Thank you so much for clicking all the way through to find out just who I am. Interestingly enough, I am the oldest of seven kids that grew up in a pretty traditional Catholic Family. Although my father was not Catholic, upon marrying my mother he vowed that he would raise their children Catholic. My grandma went to mass everyday and could pretty much scare me into always doing the right thing. I was so Catholic that I would ride my bike to church when my family did not attend. Not a saint by any means, just a girl that enjoyed church and my religion.
I received all the sacraments and grew up trying to be a good Catholic Girl.
I married a non-catholic guy and together we had four children which were raised Catholic. They went to Catholic Schools and life was revolved around the family business and the kids.
I taught CCD Classes and was pretty involved in the local church I attended.
My marriage started coming apart more and more and I would find out later that my ex-husband resented all I gave in the way of my time and priorities to the kids, their school, and to church.
Funny how you are able to recognize poor communication skills after the fact.
It was in those moments that I began to realize how little I knew about being marriage. After all where do we learn to be a wife, a mother, a friend?
Talk about your Catholic Guilt – I never knew that I would ever have to go through a divorce let alone feel as if I was betraying the very thing I had left- my faith. Those were some long and difficult days. It felt as if I was losing everyone and everything. For example, I didn’t know if I could still talk to my sister-in-law who I cherished and adored. What about Birthdays and Holidays? How in the world were we ever going to figure this out. This just seemed like such a mess all the way around.
So, my education began around the topic of relationships and healing from the one I had. (Don’t ever believe that there is nothing you must heal from when you are married.)
At the same time, I received a call from someone that remembered me from years ago and had heard that I was now available. Yes! There is a huge love story that could be made into a great movie and someday, I will share it with you.
Anyway, this guy embraced me in such a great way. When I came to visit and we spoke of our relationship, as a surprise he took me to the most beautiful Catholic Church and said” I know that being Catholic is so much a part of you and I know how important your faith is to you so I wanted you to feel comfortable here by seeing this church and with the hope that you could see yourself living here. That was truly a “You Had Me At Hello” moment.
Not only that but he enrolled in classes to become Catholic through the RCIA Program. That meant the world to me. So now we were going to RCIA Classes, Marriage Preparation Classes, meetings with the priest , and Engaged Encounter. we have even survived raising and parenting step children. It was then that I knew what was next- to help other couples to stay married. Keep their marriage strong. Help them to keep that love alive. So I started taking all the classes the Catholic Diocese offered to help marriages. I learned everything I could and received numerous certificates. Not only that but my husband, David, took the classes with me. I started a diocese accredited program called The Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute which is a four year program for ministry in the church. You already can guess what ministry I chose- marriage of course. My husband referred to it as God College and I have to tell you, he was my biggest source of encouragement. There were times when I did not think I would get to finish but somehow, I did. In an extremely spiritually powerful ceremony, I was commissioned by the bishop. How cool is that.
Then I just kept adding to my knowledge around relationships and marriage. I started and teach the Pre-Cana Program at my local parish. I have taught a Newlywed Course, a Marriage Enrichment Program, and even a Dating Program. I have helped couples through the pain of divorce and the grief of losing a loved one. I lost my youngest son in March and know how difficult grief and loss are to you. Loss of anyone no matter if it is a breakup, divorce, argument, death . . . is a pain that causes so much suffering and sadness. I also am a Relationship Coach with Save The Marriage.
I have my own practice where I help couples to solve the underlying issues in their relationship. I am an advocate for marriage. I believe in marriage. I believe in God.
I continue my journey of growth spiritually and educationally discovering more and more about relationships and how to help people have what they truly want in their own relationship. I am a lector, extraordinary minister, and facilitate the marriage programs at my parish.