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"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.”
One of the most beautiful and yet difficult things in life is that of blending two lives into one this sacrament of marriage. Our Metropolis continues to provide Marriage Preparation Seminars which are offered in six locations throughout New England. These seminars are currently in the final stage of a total new format and curriculum. Fr. Charles Joannides (researcher for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Inter-Faith Marriage) and Dr. Philip Mamalakis (Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology) have accepted Metropolitan Methodios’ invitation to use our Metropolis program as a “test-site” to implement a new curriculum for Pre-Marital seminars that will be officially presented at the 2010 Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congress.
This four-hour marriage preparation course is offered at the Metropolis Center 8 times each year. The program has been developed and expanded to include instruction, couples activities, and group discussion on the nature of marriage, the struggles along the way, and strategies for preparing for this journey. Although many couples openly report that they are skeptical about spending a half day on their preparation for marriage, by the end of the semester, nearly all of them have reported learning a lot about marriage and appreciating the time spent as couples discussing the issues they will encounter once married. Most of the couples are Inter-faith, and many overwhelmed with the logistics of planning a wedding. In the midst of the pressures on their time, many would not take the time to talk about issues related to their marriage if it were not a requirement of our Metropolis. As we continue to finalize the program, couples are requesting additional opportunities for retreats directed at young couples. We look forward to working towards that as we complete the work on this pre-marital program.
Plans are currently underway to offer an over-night “Marriage Enrichment” Program that will then be offered several times a year at our new Retreat House at the St. Methodios faith and Heritage Center in New Hampshire. With the opening of the Retreat House, His Eminence has made a commitment to offer ongoing retreat programs which will focus on “Family Ministry,” including Marriage Enrichment, Family Camps, Young Adult Ministry, etc.
For more information also visit our Archdiocesan Website on Marriage and Family.