Radio

Built on the Rock

Third Thursday Monthly: 8 – 8:30 a.m.
WNDZ 750 AM

Hosted by Fr. Britto M. Berchmans and Sandy Labouvie, this 30-minute show will attempt to help listeners fashion their marriages and romantic relationships using the best insights of marriage experts, leading people to build their relationships solidly on the Rock that is Christ. The show uses wisdom from psychology, the well-tested insights of experts, real life experiences of couples and the well-considered observations of priests. There are healthy doses of humor, and at all times all our discussions are firmly rooted in our faith.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMOR IN RELATIONSHIPS

Thursday, October 17, 2019
The topic of humor is one that consistently comes up with our couples. They repeatedly stress the importance of keeping a sense of humor in their relationships. We would like to dedicate next month's show to unpacking this further. To help kick that discussion off, we are replaying our 2013 interview with Paul and Chris Minaszian who spoke on this very topic of not taking yourselves too seriously.

 

 

MARRIAGE AS A VOCATION - REFLECTION

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Drawing upon the insights offered by Dale and Martina in our last interview, we emphasize how marriage ought to be viewed as a vocation from God and therefore, it calls for adequate preparation. Within such a perspective, God holds the dominant place in the life of the couple and their family. Getting ready for marriage is not about finding the right person, but rather, being open to the person God has chosen for us while preparing ourselves to live a life of holiness in and through the vocation of marriage.

 

 

MARRIAGE AS A VOCATION

Thursday, August 15, 2019
Today's show reunited Fr. Britto and Sandy with Dale and Martina Schieman, whom they met while attending the University together. Time has proven that their love that began to bloom as young college students has flourished into a mature and holy union. Narrating their story, they emphasized how they have viewed their marriage as a vocation from God.

 

 

ADJUSTING IN THE EARLY YEARS - REFLECTION

Thursday, July 18, 2019
Reflecting on our interview with Bart and Jackie Bartosz, we were reminded that the early years of marriage are a period of adjustment. Rather than being a source of division, little annoyances can become occasions to deny oneself out of love for the other. More substantial challenges, such as the cultural differences between Bart and Jackie, can be overcome when there is honest and open communication. Such differences can even enhance the relationship when approached with open minds. When both people can learn to laugh together, life can become more joyful.

 

 

ADJUSTING IN THE EARLY YEARS

Thursday, June 20, 2019
The first years of marriage can be challenging as two individuals who led independent lives attempt to merge and become one. In this show, we interviewed Bart and Jackie Bartosz who have been married for one and a half years. Their flexibility, sense of humor, and love for each other helped to make the transition smoother.

 

 

FAITH NOT FATE

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Continuing our discussion around the insights garnered from our interview with Bob and Mary Ploen, we offer several important lessons for our listeners. First, we emphasize the importance of faith in marriage and relationships. Second, we discuss the necessity of prayer and meditation not only for the nurturing of our faith but also for the strengthening of our bonds. Finally, we encourage all of us to recognize the miracles in our lives just as Mary and Bob did in theirs.

 

 

GOD THE AUTHOR OF LIFE

Thursday, April 18, 2019
In today's episode, we begin to unpack our interview with Bob and Mary Ploen, specifically focussing on their respect for life demonstrated through their challenging pregnancy with triplets. Our discussion reflects upon the unwavering teachings of the Catholic church on life issues. Keeping in mind our eternal perspective, we provide some suggestions for what we can do as people who are pro-life.

 

 

THE VISIBLE HAND OF GOD

Thursday, March 21, 2019
This show ushered in the return of our original cohost, Sandra Labouvie, who brings a unique female perspective to our discussions. Returning to our original format of drawing upon real-life experiences of couples, we interviewed Bob and Mary Ploen who have been married for twenty-six years. Their unique marital journey faced unexpected challenges early on when they became pregnant with triplets. They are convinced that it was the visible hand of God that got them through.

 

 

THERE IS AN APPOINTED TIME FOR EVERYTHING

Thursday, December 20, 2018
In this episode, we announced that the co-host, Deacon Bob Bulger, will be stepping away from the show to begin his retirement. The rest of this show then involved a retrospective review of what Fr Britto and Deacon Bob had learned about marriage and relationships over the course of their 60 shows together. We talked about the family as giving meaning and purpose to 69% of the respondents to a Pew Research Study. We talked about marriage being a countercultural movement in the face of rising cohabitation rates and decreasing marriage rates. We reflected that love involves taking a risk, surrendering oneself for the good of the other and the relationship. We recalled some of the guests we had interviewed and what they taught us. Finally Deacon Bob closed be reflecting that some of the greatest achievements parents recall occur when they are the most subservient to their families. The outcomes of our sacrifices are usually known in hindsight.

 

 

SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS

Thursday, November 15, 2018
The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be a time of fun, celebration and making memories. It can also be a time of stress, frustration and family squabbles. Nothing dampens the Christmas Spirit faster than a conflict with loved ones because of miscommunication and holiday pressures. Further, families need to insure to keep Christ in the Christmas Season. Toward that end, we presented three principles for keeping marriage relationships healthy during this time. Borrowing from the work of Dr. John Gottman we discussed (1) the idea of solving your solvable problems and discarding the unsolvable ones; (2) ways to overcome gridlock; and (3) creating shared meaning with rituals and traditions. Our hope is that all families could benefit from these suggestions and enjoy and happy and blessed Christmas season.

 

 

ARE YOU LISTENING?

Thursday, September 20, 2018
Research has shown that we spend almost half of our waking hours listening. The question then becomes “Listening to what?” There is so much noise clutter in our lives (some call it the “white noise” of our life) that we often miss the important messages that are being spoken to us. In this show we addressed the often overlooked virtue of “listening”. In the first segment we discuss the importance of, and challenge of, listening to God. We reminded the listeners of Psalm 46:11 “Be still and know that I am God”. In a later segment we talked about listening to our spouses and others. We presented some tips on better “active listening”. The goal for this show was to inspire us to actively listen to God and others and not be simply waiting for our turn to talk.

 

 

FIVE SIGNS OF HOLINESS

Thursday, July 19, 2018
In this show, we continued our discussion of the Apostolic Exhortation “Rejoice and Be Glad”. In particular, we identified the Five Signs of Holiness that Pope Francis called “five great expressions of love for God and neighbor.” The first is being Grounded. Being solidly grounded in God gives us the inner strength to be a steady “witness of holiness”. The second sign of holiness is being Joyful. As someone once wrote “we must be joyful, otherwise why should anyone believe us.” Joy is the natural result of total trust and reliance on God. The third sign of holiness is being Bold. Holiness can lead to boldness, “an impulse to evangelize and to leave a mark in this world.” We are called to proclaim that Christ is Lord with boldness, passion and fervor. Being Communal is the fourth sign. “Growth in holiness is a journey in community, side by side with others.” And being Prayerful is the fifth sign. Prayer is our conversation with the Lord with whom we have a personal relationship. These five disciplines will help us bring holiness to families that are “built on the rock.”

 

 

REJOICE AND BE GLAD

Thursday, June 21, 2018
The stated purpose of our show is to strengthen the “domestic church”, which is Catholic family life. By building up relationships based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, we try to give witness to marriages that are “built on the rock.” In this episode we discussed the beautiful and thought provoking Apostolic Exhortation “Rejoice and Be Glad” by Pope Francis. We discussed how the Catholic faith is not so much about ideologies and rituals as it is about entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. Further, we discussed the difference between piety and holiness. False piety is about ourselves, true piety leads us closer to God. We also examined two false forms of holiness: Gnosticism and Pelagianism. We concluded with a discussion of Pope Francis’ five signs of holiness: Being Grounded, Being Joyful, Being Bold, Being Communal and Being Prayerful. We hope that this program serves as a small call to holiness. As Pope Francis has written: “We are called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do…”

 

 

THE ALL-OR-NOTHING MARRIAGE

Thursday, May 17, 2018
In this episode, we discussed the research of Eli Finkel as found in his book The All-or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work. Finkel, the Director of the Northwestern University’s Relationships and Motivation Lab and one of the nation’s leading marriage researchers, has documented a current view that young adults have about the marriage relationship. Finkel has reported that “today, we expect our spouse not only to make us feel loved but also to be a kind of life coach.” Couples today want a spouse who will further their inner growth. Thus, today’s marriages are perceived as all-or-nothing: those that that succeed in meeting these expectations and those that fall short. The hosts contrasted this approach with the Christian ideal that believes that “the two become one.” The hosts reminded the audience that Jesus said “if you lose your life you will gain it.” Thus Christian marriage is surrendering to the good of the relationship. As St Thomas Aquinas described: “love is actively willing the good of the other as other” not a journey that depends on the other to make me the best version of myself. God, and love, do that.

 

 

THE RISKS IN VIRTUAL RELATIONSHIPS

Thursday, April 19, 2018
For this show we welcomed Terri Schmidt, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker who maintains a private practice counseling couples through their relationship struggles. Terri brought a wealth of information about the risks inherent with on-line dating and social media type relationships. Terri identified these as “virtual relationships” as opposed to “real relationships”. Terri identified and explained such activities as “catfishing” and “ghosting”. She also explained such concepts as “fast love” versus “slow love” in building trustworthy relationships. Tips were given about how to stay safe in these social media situations and what to look for in a possible lasting relationship. It seems that seeking companionship and long term relationships has often devolved into consumerism and “date shopping”. This makes it so much harder to find the person that God has chosen for you.

 

 

SOME TIPS FOR MARRIED COUPLES

Thursday, March 15, 2018
The sacrament of marriage becomes real when the idealistic love the couples have for each other becomes tested and when they share in the sacrificial love of Jesus. Thus a successful marriage is not so much a matter of finding the right person but being the right person. With these ideas as a starting point, this episode explored the truths and tips in an article from the Catholic Update series called “10 Tips for Married Couples” by Susan Vogt. Although we did not cover all ten suggestions, we discussed the following topics: Be prepared for big challenges, Disagree without being disagreeable, Strive for similar values, Know your financial personality and Celebrate love not just sex. Ultimately, Catholic couples should strive to create a Marriage in the Lord. Couples are called together to seek God and, like Christ, lay down their lives for each other.

 

 

HELPING HUSBANDS UNDERSTAND THEIR WIVES

Thursday, January 18, 2018
In this show, we continued our discussion of a very informative and useful book titled For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women written by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn. In our respective experiences, we found the information contained in the book to be very helpful for married couples who want to strengthen their relationship with each other. In this episode we discussed primarily the issues of Security and Listening. The authors’ research has shown that women need emotional security and closeness so much that they will endure financial insecurity to get it. Relative to husbands listening to their wives with more effectiveness, the authors found that when a woman is sharing an emotional problem, her feelings and desires to be heard are more important than the problem itself. We feel that the information we shared in this show will help married couples continue to build their house on the rock that is Jesus Christ.

 

 

CAN THE HOLY FAMILY MAKE US HOLIER?

Thursday, December 14, 2017
As we began the season of Advent, we reflected on what the Holy Family of Nazareth can teach us in the modern era. Through the incarnation, Jesus was born into and raised by a human family. What does the model of Jesus, Mary and Joseph offer those families who strive to build their relationships on the rock of our faith? We discussed that Jesus offers us a model of sacrifice and surrender. The idea is that love in the family involves actively willing the good of the other. Mary, the Blessed Mother, teaches us to prayerfully discern God’s will for us in our lives and always answer “Yes”. Behold, we are the servants of the Lord, be it done unto us according to your will. And from St Joseph we learn humility and humble service to family and loved ones. We may not be the Holy Family but we can be holier families with Jesus in our midst.

 

 

WHAT COUPLES NEED TO KNOW

Thursday, November 2, 2017
We have found in the past that good books on marriage help create good marriages. And so, in this episode we explored the insights from an informative and helpful book titled For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women written by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn. Using both statistical research and large focus group studies, the authors have prepared a thoughtful presentation on specifically how women process their life events differently than men. Working from the position that “I Do” always means “Do You?” husbands must recognize that their wives need regular reassurance and persistent pursuit. We shared some of the secrets to “decoding” what women mean when they say or act in a certain way. In addition we examined the different perceptions that husbands and wives have about security. For example, men strive for and define themselves by financial security. Women crave emotional security. Oscar Wilde wrote: “Women are meant to be loved, not understood.” But we hope this episode helps husbands understand their wives a bit better.

 

 

ANNULMENTS -- PART 2

Thursday, October 5, 2017
In this episode we welcomed back Rev. Michael Bradley, Adjutant Judicial Vicar, and Susan Miller, Auditor for the Tribunal, from the Archdiocese of Chicago. We continued the dialogue about the purpose, process and misconceptions about the Declaration of Nullity (“annulment”). Many divorced Catholics receive false or misleading information about this process. The truth is that while the Catholic Church tries to safeguard marriage and not undermine it, there is still hope for those who, in particular, have experienced divorce but then discovered true love and fidelity in a second marriage. The Catholic Church has developed firm conditions (or “grounds”) for granting an annulment and some of these are discussed in the show. Importantly, it has been found that going through the process of annulment, regardless of the outcome, contributes to a healing that people need after undergoing the emotional experience of divorce.

 

 

ANNULMENTS

Thursday, September 7, 2017
The desire of every couple married in the Catholic Church is that they will experience a marriage that is permanent, faithful and productive. Unfortunately, not every marriage survives. Many Catholic marriages, like civil marriages, end in divorce. But a divorce decree does not remove someone from the Catholic Church nor does it eliminate the possibility of another marriage. In this episode, we explored the process of obtaining a Declaration of Nullity, or “annulment”. We shared the studio with Rev. Michael Bradley, Adjutant Judicial Vicar, and Susan Miller, Auditor for the Tribunal, from the Archdiocese of Chicago. Rev. Bradley and Ms Miller discussed all facets of the annulment process and provided hopeful path for those who are divorced and considering a second marriage.

 

 

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Thursday, July 6, 2017
In this episode Fr. Britto and Deacon Bob concluded their discussions of Dr John Gottman’s “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” The show began with some assumptions about marital conflict: (1) all marriages have some form of conflict, and (2) conflicts come in two forms – those that can be resolved and those that are perpetual (part of your lives forever). To address marital conflicts, Dr. Gottman’s final three principles were discussed. “Solve your solvable problems” requires identifying those problems that can be solved, learning to communicate with each other and practicing compromise. “Overcoming gridlock” involves the desire to move from gridlock to dialogue. Finally, “Creating shared meaning” involves creating an inner life together, a family culture that is rich with traditions and rituals. One of the most effective ways to do this is to become active members of a Christian faith community.

 

 

MORE PRINCIPLES FOR MAKING MARRIAGE WORK

Thursday, June 1, 2017
In a previous show, we introduced an important book on marriage relationships: “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John M. Gottman, Ph.D. In that episode we discussed the first two principles: Enhance Your Love Maps and Nurture Your Fondness and Admiration. In this episode, we presented and explored the next two principles developed by Dr Gottman. Principle Number Three is “Turn Toward Each Other instead of Away.” Marriage is fueled every time you let your spouse know that he/she is valued, especially during the grind of everyday life. Fr. Britto also explained the concept of couples making “bids” for their partner’s attention and how we can respond to those bids. Principle Number Four is “Let Your Partner Influence You.” Dr Gottman found that the happiest marriages were those where the husband treated his wife with respect and did not resist power sharing and decision making with her. We are seeing that all of these principles are rooted in a very Catholic teaching of extending honor, respect and dignity to each partner. The additional principles will be discussed in a future show.

 

 

THE “SCIENCE” OF MARRIAGES

Thursday, May 11, 2017
In this show we conducted a fascinating interview with Dr. Claire Kamp Dusch, a Professor of Human Development and Family Science at The Ohio State University. Claire has done extensive research into interpersonal relationships and teaches a class in Family Development. We discussed three separate topics during the show. The first segment explored the current state of marriage. Claire’s research has shown that marriage is becoming a more select status in our culture and that couples expectations for what marriage will provide for them has gotten much higher. The second segment dealt with cohabitation and its effects on marriage and relationships. In the third segment we looked at the current process of dating and the progression from dating to courtship to marriage. We concluded with Claire explaining an interesting hypothesis about marriage expectations called the “suffocation hypothesis”.

 

 

WORKING FOR “HAPPILY EVER AFTER”

Thursday, April 6, 2017
This show was devoted to an initial discussion on the landmark book “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John M. Gottman, Ph.D. This material is based on extensive, objective research that Dr. Gottman has done into happy and successful marriages. Two foundational ideas support the seven principles. The first is that couples in a happy marriage have an “emotional intelligence”. The more that couples are in touch with emotions (theirs and their spouses) the better they can understand and get along with each other. The second is that happy marriages are based in a deep friendship that results in “positive sentiment override”, that is, a sense of positivity and optimism about their relationship. Finally listen as we discuss the first two principles for making marriage work: (1) Enhancing a couple’s “love maps” and (2) Nurturing a sense of fondness and admiration. The remaining principles will be discussed in subsequent shows.

 

 

SHARING THE FAITH

Thursday, March 2, 2017
In the previous show, in which we interviewed Tom and Mary Ann Collins, we heard some spiritual wisdom which gave clear insight into building a marriage relationship on Christ. In this show we explored in depth some of that wisdom. In the “busyness” of modern life and times, many parents neglect the importance of their role in passing on the faith. We recalled Tom’s story of the image of his father, a simple man of faith, helping to re-center Tom on the importance of Christ, not possessions, as the center of one’s life. Fr Britto shared the lasting effects of his parents’ faith on him and his siblings. We also highlighted the importance of embracing the Word of God in our lives by falling in love with Scripture. The Collins’ gave testimony to the significance of this as well. Finally, we discussed the importance of turning outward our love for Christ, toward a life of ministry and service to His Church. As Fr Britto indicated: “the more you share your faith with others, the more your faith grows within you.”

 

 

DISCERNING A CALL

Thursday, February 2, 2017
When couples commit to a marriage in the Lord on their wedding day, they entrust their relationship to the Holy Spirit. They promise to go where God leads them, confident that their love for God and each other will strengthen them for life’s journey. In this program we interviewed Tom and Mary Anne Collins, a couple who, after 30 years of marriage, have discerned a call to the Diaconate Formation Program. Listen to their story as they were transformed from a couple who attended Sunday Mass as an “obligation” to a couple who are answering a call to put their married life in the service of Christ and his Church. Learn how a Bible Study opportunity brought them to a deeper love of God and His sacred Word and inspired them to be evangelists who spread the Good News.

 

 

THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE

Thursday, January 5, 2017
We believe that the Incarnation is God speaking to us in a language that we can understand. Creating healthy, lasting marriages involves couples speaking to each other in a language that they can understand. For this reason, this show centered on a discussion of the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. The theory of this Christian-centered book is that people tend to give love in the way that they prefer to receive love. In addition, Chapman believes that there are five universal ways that people express and interpret love. Listen as we speak about the five love languages and the need for couples to fill their emotional tanks by learning to speak the love language that best meets their need to love and be loved.

 

 

GETTING EACH OTHER INTO HEAVEN

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Thomas Merton once wrote “No man or woman gets into heaven by himself or herself. We bring others in with us, or we are brought in by others.” We believed this quote described the relationship between George and Suzanne Kirkland, whom we interviewed in our last show. In this episode we reviewed in depth the discussion we had with this Catholic married couple. By being open to the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives, Suzanne brought George into full communion with the Catholic Church and George brought Suzanne into a deeper relationship with Christ. Their relationship with Christ continues to strengthen their relationship with each other and with the Catholic community of their parish. Speaking in plain language, George commented “I get joy from making her happy.” What a perfect description of a marriage that is built on the rock of Jesus' teachings of self surrender.

 

 

DRAWING STRAIGHT WITH CROOKED LINES

Thursday, November 3, 2016
There is an old expression that “God draws straight with crooked lines”. This can mean that our path to the Lord can take us in many different and unexpected directions until our faith life brings us into a fulfilling relationship with God. In this show, we interviewed George and Suzanne Kirkland who shared the different directions their lives took until they met and fell in love. It was then that Suzanne’s re-awakening of her faith brought George into a relationship with Christ and full communion with the Catholic Church. George explained that even though his path of conversion was based on an intellectual and rational approach, he nonetheless has become a passionate believer in the real presence of Christ and the power of the Word of God contained in the Scriptures. Together this couple contributes to the faith life of their parish.

 

 

ALWAYS FAITHFUL

Thursday, October 6, 2016
During the Rite of Marriage, the priest questions the couple to be married about their intention to be faithful to each other using these words: “Are you prepared, as you follow the path of Marriage, to love and honor each other for as long as you both shall live?” All couples in a Catholic marriage must strive to honor that promise. However, our society offers many temptations, and implicit approval of, infidelity. In this program we discussed fidelity in a marriage and ways to insure that infidelity does not happen in a marriage built on the rock of Christ’s teachings. Listen as Fr Britto provides five practical tips that will help couples uphold their vows “to be faithful to (each other) in good times and in bad… all the days of (our) lives.”

 

 

FAMILY DISCIPLESHIP

Thursday, September 1, 2016
In this program we reflected on the interview with Bob and Charlene Shaw from the previous show. The lessons we learned from this faith-filled couple were that husbands and wives need to be interdependent in a healthy marriage, that parents must fully realize the importance of being role models of the faith to their children and that “marriage is not 50/50, it is 100/100.” Couples who wish to build their marriages on the rock that is Jesus Christ would do well to follow the example of the Shaws.

 

 

LOVE TURNED OUTWARD

Thursday, August 4, 2016
It has been said that love is “actively willing the good of the other.” In this episode we interviewed Bob and Charlene Shaw, a Catholic couple who have taken their love of God, and lessons learned in their family life, and turned it outward to a life of service and charity to the Church. Bob Shaw stated “Our foundation of existence is our belief in God. We’ve been blessed and we feel those blessings come from above. That’s why we give back.” Hear their relationship story that began in the Newman Center of Northwestern University and grew into a life of service to the Church both within their own parish as well as to the larger Archdiocese. The Shaws typify a marriage “Built on the Rock.”

 

 

LOVE THAT NEVER GIVES UP

Thursday, June 2, 2016
In “Amoris Laetitia – The Joy of Love”, Pope Francis writes that “Marital joy can be experienced even amid sorrow” (126). In this episode, we reflected on our experience of interviewing Diana and Joe Garvey on our previous show. This was a couple that gives witness to the Christian ideal that love never gives up. Both Diana and Joe had lost their spouses and, in sharing their grief with each other, their friendship grew into a marital love. We discussed this couple’s continuing respect for their previous partners while giving themselves permission to love each other and the process of still blending their new families and the “giving birth” to a call to parish ministry. The story of Diana and Joe is a Resurrection story: that through pain and grief, new life can emerge if you have “faith in God and faith in yourself (Joe Garvey)”.

 

 

GOD OF SECOND CHANCES

Thursday, May 12, 2016
As Christians, we spend the Easter season reflecting on the mystery of the Resurrection and reminding ourselves that we believe in a God of “Second Chances”. When a husband and wife profess in their wedding vows that that they shall be together “all the days of our lives”, they never anticipate an untimely death that ends the marriage sooner than they would want. But that does not mean they have forever lost the graces and blessings of marriage. In this episode we interviewed Joe and Diana Garvey, a couple who lost their first spouses due to untimely deaths but then found each other. They shared how their relationship developed from a friendship between two people who could simply share their grief to a love that found its fulfillment in marriage. They also shared how their journey through grief became a calling to a bereavement ministry that they now experience together. They also provided tips on the practical aspects of merging two existing families into one new family.

 

 

AT THE HEART OF FORGIVENESS IS MERCY

Thursday, March 3, 2016
The focus of this show was exploring the relationship between mercy and forgiveness, particularly as it relates to marriage and family relationships. We are in the Year of Mercy that was declared by Pope Francis and through our Lenten journey we should be learning that showing mercy demands a stretching of the heart and an enlargement of love, empathy and grace. Forgiveness releases one from a past hurt or victimization and leads one to an experience of a Resurrection moment. We discussed the steps of forgiveness which include prayer, empathy, the grace of forgiveness and letting go of the ego, the commitment to forgive and the ability to hold onto the forgiveness. “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” All families need to practice the challenge of forgiveness.

 

 

INTENTIONAL PARENTING

Thursday, February 11, 2016
In this show we reflected on and discussed the importance of parents being “intentional” in the passing on of the Catholic faith. Building on the previous interview with Tim and Kristin O’Regan, we addressed the need for parents to not only be the role models of the faith but to also assume the obligation and responsibility for ingraining the faith into their family. We affirmed the O’Regan’s decision to always be “open to life” and the way they celebrate family life with their 6 children. We discussed Kristin’s comment that “my job (as wife and mother) is to get my family to heaven.” What would be a better job description for Catholic parents than that?

 

 

PARENTS MUST BE ROLE MODELS

Thursday, January 7, 2016
For parents, raising children has many blessings and many challenges. One of the biggest challenges is to insure that they are “in the world but not of the world.” In this program we interviewed Tim and Kristin O’Regan, parents of 6 children, who are striving to be role models of our faith for their family. Kristin speaks about her primary responsibility of “getting her children in to heaven” and not always being their friend. As advocates of natural family planning, Tim and Kristin have tried to insure that they would follow God’s divine plan for their family. As parents of what might be considered a “counter-cultural”, large family, the O’Regans speak to God, faith and family as their priorities in life.

 

 

SUCCESS FACTORS

Thursday, December 3, 2015
In healthy marriages, couples look at themselves as “partners”. The derivation of that word is to be “part of.” Marriage partners are an intrinsic part of each others’ lives. In this program, we examined more closely some “success factors” that were offered by Terri Schmidt, the guest from our previous show. Specifically we discussed factors such as being emotionally connected, intellectually well matched and compatible in the approach to handling finances. In addition, we addressed the importance of compatibility in spirituality, the sense of humor and the couple’s approach to intimacy. Although nothing is guaranteed in our relationships, these ingredients would seem to create a recipe for a long-term, happy and emotionally healthy marriage.

 

 

BUILDING UP THE FAMILY

Thursday, November 12, 2015
St. John Paul II declared that “the future of the world and the Church passes through the family.” And yet, families today must struggle against the tides of stress, “busyness” and commercialism. At no time is this more prevalent than during the holiday season. For this reason, we interviewed Terri Schmidt, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who spoke about the challenges and risks to family life that she encounters in her private practice. In particular, she spoke about the importance for couples to be spiritually compatible, emotionally connected and sharing a healthy sense of humor. Pope Francis calls the family “the basic cell of society”. We must strive to keep it healthy.

 

 

A MODEL FOR FAMILY LIFE

Thursday, October 1, 2015
With the pressures and strains that are put on family life in our current culture, parents need to find role models for creating faith-filled, spiritually healthy families. In this episode we offered the image of the Holy Family as an excellent model for Christian family life. The young Jesus can teach us about sacrifice through obedience. Mary is the purest representation of prayerfulness and trust in the Lord. Joseph shows us the power of simple humility and service to the family. We concluded with Pope Francis’ suggestions for creating families of holiness: be families of love, forgiveness, care and prayer.

 

 

NO GREATER LOVE

Thursday, September 3, 2015
In John 15:12-13, Jesus says “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” In this episode we discussed the reality of self sacrifice, which is an essential element of a marriage that is built on the teachings of Jesus Christ. In the midst of a culture that proclaims “me first”, a Catholic family is built on love for another. Often this involves surrendering our ego and embracing the humility necessary to surrender to the needs of our spouse and our family. Sacrifice, which Pope St John Paul II described as “mutuality”, requires mutual respect , a vulnerability that allows letting go of control for the greater good of the family and the constant effort to love as Christ loves.

 

 

ALWAYS FAITHFUL

Thursday, August 6, 2015
The Catholic Church believes that the Sacrament of Matrimony contains three essential attributes: it is permanent, fruitful and faithful. In this episode, we discussed the threat to healthy, sacramental marriages that is posed by infidelity. Saint Pope John Paul II, in his catechesis on the theology of the body, emphasized that there is a “moral goodness” in marriage which is its faithfulness. Yet, in our culture, there is constant temptation to personally fulfill our every need, often at the expense of others. We forget that Thomas Aquinas said that “love is actively willing the good of the other” not of self. As God is always faithful to us, we need to strive for a covenant of fidelity in marriage. Suggestions were given to ensure that our marriages will be always faithful.

 

 

I CAME NOT TO BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE

Thursday, July 2, 2015
In this episode, we discuss at length the interview from the previous show with Jennifer and James Brooks. This couple is giving living witness to the call of our faith to be servants for Christ. It was noted that this show aired just prior to Independence Day. In reality, our faith calls us to be dependent on God and interdependent on one another. We examined the importance of learning to balance our call to discipleship with the realities of work, family and marriage relationships. Jennifer and James shared how they cope with this added stress in their lives. They also described the transformative effect in their family after committing to the passion for serving. Jesus made it clear when he said “I have given you a model to follow, so as I have done for you, you should also do.” The Brooks family has learned to place their trust and dependence on God.

 

 

WE WILL SERVE THE LORD

Thursday, June 4, 2015
In a recent tweet, Pope Francis wrote “The witness that comes from charity, which is to worship God and serve others, is what makes the Church grow.” In this program we interviewed a couple who are bearing witness to the command to love and serve God by loving and serving others. Jennifer and James Brooks shared their story of how their faith is the guiding force for their lives. In particular, Jennifer spoke about her discernment of a call to establish a ministry of service to others in her parish. In answering that call she began “The Servants of St Francis”, an organization dedicated to serving others both within the parish as well as outside of its boundaries. She gave examples of the large number of volunteers and services projects that have grown from this ministry. James and Jennifer also talked about how they protect their marriage while living their very busy and challenging lifestyle.

 

 

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE

Thursday, May 14, 2015
In this episode we recognized the great challenge that is everyday married life. Divorce rates are still high even among Catholic couples seemingly well prepared for married life. We identified three principal threats to a successful marriage: choosing the right person, lack of commitment and lack of effort. We then addressed two approaches that might help sustain and strengthen marriage. First, couples need to give their marriage PEPP (Primacy, Empowerment, Protection and Prayer). Second, couples should learn to communicate with each other the way they pray to God: Praise, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Petition.

 

 

A FAITH FILLED FAMILY

Thursday, April 2, 2015
In the encyclical Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis writes “Parents are called…not only to bring children into the world, but also to bring them to God.” In this program we discussed our interview with Matt and Barb Spiewak, a couple who is striving to bring their six children to a life of faith. We learned that Matt and Barb were both seeking a partner who was Catholic. Upon meeting and falling in love, they committed to making Jesus Christ the center of their lives. They have been trying to live out that commitment in their time together as family whether on vacation, during mealtime or weekly Mass. Matt and Barb freely admit that their life and their children are not perfect but they see their blessings. Blessings that have come from their commitment to each other and to Christ.

 

 

UNLESS THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE

Thursday, March 5, 2015
On this program we interviewed Dr. Matthew and Barbara Spiewak, parents of six children, two of whom have special needs. They shared the challenges of their efforts to balance his medical career with their desire to have a family that is built on a strong Catholic faith. Their commitment to adoration has been a source of strength for them. You will smile when you hear their attempts at the family Rosary time as well as their “date nights” at the kitchen table when the children are in bed. The Spiewak’s give witness to Psalm 127: “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build.”

 

 

THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS

Thursday, February 12, 2015
This program concluded the extended discussion on conflict management in marriage by focusing on forgiveness. In the prayer that Jesus taught us, we are instructed to “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” The wisdom of the book Five Steps to Forgiveness by Dr. Everett Worthington was discussed. The program concluded with the understanding that the infinite mercy and love of God empowers us to “let go of our ego” and to forgive others.

 

 

FIGHTING FAIRLY

Thursday, January 1, 2015
This program was the third installment on the shows dealing with conflict management for married couples. Every couple faces the challenge of conflicts and disagreements. The secret to success is to understand some rules for fighting fairly and with love and respect for each other. It has been said “Don’t waste a good fight by not leaning from it.” Eight rules for fighting were discussed. Talking about your feelings not your spouse’s faults, sticking to one topic, listening with all your powers and remembering that you are on the same team were some of the suggestions. Using physical abuse to resolve conflicts is never tolerated or accepted. Additional resources were also provided.

 

 

1 2