‘Promises of Marriage’ event aims to enrich marital love


CORALVILLE – The Stephen Ministry group at St. Thomas More Church is sponsoring “Promises of Marriage,” an evening of ideas, stories and activities to help spouses celebrate their relationship. On Sunday, Feb. 9, from 6–8 p.m. at the church, couples are invited to come and revisit the promises that began their married life together.
Participants will have “date” time and fellowship, which includes wine, cheese, coffee and dessert, and an hour-long presentation by St. Thomas More parishioner and marriage and family therapist Phil Striegel, Ph.D.
“We will begin with the understanding that Catholic marriage involves the sharing of promises, before God and witnesses, to care for one another,” Striegel said. He will draw on his 24-year career as a marriage counselor “to guide us in the exploration of ways that we can understand and live those promises more fully.”
Striegel said the framework for his presentation comes from a workshop that James Healy, director of family life in the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., led in Iowa City 10 years ago. After that workshop, Striegel and Father Bob Striegel, his second cousin and a priest of the Davenport Diocese, discussed whether the counselor could offer a presentation for local churches. “It was the Stephen Ministry of St. Thomas More that invited me to share with them some of my professional experience of marriage,” Striegel said.
Stephen Ministry is designed to offer Christ-centered, non-judgmental support to adults. Carol Lyon said she and her fellow Stephen Ministers at the Coralville parish enjoyed Striegel’s presentation so much, “we asked if he’d be willing to speak to a larger group and he agreed.”
“It is my hope that we will leave the Feb. 9 encounter with a deeper experience of marital love as connection and the various ways that we connect in our daily lives,” he said. “It would be my dream that we depart with a sense that most of our problems in marriage are not about problems in ourselves or our partner, but instead are in the ways that we struggle to live our promises.”
For more information or to register, contact Carol Lyon at jclyon5@msn.com or (319) 338-9290. Suggested donation is $10 per couple.

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