Throughout the couple’s courtship, Aaron went through Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) classes at Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Oshkosh. The couple’s dates often included Anna introducing Aaron to different types of prayer and visits to parishes and shrines throughout the state.
This type of dating was foreign to Aaron, but he started to see the fruits of the couple’s prayers grow in his life and the life of his new relationship.
“I firmly credit Mary and the rosary for our engagement and marriage,” Aaron said. “Without her prayers I do not think Anna and I would have the loving relationship we have today.”
Through their courtship they learned how important their faith community is and how, for them as a couple, it directly links to their spiritual life and the health of their relationship.
They feel a strong call to witness the many graces they experienced by setting God as their first priority while dating and preparing for marriage.
Ministry to those preparing for marriage, and those living their vocation through marriage, is a true calling for the Jellebergs, who were married last summer. The couple volunteers with Most Blessed Sacrament’s pre-Cana marriage preparation program. In the witness talk they give during the program’s engagement retreats, they share how growing in their faith while dating started their marriage off on the right spiritual foot.
Your Catholic Neighbor
Name: Aaron and Anna Jelleberg
Parish: Most Blessed Sacrament, Oshkosh
Age: Aaron, 26; Anna, 25
Favorite saint: Blessed Mother and Philomena
Words to live by: “Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.” —
“We enjoy helping out with the pre-Cana because a lot of the topics covered in the retreat, such as theology of the body, natural family planning and getting involved in your parish, have helped us learn how to live out our vocation of marriage with a greater understanding of one another and God,” Anna said.
Being so involved in ministry to engaged and married couples has been a blessing to the young marriage of the Jellebergs.
Both Aaron and Anna are now hourly captains at the perpetual eucharistic chapel in Oshkosh. One of their favorite parish activities is the Friday night adult study group. In addition to serving as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, Anna also volunteers at the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother Convent in Oshkosh. This includes helping out with “Let’s Be Limber,” an exercise program, and giving the sisters hand and foot massages, which Anna says is a lot of fun. As for Aaron, he has just started lectoring at the parish.
How else do the Jellebergs live out their faith?
“By praying. All the time,” Anna said. “We try to grow in our relationship with God and pray every day for our hearts to be more converted to God so that we can love like him.”
Their favorite prayer is the Mass, which they attend together — on Sunday and during the week. They also pray the morning and evening prayers found in the Magnificat.
The Jellebergs believe that by being active members of their community and parish they can best learn how to love God and each other. And now that Aaron is a new Catholic and the couple is married, the rosary is an integral part of their prayer life as husband and wife.
“By learning so much about God and the church, we have learned a lot about our own selfishness,” Anna said. “We work hard at bettering ourselves so we can love each other and God more.”
The Jellebergs believe the best way to live out their vocation is to be actively living it every day.
“In living out our vocation of marriage, we realize it is important for us to be involved with the parish community to strive to grow in holiness and strengthen our marriage,” Aaron said. “We both want to see each other in heaven. Marriage is helping one another reach that goal.”