“THE PASSION AND PURPOSE FOR MARRIAGE” includes live music and a bag of Dynamic Catholic resources for each couple. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased at St. Pius X or online at https://dynamiccatholic.com. For more information, contact the parish at (518) 462-1336.
“THE PASSION AND PURPOSE FOR MARRIAGE” includes live music and a bag of Dynamic Catholic resources for each couple. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased at St. Pius X or online at https://dynamiccatholic.com. For more information, contact the parish at (518) 462-1336.
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What’s the most important word in a marriage? What are the five things men and women need to know about each other?

Those are just two of the key questions that will be answered at the upcoming Dynamic Catholic marriage program at St. Pius X parish in Loudonville. “The Passion and Purpose for Marriage” will take place Nov. 17, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Dynamic Catholic Institute is a non-profit organization that tries to get Catholics more active in the faith through a range of programs, from self-exploration seminars to pilgrimage trips to Lourdes and Bethlehem.

“The Passion and Purpose for Marriage” is led by popular speaker and bestselling author Dr. Allen Hunt. During the program, couples will work on their relationship and learn about their husband’s or wife’s needs and wants.

St. Pius X parishioners Molly and Peter Poleto helped bring the nationally-known event to the Albany Diocese. The Poletos are members of Dynamic Catholic’s Ambassadors Club, making a financial commitment to the organization in exchange for spiritual coaching and other benefits. Last summer, a friend gave the couple tickets to see Dr. Hunt’s marriage program in Guilford, Conn.

Safe and comfortable

Mrs. Poleto said they didn’t know what to expect at the event, but “it was amazing. It’s beautiful, it’s safe and it’s not uncomfortable.”

“We’ve been married 38 years,” Mr. Poleto told The Evangelist. “Every marriage needs a kick every once in a while.”

While designed for couples, the program also accommodates single, divorced or widowed attendees. Dr. Hunt leads three 45-minute sessions on different aspects of a healthy marriage, guiding couples through discussion and exercises.

Mr. Poleto said he was glad all the communication in the sessions was between him and his wife, without any group discussions or public speaking.

The Poletos agreed that Dr. Hunt’s program helped their marriage. Mrs. Poleto said that, when Dr. Hunt had each person turn to his or her partner and ask for forgiveness for a previous mistake, “that was the most powerful moment for me.”

“It gives you something to focus on [and] to make improvements on — things you can do to improve your marriage” Mr. Poleto added.

Faith-based

Dr. Hunt’s program also focuses on the importance of faith in a marriage. “In a Christian marriage, there are really three partners: man, woman and God,” said Mr. Poleto. “If you forget any one of those things, you’re fighting an uphill battle.”

Mrs. Poleto recalled funny stories tied in with biblical tales and lessons: “I’m not kidding when I say we laughed half of the time. He’s very entertaining in a very respectful way.”

Last summer, Mr. Poleto suggested approaching Rev. John Walsh, pastor at St. Pius, about bringing the program there. The parish had previously hosted a book club discussing one of the works by Matthew Kelly, founder of Dynamic Catholic; parishes and organizations can apply to host an event.

Gayle Bouchard, St. Pius’ welcome coordinator, worked with the Poletos and Father Walsh on applying to offer the marriage program. She said she was skeptical at first, since hundreds of such applications are sent in, but only one site per month is chosen.

Popular event

Despite the odds, the Loudon­ville parish was selected. “We were so excited,” said Mrs. Poleto.

Dynamic Catholic set St. Pius up with an event coordinator who helped to promote the event and sell tickets, starting a year in advance. St. Pius X also partnered with three surrounding parishes — Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Ambrose in Latham, and Christ Our Light in Loudonville — to help publicize the event.

More than 300 tickets have already been sold.

When Mrs. Poleto looks back on her experience attending a previous marriage program, she believes that “I needed the reminder that God is watching over our marriage. I forgot that, and since [then,] I feel like God is watching over us every day. It gives us this constant protection, and it’s incredible.”

Mrs. Bouchard hopes that more younger couples will sign up for the event.

“I always feel like when you can get off to a good start with something, and get that foundation, it can really make a difference,” she noted.

Mr. Poleto agreed, noting: “This is a neutral way to get advice. I personally found it very helpful.”