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Our Lady Queen of Peace
Merrion Road, Dublin 4,
D04 NX33, Ireland

Tel: +353 (0)1 269 1825

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home > News & events > Relationships Enrichment: Sessions for engaged and recently married couples

Relationships Enrichment: Sessions for engaged and recently married couples

During the Covid-19 public health alert, we are meeting virtually, every Monday.
On Monday 18 May we were joined by Andrew and Valeria Larkin. Married with two young children, they talked about the importance of seeking solutions from the first moment. The bigger the problem the greater the need to seek a solution together. Using examples from personal experience - including a dramatic airport "nightmare" - Valeria and Andrew showed how a readiness to listen and seek solutions makes even the worst of problems bearable and strengthens one's Marriage enormously.

If you'd like to join our virtual meetings, contact Fr James by email You can also reach him by phone at 086-107 2930.
Short podcasts available here

On Monday 10 March, it was one story after another from Karen Hickey as she shared her experience of how she and her husband Mark from quite different family backgrounds make decisions about rearing and educating their three young children. She also talked about the pain of miscarriage and the consolation of being able to bury one's child's remains. Husband Mark offered complementary insights when he spoke to our group on 11 May. He stressed the need to learn to strike the right balance between paradoxical differences, e.g. sensitivity/anxiety in women and insensitivity/anger in men. 

John and Jennifer Kehoe made a most welcome return visit on Monday 10 February. Following John's insightful introductory reflections on 25 years of Marriage, Jennifer talked us through the classic Five Languages of Love - very useful to know for a successful loving relationship!  
Relationships Enrichment meets regularly, usually on Mondays, in the Upper Room of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church. We draw on the teaching of the Catholic Church, as well as on the help and advice of experienced married couples.
We have been inspired by Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of Love, in which the Holy Father highlights the importance of accompanying couples before and after Marriage.
See, for example, the following points from Amoris Laetitia:
  • The complexity of today’s society and the challenges faced by the family require a greater effort on the part of the whole Christian community in preparing those who are about to be married (AL 206).
  • I encourage Christian communities to recognize the great benefit that they themselves receive from supporting engaged couples as they grow in love (AL 207).
  • ... the initial years of marriage are a vital and sensitive period during which couples become more aware of the challenges and meaning of married life. Consequently, pastoral accompaniment needs to go beyond the actual celebration of the sacrament. In this regard, experienced couples have an important role to play. The parish is a place where such experienced couples can help younger couples (AL 223).
Listed below are brief accounts of some previous presentations. 
"One can have friendship without intimacy but not intimacy without friendship" was one of the observations made at our first gathering of the New Year, as we discussed Love and Friendship. Jesus as Extraordinary and Ordinary Friend was another theme covered in a most engaging session.

A most enjoyable pre-Christmas gathering took place on Sunday 15 December 2019 after 12 noon Mass, with couples bringing very tasty dishes for the celebration. 
Our November 2019 meeting proved to be a very pleasant one. It was nice to be able to welcome Eamon and Giselle back after their recent wedding, while others had news of first babies on the way!
A few ideas from the podcast Jay Shetty interviews his wife for the first time were discussed on Monday 30 September.  Themes included where to meet the person you love, different love languages and how to balance family commitments and personal priorities.
On Sunday 25 August after 12 noon Mass, we met to mark the first anniversary of Pope Francis' encounter with couples in St Mary's Pro-Cathedral during World Meeting of Families in 2018. It was a very happy occasion with a variety of dishes, plenty of chat and a fun quiz afterwards.
On Monday 12 August Fr James gave a presentation on a sermon of John Henry Newman on Infant Baptism. Newman will be canonized in Rome on 13 October. The session prompted discussion about the immortality of the soul, the necessity of Baptism, and the special role of parents in their children's spiritual as well as all-round education.
On Monday 15 July 2019, Michael and Harriet told us about 'The Ten Commandments of Listening' and 'How to be  a Good Quarreller'. It was part of a very helpful presentation on Communication and Conflict.

In June, Harold and Anne-Claire talked about how contemplating the different mysteries of the Rosary and praying it together regularly as a couple can strengthen married life. Eamon and Giselle talked about how, due to cultural differences, news of one's engagement can be received quite differently by each party's family. More generally, they observed that while cultural diversity is good, solid moral values (such as fidelity and fruitfulness) ought not to be compromised.
John and Bridie McCarthy gave us a very encouraging presentation on Fertility Awareness (NFP) on Wednesday 27 March. They enhanced their superb presentation with various tips about 'special dating nights' for spouses, and about family life together.
On Monday, 11 March Laura Giust gave a very nice presentation on the life of Chiara Corbella, a young mother of three who packed a lot of joy into a short life.

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