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Apostolic Movement

Preparation for marriage – a joint project of the Family Movement in Germany

By: Manuela and Peter Miller

The number of couples, Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, Schoenstatt Fathers and Schoenstatt priests who have been involved for years in marriage preparation for the Movement in Germany came to light at the meeting of those responsible for these Schoenstatt initiatives in the country. Whether in Munster or Munich, whether a concise four-day seminar, a six-night model, online or in person, the Schoenstatt Family Movement offers marriage preparation programs in a variety of formats and locations.

Plenty of experience and passion

The leadership of the Family Branch at the Schoenstatt Movement’s headquarters in Germany invited all those who offer marriage preparation on behalf of the Schoenstatt Movement to an encounter on the last weekend in February. Some of the participants did not know each other or only knew each other through e-mail contact. “It was great to get to know the face that goes with the name.”

That all marriage preparation initiatives and formats were given importance and that all the people and the programs were valued was appreciated. At the same time, the wealth of knowledge and passion invested in each individual course format was highlighted.

The participants felt that a particularly valuable aspect of the meeting was the joint compilation of content that should be considered important for a marriage preparation seminar. They also discussed the attitudes that characterize the style of the events. “This is our profile. We already have a common style, a brand,” said one of the participants.

Tending towards a common image, without holding back creativity

Within the positive atmosphere of the meeting, other ideas also emerged. “What resources do we have? Where are the limits? How can marketing be more effective?” Working in groups, good ideas emerged on all of these questions.

There was a lengthier discussion on the question of a common visible identity. “Should there be a standardized brochure, or should diversity remain?”. “What could be a common name?” “Should a logo be developed?”. During the discussion on these questions, it became clear that, on the one hand, the external image is important, but on the other hand, it should not be to the detriment of the creative motivation of those involved.

Team of collaborators at national level

In order to be able to take the next steps, there needs to be a contact person and possibly a team where the threads come together. A list of speakers and a list of accompanying families could also be created and maintained. The desire to continue the dialogue and networking led to the creation of a “signal” group as a concrete first step.

Post-wedding support for couples

Support for couples after the wedding was another topic that engaged the group. The organizers of the marriage preparation seminars have long been in favor of having the participating couples meet after the wedding, so they are helping to arrange a first meeting whenever possible. This has resulted in several couples and family groups, some of which meet regularly over several years. The group summarized that more ideas and the search for adequate resources are needed for sustainable marriage support.

In the end, all participants agreed that the effort put into this meeting had been worthwhile and that the group had been able to delve deeper into their common approach to marriage preparation.



with your loved ones

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