(320) 258-7611 www.getfullyengaged.com
Spring 2020 Quarterly Newsletter
Note :   Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, in line with recommendations from the CDC and U.S. government, the Diocese of St. Cloud is implementing a temporary telecommuting policy.

During this time of stay-at-home orders, our staff will be working from home to maintain social distancing and help stop the spread of this virus. The core of our work will be maintained so that we can continue to carry out our mission. We are being allowed to come in to fill orders twice a week (Monday and Thursday). Please know we will be answering your voice mails and emails from home during this time. We ask for your patience as we transition with this temporary change.
Fully Engaged is committed to serving parishes and the facilitators in their mission to provide quality marriage preparation and formation for the engaged couples they minister to. This is the first of a quarterly newsletter to enhance this ministry.

Our goal is to share tips, tools, new materials, and current articles/media on marriage that will aid Fully Engaged Facilitators in their work. Please share this with the other mentors in your parish. You may also wish to share the email addresses of mentor couples with us so they can receive future editions directly. Send email addresses to Chris Codden at ccodden@gw.stcdio.org.
Theme: After the wedding...
What can we do after our couple is married?
As Mentor Couples and Facilitators, we spend lots of time with our Engaged Couple. They learn to trust us, look to as as a powerful witness of the Sacrament of Marriage, and a couple that offers sound, credible insight.

While we may have completed the discussions from the Fully Engaged Inventory with the couple, is our role as Mentors done? Or is our responsibility as disciples of Christ, to continue accompanying our couples, as much as we are able?

Here are a few things you can consider to keep the lines of communication open.
  • Remember in the cop shows, how an officer will give a card to a person and says if they ever need help, call me. Do that for your engaged couple. While we are not meant to be counselors, we may be that trusted couple that they feel comfortable going to if they find their marriage needs some work.
  • Send a brief note or email (notes are better) to the bride and groom a week before their wedding, offering prayers and support as they approach the alter on their special day. Include your phone number and email, to make sure they have it later.
  • When your couple moves into their new home/apartment, or even if they are staying in the same place, offer them some ways they can bless their new home as a married couple. One idea can be found here. Or buy a "Bless This Home" sign they could put above their door. (Amazon, Esty, Hobby Lobby, Wayfair all have them).
  • Include the couple on your Christmas card list, letting them know you haven't forgotten them. It is amazing to receive cards back over the years and watch their families grow!
  • Invite them for dinner around their first anniversary, just to see how they are doing.
  • When there is a parish function, invite them to accompany you. It may help them feel more comfortable in their parish at a fun setting such as Bingo, Parish Festival, etc. Invite them again when you need help at a parish function. Doing service for our parish community is always easier when your invited and know someone there.
While many of our couples move far away from our parish, city/town or state, here is something you can do:
  • Call or text your couple randomly every few months for the first year. Let them know you are just checking in to see how they are doing.
If you haven't gotten the idea, INVITE, INVITE, INVITE!!
Recent Studies
A Desire For Marriage Linked to Happiness
A study done by Institute for Family Studies found that it is not just marriage that makes people happier but the desire for marriage. The research recognized two essential characteristics of marriage: pair bonding and procreation. When an individual had a strong desire for pair bonding and procreation in marriage, they were much happier. Further, the research indicated that the stronger one's desire for marriage is, the happier one is.
Divorce Rate Hits a 40-Year Low  
According to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, the national divorce rate in the United States dropped to a 40-year low: with 15.7 divorces per 1000 married women. 

Geographic analysis of these statistics revealed that, with a few exceptions, the majority of the states in the south were among the highest divorce rates and the majority of the states in the Midwest and Northeast were among the lowest divorce rates. While individual states are still seeing isolated spikes in divorce rates, it is encouraging to see the divorce rate drastically trending downward. Click here to read National Center for Family & Marriage Research article. From Abstinence Clearing House
Marriage Enhancements
10 Date Night In Ideas for When You Can’t Go Out
If any semblance of date night feels like it’s been drop-kicked out the door, you’re in good company. You might be hesitant to send the kids to Grandma’s, and the likelihood of finding a babysitter willing to enter your “germy” home has never been lower.
If you’re going to fight for time alone with your spouse, a little creativity is in order. From Family Life.
During this time of great difficulty for our nation and for us not being able to partake in the sacrifice of the Holy Mass, let us remember that the Lord, all the angels and saints, and Holy Mother Church are there for us. As this video so beautifully and strongly shows, the source and summit of our faith is real. During this time of Lent, let us remember what we believe, why we believe and that we will return to the greatest gift Christ has given us. Please watch this compelling short (7 min) video, “The Veil Removed.”  
Updating Website
It has been almost 10 years since we developed the Fully Engaged web-site. While it has served us well, we are seeing the need to up-date and enhance its function. Over the next five to six months, we will be developing major revisions, with the site being completely rebuilt. We are hoping this transition will be seamless, but do anticipate minor inconveniences. Please let us know if you are having difficulties as we strive to serve you better during this project.

If you have any suggestions or ideas to enhance our web-site and make it more user friendly, please share your ideas with us at fe@gw.stcdio.org by April 15th. 
Like us on our new Facebook page!
Get Fully Engaged
Keep up-to-date on the latest marriage studies, tips & ideas to enhance marriage.
Click here to view.
Supplements in English & Spanish

Our Supplements on Finance, Infertility & Adoption and Catholic Identity are available in English and Spanish on our website. The purpose of these supplements are to go into more depth on these topics to provide with a fuller discussion with the engaged couple when you feel more information would be beneficial to them. 

All three supplements are available online to download for free or they may be purchased in packs of 10 for $10. To order, login and click on “Order Materials” in the upper right corner or your Parish page. Materials can be ordered 24/7.

You will find the supplements, along with a variety of other resources, at: http://www.getfullyengaged.com/facilitators/additional-resources/

Note: Effective July 1st, if you are having Fully Engaged mail the Couple’s Workbooks to the couple directly, it will now include the three supplements.
When your parish has clergy or staff changes that effect billing and inventory contacts, please call us so we can update our records with updated names, email addresses, etc. Thank you.
Thank you for your commitment to forming couples for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
Have questions, or ideas for up-coming newsletters, please let us know. You can contact Chris at ccodden@gw.stcdio.org or Jill at jill.svihel@gw.stcdio.org or call the office at (320) 258-7611.
Chris Codden – Director, Fully Engaged
                                                          Jill Svihel – Coordinator, Fully Engaged

Dawn Gohmann—Clerical Support, Fully Engaged
(320) 258-7617