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Message for June 13, 2024

Marriage Preparation for Engaged Couples is a weekend or Saturday series of talks by married couples and reflection intervals for the engaged couples, of to discuss and process by themselves the topics in their own past lives and now for their future together. 

At the Harvard Catholic Center at St. Paul’s we used to have three Pre-Cana’s (the old Name, a mercifully briefer handle) a year, filling DiGiovanni Hall. COVID moved them off campus to the Archdiocesan Center and other locations I can recommend till we begin them again here. 

Not only the Couple benefits, but the Celebrant too!  Imagine yourself as the priest, a couple knocking on your door. Perhaps they’ve issues to resolve. Pre-Cana can help. Perhaps they should both run the other way. Pre-Cana can help.

Let us face the fact that when they arrive at our door to set the wedding date, it’s the last stage of a process that may have had no middle!  They may not have taken the time and trouble to meet enough people beforehand!  

Last Saturday evening we had Catholic Young Professionals Speed Dating and packed DiGiovanni Hall with a hundred people. They’d the wisdom to realize that it takes work to meet people, that bars aren’t the best option and that raising a family with shared values is more easily done by marrying a fellow Catholic. 

Many grad students & young professionals I know have taken the opposite tack of dating someone of a different faith or a different denomination or no faith, and then browbeating them unsuccessfully (?) and then complaining to me (!) that they won’t become Catholic. I’ve had to tell them that that is harassment and isn’t right!  It makes more sense to take people as they are.  Better to look in the right place first.

I will admit that Speed Dating has its critics, but at least it was “truth in advertising” since it made clear it was “Young Professional Catholics” Speed Dating.  Would that not be the right place to look?  

On being asked why he robbed banks, the notorious bank robber Willie Sutton replied with limpid clarity, “Because that’s where the money is!”  People, even with vast education have sometimes not understood that our Harvard Catholic Grad Student and Area Catholic Young Professional Dinners on first Thursdays of the month produce an inordinate number of true friendships, and happily married couples. 

They’re also a group that hears with joy and warm encouragement those thinking of a vocation to the sisterhood and brotherhood, the priesthood and diaconate. 

Thus, the speed dating was most joyous, successful and valued. Credits go to the Young Professionals who planned, advertised and ran it without a hitch.  You can see many of them standing with me in the photo. We have many other plans, stay tuned!


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