“Building Your Financial Foundation Workshop For Newly Married Couples” – October 7th and 28th, 2017

The Family Ministries Office is proud to announce the first of its many upcoming programs designed to assist and accompany couples in the critical first few years of marriage!

Did you know that many of the critical issues facing newly married couples today have their roots in financial areas? 

Come and join other couples in their first 5 years of marriage as we spend two intensive and personalized days with certified financial planner Jerry Zimmerer from D. Scott Neal, Inc. as we dive deeply into proven financial practices and planning and explore how such critical tools and techniques can support, enrich and strengthen Catholic marriages!

Jerry has been a presenter with our Foundation For Marriage program for several years, giving a broad overview of financial management to engaged couples, and as such is proud to offer this new intensive program where couples use their own personal data, desires and situations to come up with plans specifically designed to help them grow and succeed financially as they begin their married lives together.

The program runs over two different Saturdays. The first session – where concepts are introduced and initial planning is made – will be held on October 7, 2017. The second session – where the couples come back with their personal plans for coaching and personalized advice – will be held on October 28, 2017.  (Attendance at BOTH sessions is necessary.)

Both sessions will be held at St Gabriel Parish, 5505 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY, 40291 in Loft 1 from 9:00 AM until 3:30 PM each day.

Pre-registration is required and the cost for attending is at the SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY PRICE  of $110 per couple which includes all materials and personalized content as well as lunch on both days.

Registration is strictly limited to the first 20 couples to assure the proper individualized attention and can be done online HERE.

For further details, or if you have any questions, please contact Deacon Stephen Bowling at the Family Ministries Office at sbowling@archlou.org.

Please don’t miss out on this special opportunity to get personal financial advice from a certified financial planner at a fraction of the normal cost with special attention to the unique gifts and treasures we find in married life!

“Saving Your Best for Your Spouse”

by Deacon Derrick and Mistianna Barnes

Mistianna and I have been together in our lives, between dating and marriage, more than we have been apart.  And I would love to tell you that we are the perfect couple, never fighting, always in perfect harmony and lock step in the way we see that things need to happen, but I can’t.  Like all great successful marriages, we both have our own views on topics and have had to learn the hard way how to have a great, loving, and successful marriage.

In the following article we hope to be able to share with you some hard learned lessons that if you read carefully you may not have to make in your marriage.

Being a Deacon couple, we are blessed to work with a lot of engaged couples as they prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage. And, since we’ve been married almost 23 years, ourselves, we have a lot of loving, a lot of living, and a lot of life lessons to offer them and the newly married on what it’s really like to be happily married and to have a love affair for a lifetime.

Five weeks before our wedding, when we should have been awash with words of wisdom, the only advice I can recall getting is what my Great Aunt Ruby told us half a lifetime ago:

“Darlings,” she said, “be interesting people, each of you on your own. Follow your own dreams, have your own hobbies, and use your own gifts to better our world. But always be your best and save your best for your sweetheart .”

Mistianna: At first, Aunt Ruby’s advice didn’t have much of an impact on how we interacted as a newly married couple. After all, we were young and in love and couldn’t keep our hands off each other; we were truly passionate about being together. It was only after our first year of marriage had come and gone that Aunt Ruby’s advice really started to hit home with me. You see, I am a very social and very chatty person and I not only needed face to face communication with Derrick, I missed talking intimately with him on a daily basis. So, it became very clear that I not only needed Derrick’s best in the area of communication, when we both came home from work, but I craved it. I needed the same love and attention he had given me while we were dating and engaged now that we were newlyweds.

Derrick: Sure while dating I had all the time in the world to sit and chat and lavish attention on my beautiful fiancée but when life settled in things had to change.  Graduation from college, work and a social life left little time for hours of exploring each other through conversation.

I needed Mistianna to appreciate how hard I worked for our family and tell me about it a lot.  I know that it seems that this is the cliché sensitive male ego at work here.  After all in all the fairy tales there was always a Knight in shining armor, and I wanted my princess to recognize this.  It made getting up and working hard all worth it when my princess wife told me how much she appreciated my hard work.

But what I have come to learn is that I really like words of affirmation and acknowledgment.  What I was failing to see was that like me Mistianna needed acknowledgment of her needs as well.

Mistianna: Saving your best for your spouse, isn’t always easy. Especially, in our fast paced, technology swamped and “it’s all about me” culture. Society encourages us to be all we can be, even at the expense of the one we love and cherish the most, our spouse. I believe it’s this selfish type of thinking that pulls newlyweds away from each other instead of closer together and ultimately has a negative impact on their new marriage. My Aunt Ruby encouraged Derrick and I to be different than society, to break the norm and require more of ourselves than what society required of us together. In her infinite wisdom, she knew that if we each saved our best self for each other, every aspect of our marriage would become a priority in our life together. Saving the best version of ourselves for the other after a long day at the office, or after being up all night with a sick child, or after each of our mothers passed away or even after I lost my job and became disabled, wasn’t easy. Sometimes it was beyond difficult, it was tough as hell. But, it was the best piece of advice we ever received about being married. It was the advice that allowed us to put each other and our marriage first. It helped us each be vulnerable with one another, and cling to each other during the hard times and “worser” times in our marriage.

Derrick:
Earlier I told you what it was that I needed Mistianna to recognize in order for me to feel love.  It only took a few “animated discussions” for me to figure out how to get the best out of my spouse.  The secret is to give them what they need and in return they give you what you need.  Saving your best self for your spouse is really the easiest way for your sweetheart to know that you love them in a way that they can appreciate and usually in return they want to give you what you need.

So, in short, I learned that when I actively and fully talk to Mistianna about her day and share with her what happened in my day; she totally reciprocated by telling me how proud of me she was.  So by giving her my best, she gave me her best as well.

Saving your best self for your sweetheart isn’t a guarantee for a happily ever after marriage, but it’s definitely a great practice to start doing as you start your new life together. We believe saving your best self for your spouse says to your beloved “You are important to me,” “You are my top priority,” and, “I value you above all others.” If you remember back to when you were dating and when you got engaged, hopefully you’ll remember how passionate you felt about hanging out together, and just sharing your life with one another. If you look at being married as dating for a lifetime, you will always save the best part of yourself for your spouse. You will covet your time together, crave conversations with one another, forgive more freely, and love more passionately. If you save your best self for your sweetheart, we hope, you will have what we have found, a love affair of a lifetime.

Deacon Derrick is assigned to Saint Margaret Mary Parish in Louisville, KY where he and Mistiana are parishioners.

“The Fullness of Love in the Face of Loss”

by Michelle Herberger

Pregnancy is often a time filled with hope and expectation. The new life growing in the womb is a sign that life continues and there is promise for the future. It is no wonder that couples look forward to their ultrasounds where they get a glimpse of their growing miracle.

However, for some, that ultrasound is the beginning of a devastating loss, one for which they were ill-prepared and one where support seems limited. Adding to the shock and pain of adverse fetal diagnoses is the frequent recommendation to terminate the pregnancy.

Organizations such as Be Not Afraid offer concrete help and support to couples who learn their unborn child has little to no chance of surviving outside the womb. Couples can make a birth plan, get support from others who have experienced a similar pregnancy, and plan ways to create memories of their baby immediately following the birth. There is also support following the death of the baby.

Although no amount of support can take away the pain of this tragic loss, there is a way to embrace and celebrate the gift of your child for the brief time you have him or her with you. For more information about resources available to you, in addition to the support you may receive in your parish, please contact the Family Ministries Office for accompaniment in these very difficult situations.

 

“Our Lady Of Fatima”

by Ed Harpring

The month of May draws our attention to Mother’s Day. This year we have the added focus on Mother Mary’s role as our heavenly mother with the ongoing Centennial of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima celebration taking place around the world (including the Archdiocese of Louisville) and Feast Day on May 13th.

The apparitions of Fatima to many of us have a mysterious and prophetic aura about them with the “miracle of the sun” spinning and dancing in the sky to more than 50,000 onlookers, the three secrets revealed to three young Portuguese children, Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, starting on May 13, 1917, and the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady appeared six times between May and October 1917 to the three children.

Despite the intrigue and mystery of Fatima, the overall message is straightforward and aligns with the “Good News” of the Gospel. Mary implores us to turn away from sin, open ourselves entirely to her Son – Jesus through prayer, reparation, repentance, and sacrifice. And yet she provides her tender motherly solace through her Immaculate Heart. “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

And today, we know that Mother Mary’s descriptions of evil in the world are all too real. The battle between good and evil is raging -100 years. Sister Lucia related before her death in 2005 that the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Family and marriage is under attack like never before, and we know that in our county alone, nearly 60,000,000 unborn lives have been lost to abortion. Similarly St. John Paul II in his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, said “we are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the “culture of death” and the “culture of life.” We find ourselves not only “faced with” but necessarily “in the midst of” this conflict: we are all involved and we all share in it, with the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life.” Saint Mother Teresa echoed this when she proclaimed that the “The Greatest Destroyer of Love and Peace is Abortion.”

But like the good mother that she is, Our Lady gave us the antidote to the evil in our world – the rosary.

She stressed the importance of praying the Rosary in each of Her apparitions, asking the children to pray the Rosary every day for peace. Our Lady of Fatima promised that “in the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

The Archdiocese of Louisville will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima Anniversary on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima: Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 11am at the Cathedral of the Assumption. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will be the celebrant and concelebrated by Fr. Matthew Hardesty, Director of the Archdiocesan Marian Committee and Pastor of Holy Trinity, Fredericktown and Holy Rosary, Manton.

 

 

“How Almost Everything About Your Mother Comes Down to Neurochemicals”

by Martine Bacci-Siegel

Mother’s Day should be a joyful celebration, and our mothers deserve a special day. But what about the day after Mother’s Day? And the 363 days after that? What can neuroscience teach us about how to celebrate and treat our mothers every day?

While psychiatry and neuroscience are incredibly complex fields, some surprisingly simple insights have emerged about the easy ways you can help yourself and others to boost well being, vitality, and happiness. A surprising percentage of human behavior comes down to the interplay of 4 important neurochemicals.

  • Cortisol: Our bodies release cortisol when stressed, and it can seriously damage the body in the long run. As we age, we become more sensitive to cortisol. The older your mother is, the less cortisol (and stress) she’ll be able to handle well.
  • – Dopamine: This neurochemical is released any time we encounter something new. It could be a new song, a new movie, or even a new website or a piece of technology. Essentially, it is our brain’s way of rewarding us when we discover something.
  • – Endorphins: Endorphins are released in response to physical activity/exercise. This is the neurochemical that is responsible for the “runner’s high.”
  • – Serotonin: Serotonin is produced when you help others, bond with others, and when you feel healthy pride in a job well done.

Here are some examples that will help you go beyond telling your mother that you love her and show you how to demonstrate and create love.

  • Help manage her cortisol: Find ways to reduce her stress. If your mother is not being social enough, her loneliness could lead to increased cortisol levels. If she’s struggling with keeping up with housework, you can reduce her stress by helping her out. Also, just be kind. Nothing makes a mother prouder than a kind child. Seeing you being kind to others goes a long way toward reducing her stress level.
  • Increase her dopamine: This one is easy. The more new and novel experiences you can give your mother, the greater her dopamine level. This could be taking her to a restaurant she’s never been to before, or introducing her to a new technology.
  • Endorphin rush: Do your best to increases your mother’s physical activity. It could be going on walks, gardening, or any physical activity that is appropriate for her fitness level.
  • Elevate Her Serotonin: T here are several ways to boost serotonin. Frequent contact, especially face to face, is one of the most effective ways. Visit, call, send texts or emails…the point is to maintain consistent and frequent contact. Another way to boost serotonin is to engage in acts of kindness, so consider taking your mother to a volunteer event, or over to help a friend or relative.
  • Helping others will do amazing things for her mood and well being. Serotonin is perhaps the most important of the neurotransmitters

So yes, go all out on Mother’s Day. Your mother deserves the best. Just don’t forget that your mother deserves the best every day.

“Motherhood Is . . .”

by Deacon Stephen Bowling

In the liner notes of his 1975 album “Windsong”, the late John Denver wrote about how he had tried to record the sound of the wind in order to incorporate it into the album which carried its name, but for some reason, he “could never capture the sound on tape so as to do it any justice.”

This is the same kind of problem one has when trying to adequately describe all that goes into the concept of motherhood . . . our language is simply not big enough to do justice to the power and beauty that the word encompasses. The word defies being forced into any description we might wish to place upon it . . . nevertheless during the month of May every year we all make our attempts at doing so.

Perhaps it is this deficiency which drew me to the above quote on motherhood by Gilda Radner. I think it more than any other begins to capture the true essence of motherhood without in any way diminishing the grandeur and holiness it carries with it. In many ways the quote actually seems to enhance the term – something I thought impossible before finding it.

“Infinite Optimism” may be a phrase which begins to tell the story properly.

Motherhood always seems to me to be at its heart an act of positivity . . . something, as John Denver himself said on that very same album, which “works in the service of life and the living . . . part of the movement, part of the growing, part of beginning to understand.” Mothers always look for the best in us; they support us when we are in need, they protect us when we are afraid, and perhaps most important of all, they love us for just who we are, just as we are.

“Infinite optimism” is perhaps one of the most succinct descriptions for Holy Mother Church as well. Even though there are many who might not be able to live up to this ideal expression of motherhood, the Church herself absolutely must do so . . . to assist those in need and to model for us all exactly how “mothering” was intended by God to be done from the very beginning.

The Church indeed works in “service of life and the living” as it seeks to accompany us along our journey through this life. Our benefit is always in her heart, our welfare is her intent and our success and salvation are ever her wishes for us.

The Church is our spiritual mother and the infinite optimism she pours forth upon us in the sacraments is intended to become a living part of us, just as the Gospel itself is as well.

On this upcoming Mother’s Day . . . a day when we seek to remember our own mothers’ “infinite optimism” (or at least their best attempts towards it) we also should take a moment and remember Mother Church and her best attempts at achieving this sacred goal too. Just as with most mothers, the attempts and the successes are far more numerous than we might always remember . . . and the victories that she has achieved for us are very much worth celebrating anew once more.