a home and after possibly a year or more of separation and betrothal, the husband and wife consummate the marriage and then they celebrate with the community. This image was used to give an idea of how romantic love isn’t the foundation of an enduring, life-long marriage, rather the sacramental covenant and commitment of a couple as they grow in love and honour each other, a deeper love and respect for your spouse flourishes.

PME Educators, Neville and Philomena Fernandes
PME Educators, Neville and Philomena Fernandes

Robyn Moore (How Green is my Cactus and Blinky Bill) provided the light heartedness for the afternoon. While funny and entertaining, great insight was provided, on the roller coaster ride of marriage. A number of marriage educators were introduced and their roles in Catholic Care were explained.To summarise the day would be to say that the sacrament of marriage is an act of commitment and a promise, both to God, your partner and family. That open and honest communication between the couple provides the best chance for sustained love, growth and a prosperous family.

Just as you would seek a mechanic to keep your car in tip-top condition, Catholic Care provides the “Fine Tuning” for our marriages.  Their counselling services are available at St Patricks Blacktown.

Another course will be run Sept 2014.

Paul and Kristy Scott
St Michael’s

Follow this link to view the photos from the day. 

Follow this link to view Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Bishop of Parramatta's speech.

Ryan Messmore Speech Download Dr Ryan Messmore's speech here.

Ann O'Brien Speech  Download Ann O'Brien's speech here.

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