Respect Life Month
Helping, respect and love walk hand in hand
Marriage Encounter helps couples grow
By Sarah Malcore
'Renewing for the 21st Century:
Loving the Feminine and Masculine'
How well do you know and respect your spouse?
Most people would reply, "I know everything about this person, their
thoughts, feelings, ideas ... ," and so on. It is easy for one to think he
or she knows everything about his or her spouse. It is easy for a
person to take his or her spouse for granted, and fail to respect and
love them they way they should.
Respect and love walk hand in hand. Without one, the other cannot
exist. Respect Life Month is a great opportunity for married couples to
truly evaluate their relationship. One tool available to married
couples is the Marriage Encounter program.
Marriage Encounter is not for couples in crisis; it is a program to
make a good marriage better says Tom Rinkoski, family life director at
the Green Bay Diocese works as a liaison with the Marriage Encounter
"Marriage Encounter provides couples with a weekend immersion
experience that offers them quality time together, and opportunity to
learn an effective communication strategy and an entry into the lively
community of marriage encounter alumni," says Rinkoski.
Terry and Dave Wojcik of Green Bay enjoyed their experience with
"Marriage Encounter changed our life in all areas," says Terry. "Not
only has our marriage grown stronger, but our parenting and faith has
become enhanced as well. We are growing as a couple in the right
direction, and we would recommend Marriage Encounter to anyone."
Fr. Bob Rhyner of Green Bay is a member of the Executive Clergy for
National Marriage Encounter. He says Marriage Encounter lets "couples
to grow in their love of one another and God. The couples that stay
involved are such positive people, continuing to work hard at their
marriages, supporting one another. I personally receive great energy
from being associated with them."
And the effect spreads to others. "The nice thing about Marriage
Encounter," Fr. Rhyner adds, "is that is does not have to be just for
married couples, but also for clergy and religious to grow in his or
her own relationship with God and the people."
Part of Marriage Encounter is focusing on the male and female
viewpoints of marriage, the priest added. Couples are encouraged to
look at themselves, and who they are as individuals. The differences of
the sexes and the need to recognize and respond to those differences is
brought out. It stresses the equality of husband and wife. Marriage
Encounter helps the couples to recognize their partner's needs, to
realize that each is an individual and the needs of men and women are
Terry Wojcik has also noticed that couple communication increases. "Marriage
Encounter can help men to share more emotions, open up more in the
relationship," she says. "Both partners eyes are opened up to what is
important in life."
October is Respect Life month, and the message Respect Life month
carries a message similar to that of Marriage Encounter. Rinkoski drew
a parallel, "one of the purposes of marriage is creation. In that,
Respect Life is about celebrating procreation. The link in important."
He also sees ties to the current diocesan theme, "Summoned to Serve."
"Service, like all other things begins at home," Rinkoski says. "If you
can not be in service to the one you care most deeply about, all other
service is empty. Service to your marriage partner can be small or
ultimate. It is the best training ground for service (to God)."
Dates of upcoming Marriage Encounter Weekends for the Lakeshore Area
are Oct. 13-15, March 23-25, 2001, May 25-27, 2001, and Oct. 19-21,
Marriage Encounter Weekends for the Green Bay area are October 14-15,
Nov. 17-19, 2000, Jan. 20-21, 2001, Feb. 9-11, 2001, March 10-11, 2001,
March 31-April 1, 2001, April 20-22, 2001, and May 5-6, 2001.
For more information, or to request registration materials, call Mike and Chris Sherry at 920-733-1571.
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