Providing a solid foundation for Catholic marriage
Picture of Love is a marriage preparation program for Catholic parishes originally released in 2002 by Living the Good News. It has been a steady seller, mostly because it is the program for marriage preparation used by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, though it sells throughout the U.S. to Catholic parishes and dioceses.
The program includes everything a marriage preparation team needs to facilitate sessions. Activities for couples include personal reflection and journaling, sharing with their partner, and small-group or large-group exercises. Topics include:
Communication and Conflict Resolution
Finances, Budgeting, and Money Management
Dreams, Goals, and Decision Making
Ecumenical and Interfaith Marriages
Why a revised edition? Here is the rationale provided by the authors:
The Program was originally published in 2002, and although the foundation concepts are still valid, the world has changed dramatically in the past 13 years.
The recent focus of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which includes all bishops from across the United States, has been to make “marriage and family life” a priority, especially in the area of spirituality and prayer. The engaged couple’s evaluations have also been asking that more prayer and reflection be added to the program.
Some of the areas to be addressed to bring the program into the 21st Century are:
• Today’s Communication, including the use of technology and the need to address how these changes are affecting the couple’s relationship: Texting, Facebook, email etc.
• Pornography and its influence on today’s relationships, especially in the area of intimacy
• Dual-Career Couples and setting priorities
• Increase of scripture and moments of prayer
It is also important to incorporate more engaged couple activities as well as group interaction. The teaching component of the Presenting Couples is critical; however, it has always been the authors' belief that the more the engaged couples participate, the more “ownership” they take in the process.
Last, but not least, a revised edition provides an opportunity to update the look of the resource, including making the couples' workbooks contemporary and more appealing.