A smarter way of staying in love
|The Pirola's with Fathers Vince Casey and Gerry Gleeson at the Marriage Resource Centre launch.|
It’s easy to feel the love on a couple’s wedding day, but what about when the honeymoon is over and life has settled down? Is it realistic for couples to expect to keep the passion alive amid the demands and responsibilities of work, in-laws, children, and the rising costs of living?
“Yes!” say Byron and Francine Pirola, co-directors of the newly-launched Marriage Resource Centre in Sydney.
With more than 20 years of experience in running the Celebrate Love marriage seminar and Embrace marriage preparation course, the Pirolas are spearheading a new initiative to propel this vital ministry into the digital age. With a fully resourced and growing online experience, e-books, apps and e-learning opportunities for couples across the life cycle, “SmartLoving” aims to help couples be smarter about staying in love.
Grounded in the Theology of the Body, the “SmartLoving” website and its resources provide practical strategies to support couples in reaching their relationship potential.
“SmartLoving makes staying in love easy,” Francine said.
“By providing married couples with easy-to-access and diverse digital and print resources, our SmartLoving website equips couples to live their marriage more joyfully.”
Revitalising the Sacrament of Matrimony
|Bishop Peter Commensoli with attendees at the Marriage Resource Centre launch.|
Kate and Steve were already happily married but benefited from one of the seminars provided by the Marriage Resource Centre to promote effective communication and relationship skills.
“We have gained so much, especially learning about the verbal/emotional intimacy which we didn’t specifically know about and are growing closer in intimacy,” they said.
Another couple, wishing to remain anonymous, said the SmartLoving Marriage Seminar was “simply amazing”.
“It brought us an awareness of our issues and has been a platform for reconciliation. It saved our marriage from a slow death,” the couple said.
Francine said while the marriage seminar was developed as an enrichment experience for couples in loving and stable marriages, in recent years it has provided an effective tonic for couples in fragile and stressed marriages.
“The insights and frameworks of the seminar work equally well across these groups because after all ‘SmartLoving’ is simply that: a smarter way of staying in love despite the challenges we all face,” Francine said.
Lin and Sam attended the SmartLoving Engaged Course (formerly known as Embrace).
“We learnt so much about each other, especially our differences and how to work with them,” they said.
The Marriage Resource Centre’s online store will over time offer a wide range of books, DVDs, CDs and downloadable resources such as e-books, audio books, mp3s, mp4s and apps.
Byron said online courses and classes will also be developed over the coming year.
“The exciting thing about the world in which we live in is there are so many alternate ways to access resources today,” he said.
“The Marriage Resource Centre is a response to the growing interest in exploring alternative ways for Catholics to revitalising their Sacrament of Matrimony across our communities, and by doing so, making the Church’s vision about marriage understandable to the broader community in a real and tangible way.
“It’s simply a message that’s just too good to keep to ourselves.”
« Return to news list