Diocese to expand support for couples and families

The Diocese of Venice recognizes the importance of forming all married couples, from newlyweds to empty nesters, to live out their call to holiness and joy in the Sacrament of Marriage! As St. John Paul II famously said, “As goes the family, so goes the nation, and so goes the entire world in which we live.”

To promote greater support and formation for couples, the Diocese of Venice Office of Family Life and the St. John Paul II Foundation are working jointly to bring “Together in Holiness” to the entire Diocese. “Together in Holiness” is a comprehensive marriage enrichment initiative that includes an annual, one-day Conference series for couples, as well as a year-round Formation series for couples in Parishes, schools, and small communities.

“The Diocese of Venice continues to value the ongoing collaboration with the St. John Paul II Foundation in support of marriage and family,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane. “It is precisely the fruits that flow from the “Together in Holiness” Conference and the ongoing follow up Formation series, that the Sacrament of Marriage is all about. Through its Office of Family Life, the Diocese invites all couples to participate in these life-enriching opportunities.  Married couples are a sacramental representation of love, joy, and commitment, so I am thankful that “Together in Holiness” assists our married couples to contribute to the renewal of the family, Church and society.”

The second annual “Together in Holiness” Marriage Enrichment Conference will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, the Feast of St. John Paul II, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be hosted at St. John XXIII Parish, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers. Couples will enjoy a day of quality time with their spouse accompanied by dynamic presentations! The day will include the Mass and the availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This special event is for all couples, engaged, newlywed or long married. Access to on-site childcare will be provided.

The inaugural “Together in Holiness” Marriage Enrichment Conferences on Oct. 2, 2021, in Sarasota and Naples drew some 120 couples.

Here are just a few of the positive comments from previous attendees:

  • “Incredible!” “Life-changing!” “Impactful!” “Educational!” “Just what we needed!”
  • “It was truly a great event, very inspiring and applicable to the everyday life. It helped me to take a fresh look at my marriage and the relationship with my husband.”
  • “We both got a lot out of the entire day. It was a day of connecting – with each other, with other couples, with own selves, and, most importantly, with God.”

Complementing the one-day conference, the “Together in Holiness” Formation series offers year-round marriage enrichment to small communities of spouses that equips them with the formation, encouragement, and practical tools to grow together in holiness and to form their children in the Catholic Faith.

The “Together in Holiness” Formation series is a 7-part series based on the life, witness, and teachings of St. John Paul II on marriage and family life. Highlights include short, compelling video presentations with national speakers, Host Couples who facilitate discussion, and a “Bring it Home” component that translates learning into living. The Formation series is also available for Spanish-speaking couples through translated materials and captioned videos.

To register, please visit https://forlifeandfamily.org/events/th22-vnfl/. A video message from Bishop Frank J. Dewane can be found at www.dioceseofvenice.org/together-in-holiness-marriage-conference-october-22-2022.

For more information, please contact Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543 or at  harkey@dioceseovenice.org.

Diocese to host Marriage Enrichment Conference Oct. 2

The Diocese of Venice recognizes the importance of forming married couples to live out their vocation in holiness and joy! As St. John Paul II famously said, “As goes the family, so goes the nation, and so goes the entire world in which we live.” It is of crucial importance that families in the Church are empowered to understand and live out their vocation.

To promote greater formation for couples, the Diocese of Venice Office of Family Life and the St. John Paul II Foundation (Houston, Texas) are working together to bring the first “Together in Holiness” Marriage Enrichment Conference to the Diocese on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.

The Conference will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be hosted at two locations: St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples and St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. This one-day Conference includes dynamic presentations, vigil Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation, and on-site childcare.

This year’s theme is “Family, A School of Virtue” and the main speakers are Kevin and Lisa Cotter, who will speak at both locations.

“Together in Holiness” is unique in that it offers a place of encounter, where God’s plan for marriage and family is proclaimed and a desire for holiness is enkindled in the hearts of married couples. This is complemented by ongoing formation for spouses within a natural community of friends who accompany each other on the path to holiness by providing formation that will help learning take root in daily living.

Diocese Family Life Coordinator Carrie Harkey said the fall Conference is expected to be the first in a series of Diocesan conferences presented by the St. John Paul II Foundation and is open to all couples who desire to grow in holiness and strengthen their marriage and family life.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane has thrown his full support into this effort of promoting the vocation of marriage.

“All couples in the Diocese of Venice are encouraged to join us this fall as the Conference explores how your family can become its own ‘school of virtue’ through this marriage initiative,” Bishop Dewane said. “My hope is that each of you may be inspired to live out the beautiful vocation of marriage more fully and embrace the call to be missionary disciples. How blessed the Diocese is to offer this Conference.”

The following are just a few of the comments from past attendees across the country:

“[The] Together in Holiness Conference was wonderful. We don’t often have a lot of opportunities to sit together in a quiet room, so we really appreciated having a whole day set aside to be together. It’s important to invest time in a marriage so you can stay on the same page with your spouse. This Conferences is an investment that can continue to yield fruit for years to come!”

“We loved the good, practical information that we feel like we can apply right away.”

For those interested in attending the “Together in Holiness” Marriage Enrichment conference, the full schedule, list of speakers, and descriptions of the presentations are available at togetherinholiness.org. You can also contact the Conference Coordinators at TH@forlifeandfamily.org or 832-779-1070 for more information.

If you have any other question, please contact Diocese Family Life Coordinator Carrie Harkey at 941-484-9543 or harkey@dioceseofvenice.org.