October 2019


Fall is here! The leaves have started to turn vibrant colors, the orchards are full of families picking apples, and we're all starting to pull cozy sweaters out of our closets. While it may be tempting to stay cuddled up inside, take advantage of everything nature has to offer this season and spend some quality time with your beloved. Go on a double-date with some friends to visit a local pumpkin patch. Take a Sunday afternoon after church to drive through the country and marvel at the beauty of the fall foliage. Visit the farmer's market on Saturday morning for brunch or dinner supplies, then make a meal together. Spend a morning volunteering at a local soup kitchen then stop by a local cidery for a hot drink on your way home.

October is also the month of the Rosary. If you grew up Catholic, it's likely you prayed a family rosary or learned the prayers in CCD or religion class. While the rosary may seem intimidating - or even boring - it's one of many ways to talk to Mary, the mother of Jesus. She is our mother, too, and has a special place in her heart for engaged and married couples. Prayer is the bedrock of a holy, healthy relationship, so take some time this month to pray a rosary with your beloved. Here's a how-to if you're not familiar with the prayers or if you need a refresher.. Start small if you need to, just a decade at a time, and if you don't have a rosary on hand, your fingers will do. You may be surprised at the peace you receive from reciting the dozens of Hail Mary's.

Of special note are the Memorial Masses that will take place this month in South Bend and Fort Wayne for parents who have lost a child. If you or someone you know has lost a child at any age, in the womb or after birth, we invite you to attend one of these Masses to memorialize the life of your child. If you have not experienced such a loss, keep parents who have in your thoughts and prayers this month. We have some simple tips for reaching out to someone who may be griving their child below.

We hope that this issue of Marriage Matters will provide you with peace in your prayer life and inspiration to savor this present season.

The Marriage & Family Ministry Staff
8 fall date ideas
Fall is a time of change—you can see it in the trees, and you can feel it in the crisp air. For me it’s a reminder to be present because I know the beauty of autumn is so fleeting, but it’s also a reminder to be present in my relationship, too. So don’t let fall slip away without heading out into the autumn air with your significant other. Here are eight date ideas that will help you savor the season and refresh your relationship.
5 ways Catholic couples can practice hospitality this fall
Married couples can offer many unique gifts to their family and friends that are specific to their particular calling, especially the gift of hospitality.  By creating a home, married couples have a space in which they can invite others in, to allow others to receive a taste of the beauty and communion of our heavenly home.  Couples can practice hospitality in a variety of ways, but if you are looking for some ideas on how to do this in this new fall season, give one of these a try!
Made for Love: When Love Means Leaving (podcast)
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To spread awareness, we're featuring a podcast episode that addresses this tragic reality that too many families face today. The bishops issued a statement on domestic violence over 20 years ago, but many people don't know what the Church’s teaching is. This episode features Denise, Kathy Bonner, Fr. Chuck Dahm, OP, and the founder of Catholics for Family Peace, Sharon O’Brien.
10 ways saying the rosary will change your life
The rosary is one of the best known Catholic prayers, but it's difficult to take up for many people. You aren't alone if you're feeling sluggish or unsure about praying a rosary! It's a powerful prayer that's worth the effort. Here are 10 ways that praying the rosary will change your life, plus some practical tricks to help you stay consistent.
How to love someone who is grieving their child
October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. When someone you love has experienced the loss of a child, it’s hard on everyone. You love them dearly, but you don’t really know what they are going through and you don’t know what to do. Fortunately, loving a grieving friend or family member isn’t as complicated as it can seem. Here are seven ways to love someone who is grieving their child.
Marriage Tip of the Month

Set aside some time this month to meditate on a decade of the rosary with your beloved.
Memorial Masses for those who have lost a child  

If you have lost a child before or after birth (including through miscarriage or abortion), please join us for a special Memorial Mass on each side of the diocese in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. You will have the opportunity to record your child’s name in a Book of Remembrance, to take home a silk rose in honor of him or her, and to pray together with others who have suffered the loss of their little ones. Sponsored by Marriage & Family Ministry, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. For more information, please contact Lisa Everett at 574-234-0687 or email  leverett@diocesefwsb.org .