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  • Pastor St Dorothy

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday July 9

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit seeking our Lady's intercession. Let us pray. Hail Mary, full of Grace. The Lord is with the blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of the womb. Jesus, Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Those of you who don't know Deacon Martin is one of the deacons of the diocese. He and his family are visiting today. So we're very to have you served with us at the altar. So you can tell my voice is not exactly all present. This is kind of normal after such a good retreat. So the retreat just went so well on so many levels.

A lot of spiritual healing for a lot of families and couples. And so normally, this is the price I have to pay for it. So gets sick afterward. I'm not feeling great, but I'll be fine in a couple of days. I just won't be chanting today and this retreat in particular, even though I got so much from it, was what we call a domestic church retreat.

You've heard me speak of them before. It's a lay group where couples meet in what they call circles, usually five, six, seven couples in a group. They follow this program to help them grow in the relationship with God and the relationship with one another. Again, it's just to help improve their marriage and therefore their family and ultimately all of society through that.

It's really a great, great group. And one of their obligations is to do a weeklong retreat each year with their whole family. So there were a dozen or more families at this retreat of all different sizes, and they were all there just again, trying to continue to grow in holiness and to get to know the Lord and his will in their lives better.

And I was the priest on the retreat again, very beautiful retreat and a lot of graces for myself and for all of the couples and kids who were present. I thought it was appropriate then to talk about something that's been on my mind recently. A Catholic, but from this parish had been sharing with me a program that they had learned that was going on in the diocese in Texas.

This program is made for couples, engaged couples who are getting ready to receive the sacrament of matrimony. Usually here at Saint Dorothy's, obviously when a couple comes forward saying, Hey, we're engaged, we'd like to get married, I just do all of the meetings with them, you know, all of the preparation work. And they fill out paperwork and all of that stuff has to be done.

But this is a slightly different model that's been used in that diocese and to great success and instead of the priest or the deacon or whomever doing all of their classes, the couple chooses a married couple as their sponsor, basically their mentors. And then we give them the material, write the books and whatever they need. And this married couple helps guide them and prepare them for matrimony.

I still meet with them, but, you know, the couple does a lot of the work with the engaged couple. And one of the beautiful things about this is when young people are engaged to get married, they always have a couple that they admire. It's kind of like this image of perfect marriage in their mind. And it honestly might not be their mom and dad's marriage.

Sadly, ladies and gentlemen, you know, that's the case. So, I mean, maybe it is fantastic, but if it's not, they still have kind of a quote unquote, model marriage in their mind. They can think of a married couple that they want to emulate. And so wouldn't that be a great benefit if that married couple, God willing, were open to helping mentor them, to share with them what they've learned in their own married life and in a sense, what's helped them succeed.

So I really want to implement this here at Saint Dorothy, and obviously I can't do it if you're not willing. So, you know, I want each of you couples to really pray and think about this. You know, if a engaged couple approached you and said, you know, I would really like you to be our mentor through our marriage preparation, obviously that would be a great honor.

But it's a responsibility to you know, you have to have quite a few meetings with them and go through the material. And my hopes is not just that will benefit this newly engaged couple in their married life and family life, but I think it will benefit you because honestly, even if we have a good marriage, at least externally, it looks like we have a good marriage, Right.

Going over these church teachings and going over these things with young couples is going to help renew your relationship as husband and wife. It's actually going to benefit you greatly. Now, some of you may think, well, I just don't have time for that. You know, work, kids, school, sports, church, everything. Fair enough. I completely understand. But there's an easy way to do this without really overly burdening yourself with all of the responsibilities you already have as a married couple with family and that's having the engaged couple simply come to your home, have dinner with you and your kids.

You don't even have to clean the house because this is life. They need to know that this is reality. You know, whatever you're feeding the kids hot dogs and macaroni and cheese, they get to eat, too, right? Because you want to dispel this idealized version of marriage and family life. They usually have. Oh, yeah, It's going to be, you know, roses all, you know, for the rest of your life.

That's just ludicrous. Everyone knows who's been married for any length of time. That marriage is a battle. It's a war, basically. Sadly, sometimes it's a war between husband and wife. That's not what it should be, right? It should be husband and wife against the evil one with the help of God. The battle is this. So Satan does everything in his power to try to separate husband and wife.

Why? Because unity, true unity is the hallmark of our God. Because he is a perfect trinity, a perfect unity of multiple persons. So anything that reflects unity is of God. So when a husband and a wife and children and parents are close, when they have good relationships, the devil and the demons hate that and do everything in their power to break up that unity.

So the war should be between the devil and his minions and each couple and family. Sadly, he convinces us that the war is between husband and wife or parents and kids or children and siblings, you know. So being able to witness to this not only for your own benefit, but for these couples who are preparing for this holy sacrament in this holy life is going to be good for everybody.

And even, God willing, not just in anticipation of their vows, their wedding, but even after their wedding, having meetings with them, you know, every couple of months. Invite them over. How you guys doing? You know, have you had your first fight yet? How did it go? You know, just continuing to share with them. Now, I wasn't really planning this, but it occurred to me this morning there is a couple that I'm going to point out in our parish today that is really a great model and could potentially be a mentor.

And I normally never do this in homilies, but this is an exceptional one. And they're going to be gone next weekend when they celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. And that's the color voters. Georgian roads. Calaveras, 60 years. I'm sure they've never fought once. And if they have, George was always wrong. But obviously they're doing something right. They're doing something right. And we can all learn from them. One of the beautiful things that George himself takes great pride on and as he should, is that all of his children and grandchildren are still practicing Catholics. Sadly, in this day and age, that's amazing. You want to make sure your kids stay Catholic? I'm sure George and Rose can give you some pointers there and may have them give you a talk one day just for the parish.

But there are other couples here, many of them. You might not be married 60 plus years yet, but you have things to share. You have your experiences. And again, it's not just for the benefit of these potentially engaged couples, but it's for your benefit. As spouses, you get to go over and renew the very things that brought you together as husband and wife.

Sadly, so often after many years of marriage, just because of the chaos of life and kids and everything, you forget why you married that person. Now there is one added benefit that honestly is not the reason I would like to implement this program at Saint Dorothy's. I just think it's kind of an icing on the cake. And that's if you the couples are really helping and participating in so much of this marriage prep for these engaged couples.

I don't have to do it anymore. Makes my job much easier. In some way, this is an extension of that group, the domestic church, because the idea is that couples helping couples, you see, it's all about unity and working together. Sadly, we live in a culture, predominant culture, in regards to first world countries in general, where we become so fixated on our own little families and our own little lives that we really don't have good unity or relationships with other families, which means we have to go out of our way to make it happen.

Another desire of the demonic is to give us so much to do in our lives. We don't have time to have good relationships. That's evil. If you study church history, well, you'll find over the last 500 years or more that every time there's a new invention that makes life easier. I remember reading the paper Papal Bull when the train was first invented, you know, a couple of hundred years ago, out of the wind.

And the Pope said at the time, this invention, the steam locomotive that can transport people and goods across countries in such a quick amount of time is obviously going to be a blessing for the culture, but it's going to transform how we live our lives. And we need to be very careful how we use it. Every time a new technology, regardless of its benefits, is created, it speeds up our lives and that's not a good thing.

That's not a good thing. It's okay to have these technologies and to use them, but that just means we have to willfully slow ourselves down. How difficult is it for us to put down our phones and turn off the TV and the radio and just sit outside and watch the sunrise? We struggle with prayer so much in our own lives, let alone in our families again, because of that frenetic nature of life.

This is not of God. Do you know why? When you pray, it takes forever for God to answer. He moves slowly for a reason. He's trying to teach us. Take your time. Slow down. You get frustrated parents with your children when they want a response right away. But I need it, whatever it is. And you're like, No, you don't. You don't need it yet. You'll survive. Do you think your prayers are any different to God? You're I need it now. God, it has to change now. God, Really? Last time you thought that it didn't happen. Why should it be different this time? God has blessed us here at Saint Dorothy's. Really? Has in so many ways, an important, I'd say responsibility we have is to do our best than to tear those blessings with others.

And it's one thing to go out and serve others outside of our parish. That's fine. That's good. We should be doing that. But it's always more important to take care of our own first. That's our primary responsibility and then go out and help those in need for yourselves. You need to feed your children before you go out and feed the poor.

Find where you can thrive in community with your brothers and sisters in Christ and support one another. There's only one of me. I can't do it all. And so again, I just ask you couples to pray and consider this. If a couple and engaged couple approached you and said, Would you guys mentor us? Be open. Invite them to your home.

Just let them see family life. Talk to them again. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. I'll give you a book that'll kind of guide you through all of the talks you're supposed to give. And ultimately more conversation than anything. Helping prepare them for. Yes, the struggles, but also the rewards of marriage. In the name of the Father and of the Son. And of the Holy Spirit.

You may watch the Mass in its entirety on our YouTube channel. Homily begins at 19:04

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