UP Catholic 02 05 2016 E Edition Page 11

In 2015, there were several changes made to the structure of departments at the diocesan level. Among the changes was assigning the responsibilities of a family ministry. A large part of the ministry will be targeted towards marriage preparation across the Diocese of Marquette. Bishop John Doerfler has tasked the duties of the ministry to Greg Gostomski, who serves as the director of youth, young adult and family ministry for the diocese. While not able to offer all the ministries that the for- mer diocesan family life office promot- ed, Bishop Doerfler has a definite vision for this en- deavor. Michigan Celebrates Marriage is an initiative of the Michigan Catholic Conference, in collab- oration and coordination with the seven Roman Catholic dioceses in the state of Michigan. Desiring to continue this sup- port of marriage, Bishop Doerfler plans to implement mentor couples at each parish or cluster of parishes this fall. Mentor couples will participate in marriage preparation with engaged cou- ples, maintain contact with them in the irst years of their marriage, and provide support when needed. The mentor couples will also act as advocates for marriage in the parish, provide opportunities for mar- riage enrichment and evangelize married couples. Mentor couple ministry isnt a new idea, but taking it a step further where the mentors offer ongoing support after the marriage is unique, said Gostomski. According to Gostomski, the diocese will be building the program from the ground up. Currently, there arent any other dio- ceses in the state with the same vision of mentor couples. I'm seeking insights from diocesan col- leagues around the state and finding out best practices that have worked for them. Gostomski is also reviewing marriage preparation programs, taking input from pastors regarding the resources that they currently use. We are trying to deter- mine which resourc- es lend themselves to a model that uses mentor couples he stated. This July, Gostomski will be attending the National Association of Catholic Family Life Minis- ters (NACFLM) conference in Albuquer- que, N.M. The conference will allow him to network with other family life ministers from around the country and bring back the best practices to the diocese. For more resources on marriage, and to learn more about the Michigan Celebrates Marriage initiative visit www. michi- gancele- bratesmar- riage.com. www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC WEDDINGS & MARRIAGES February 5, 2016 11 801 West US 2 Norway, MI (906) 563-5100 garden.place @att.net Like us" Intimate & Elegant to Grand & Formal We can help make your Dream Wedding come true. become something that has strengthened their marriage as a whole. Our relationship is stronger now, because going to Mass is something we do together, as a married couple. Its something we choose to do, of our own free wills, without pressure from others, stated Kevin. We have something we both believe in and both want. We were a good match before, but we didn't quite have that (faith) unity. We have this unity, we know what we're doing, we know its right, echoed Kristi. Every Sunday we go to Mass togeth- er. Its something we can do together and together coming closer to God. Following Easter Vigil, Kristi and Kevin had their marriage blessed in the Catholic Church by their pastor, Father Lar- ry Van Damme. Kevin summed it up saying, Being there at every Mass together and participating in our new ministries Kristi is an Eucharistic Minister and I am a lector has deepened our understanding of the faith and taught us what the Catholic vision of marriage is all about. FROM PAGE 10 Marriage preparation at the forefront of new diocesan family ministry JAMIE CARTER THE U.P. CATHOLIC Kristi and Kevin Flohe stand together for a photo following the blessing of their marriage at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Ishpeming.

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