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Be Light:

Year of Belonging

Year of Belonging- The First Year

Be Light: Year of Belonging by Witness to Love is the first year of a five year movement to draw Catholic married couples closer together in Christ while being transformed into family missionary disciples.  The Year of Belonging highlights twelve Witness Couples from around the country exploring various topics that unpack the Sacrament of Matrimony. Belonging (the first of five years for the Be Light Series) will be released on the first Thursday of each month. The couple testimony video will be supplemented with an additional video of a priest or deacon covering the same topic released on the 2nd Thursday of the month, a podcast on the 3rd and will wrap up with a music event on the 4th Thursday of each month.

Registration is FREE and each series will be released via the Witness to Love App and via registered participants email.

In each of us, there is a secret yearning to belong to something. Being in the image of God we possess the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone.  We are capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving ourselves and entering into communion with other persons.  And we are called by grace to a covenant with our Creator, to offer a response of faith and love that no other creature can give (CCC 357).

Open your hearts to the powerful way God can enter more deeply into your marriage. Keep in mind that our growth and fulfillment takes place over and over again in the intimate and personal way Christ encounters us in our interactions together.  All that you need to begin this journey is seated right next to you.  Take your beloved by the hand and without saying a word, recognize that you are in some unique and irreplaceable way in the holy presence of God.  Here is where Jesus Christ is found and where you will discover yourself as well as the purpose and mission of your marriage and family.  Here, is where you belong.

 

 

Meet the Presenting Couples:

Danis Family

Hollie and Josh Danis

Hollie and Josh Danis will celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary later this summer. They met while studying at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Hollie now serves as the Director of Youth Formation at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Elk River, MN. She is also the co-founder of BeloveDaughter Ministry, which was established to raise up a generation of young ladies who live from their identity as Beloved Daughters of God. Josh is the National Director for Alpha in a Catholic Context. He also has a book coming out this summer entitled, Living The Fruit of the Spirit: How God’s Grace can Transform Your World.

Joanna and Edward Herrera

Joanna and Edward Herrera are both graduates of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute. Edward is the Director for the Office of Marriage and Family Life in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Joanna homeschools their children. They reside in Parkville, MD with their children, Max,Lucy, Grace, and Leo.

Herrera Family

Greg and Julie Alexander

Greg and Julie Alexander

Greg and Julie Alexander are authors, speakers, Marriage Disciples, and the Co-Founders of The Alexander House Apostolate. They are authors of Marriage 911: How God Saved Our Marriage and Can Save Yours Too and 40 Days of Growing in Love Through Prayer and co-hosted three series on EWTN called Marriage Works in Christ. The Alexander’s recently launched their new podcast called, Greg and Julie: Your Marriage Disciples, a weekly program that offers tips and tools for a better marriage.  Greg and Julie have been married since July 1987. They have four sons, three daughters, and four grandsons and a granddaughter due in July.

Jake and Ramie Samour

Ramie and Jake Samour have been married for 15 years and they reside in Wichita, Kansas, known as “the Heartland” of America. They have six children; one boy and five girls. Jake is the Director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life for the Diocese of Wichita and the representative for the Hispanic Section of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM). Jake was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States with his parents and 11 siblings more than 40 years ago. Ramie is the oldest of nine siblings and is a Kansas native. She and Jake met while pursuing graduate theology degrees at the John Paul II Institute. Although they both remain involved in marriage and family ministry, Ramie’s focus is on educating their children at home. Both have a passion for serving couples and families in their journey to true joy. Their family enjoys the great outdoors, time with cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents… and of course, great friends.

Jake and Ramie Samour

Ben and Maria Domingue

Ben and Maria Domingue celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary in October! They met in Louisiana when Maria was transitioning back to college after having served as a missionary with Family Missions Company for 6 years and when Ben was transitioning from LSU football to serve as a missionary with FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students). Maria is a nurse midwife with Bella Health and Wellness, a Catholic, comprehensive healthcare practice in the Denver Metro area. Ben serves as a Director of Philanthropy for FOCUS. Both are proud of their native homes – Ben is proud of his Cajun Catholic heritage and Maria was born and raised in a small town in Ireland only a few minutes drive from the Marian apparition site in Knock,Ireland. They are raising two crazy Cajun-Irish toddlers in Denver, Colorado. Ben and Maria are grateful to be still in love and in mission together.

Emmanuel and Jessica John

Emanuel and Jessica have been married for almost 20 years. They lived all of their married lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana until moving 4 1/2 years ago to Casper, Wyoming. Together, they have 7 children. “A strong marriage is important to us because we know that the ultimate goal is to help each other get to Heaven and to guide our children to Heaven. Moving away from family and friends was very hard, but such a tremendous blessing for our marriage and family. It really made us have to depend on each other more with very little outside influences.”

Emmanuel and Jessica John

Mark and Abby Dufrene

Mark and Abby Dufrene

Mark and Abby have been married for nearly 4 years and currently live in southeast Louisiana. Mark is a recording artist, musician, and more importantly, father to two little boys, Fulton and John Paul. Mark has 15+ years of ministry experience (3 of which were as a diocesan employee) and he holds a masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Abby holds a masters degree in Occupational Therapy. She’s a stay at home mom and a part-time Occupational Therapist. Mark and Abby are passionate about sharing their faith through their marriage, family, and relationships within their community. They lead local retreats and recently finished mission work in church parishes throughout south Louisiana. To learn more about their family, Mark’s music, and their work in ministry, check out www.mark-abby.com.

Jason and Sarah Kidd

Jason and Sarah Kidd have been married 16 years and live in greater Portlandia. They have four children, who bring them much joy and patience. Jason serves as the Director of the Marriage and Family Life Office for the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, President elect on the NACFLM board, as well as the NW Regional board for Alpha. He received his MA in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. Sarah Kidd holds dual degrees in Elementary and Special Education; however, she took a break from the classroom to be a full-time mom. Sarah is passionate about Jesus, raising joyful kids, ecumenism, hospitality, and strong coffee. As a family, the Kidds love camping, road trips, new adventures, and Rice Krispy treats.

 

Jason and Sarah Kidd

Deacon Russ and Jody

Deacon Russ and Jody Millspaugh

Deacon Russ and Jody Millspaugh live in Anaheim California. They were married in 1985 and today have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. Deacon Russ works for a plumbing wholesale company and was ordained a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Orange in 2017. Jody is a founding partner in a family owned software solutions company and has been a spiritual director since 2014. They have passion to work with engaged couples preparing for marriage as well as marriage enrichment programs for married couples at San Antonio de Padua parish.

Justin and Laura Reyes

Justin and Laura Reyes will celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary this summer and are expecting their fourth son in March. Married in 2014, they met through ministry and this has been a vital part of their lives together ever since. Laura is a pro-life advocate and speaker as well as women’s ministry leader, and Justin is the Director of Family Evangelization for the Diocese of Victoria in Texas, co-host of the ministry implementation podcast “Being & Making Disciples,” and co-author of the book “Go! Make Disciples.” They live in Texas and are trying their best to build a home of love, laughter, and faith for their boys and generations to come.