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Be Light:

Year of Belonging

Be Light 5 Year Marriage Enrichment Movement Be Light is a five year Marriage Enrichment (Mystogia) movement that draws married couples closer together in Christ while being transformed into family missionary disciples within their own communities. This path not only supports newly married couples during the fundamental first five years of their marriage but also helps all married couples in a community to open their hearts to the powerful way God remains present to them and in the Holy bond of Matrimony. The five year sequence builds upon the opportunities for growth and fulfillment that takes place over and over again in the intimate and personal way Christ encounters married couples in their interactions together. Each month for five years, we will release new testimonies, podcasts, and music videos.

Be Light: Year of Belonging by Witness to Love is the first year of a five year movement to draw 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.

 

 

Upcoming Presenters:

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.

Be Light Mini Date Night Series

 

Click here to register!

 

The Be Light Date Night Series is FREE; however, if you would like to make a donation to help us support couples and parishes around the world, please donate here or find us on Venmo @WitnesstoLove

 

Join top Marriage Champions from around the country for a 5 part marriage enrichment and renewal series. During this time of social isolation, our Domestic Church is in even greater need of relationship with God and others. This is our time as married couples to shine and be the light to those in our homes and communities. Register today and let your marriage BE LIGHT!

 

Together we will explore various topics including belonging, expectations, the need for community, couples works of mercy and living as missionary disciples. We will dive deep into catechesis, marriage formation and evangelization as we grow closer to our beloved and in relationship with God. This series is designed to meet the needs of couples who want to use the challenge of social distancing to grow closer to each other and build relationships with other couples.

 

Each date night will include a video from a dynamic couple, reflection questions and recommended resources. The feel will be a combination of date night/parish mission/retreat/small group. You are encouraged to work through the series at your own pace- nightly, weekly or monthly date nights as a couple or in small groups.  Take this time to renew your marriage and build new relationships with other couples!

 

Read our Be Light article in the National Catholic Register here.

 

Read our Be Light article in the Catholic News Agency here.

 

Be sure to check out Be Light participating couples testimonies at the bottom of this page!

Meet Our Previous Presenters Below:

Kidd Couple

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.

 

David and Kate Dawson

David Dawson is the husband of Kate Dawson and father of eight beautiful children. He is currently the Director of the Office of Parish Support for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux and recently served as the Director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He speaks nationally with a particular focus on faith in marriage and is responsible for the establishment in the U.S. of the Polish-born Domestic Church movement.

Dawson Couple

 Budd couple

Richard and Maureen Budd

Richard and Maureen Budd live near Lansing, Michigan and have been married for five years with three children. Before getting married, Richard received his Master’s Degree from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and worked in parish ministry while Maureen graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business and worked in Marketing for about ten years. Since they’ve been married, Rich works as the Director of Marriage and Family Life for the Diocese of Lansing and Maureen has been a full time stay at home mom. They enjoy sharing their gifts and leading others to a fuller relationship with God.

Michael and Deanna Johnston

Michael and Deanna Johnston met on Catholic Match in 2010 and got married in October 2013. They live in East Texas with their 4 children (Alexandria, Simon, Elena, and Leo) and a chicken named Patricia. Michael and Deanna both have a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and an MA degree in Theology. Michael is a high school theology teacher, and Deanna is the Director of Family Life for the St. Philip Institute of Catechesis and Evangelization in the Diocese of Tyler.

Johnston Couple

Schimpf Couple

Alex and Sarah Schimpf

Alex and Sarah Schimpf live in Oklahoma City, OK, where Alex works as the Director of Marriage and Family Life Ministry for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Sarah is a freelance event planner and a stay-at-home mom. They have been married for 10 years and have been blessed with four children: Xavier (9), Gideon (7), Edith (5), and Antigone (1.5). Together they also serve as the Regional Couple for the Domestic Church Movement.

Parish Tips to Share Be Light Date Night Series

Are you looking for creative ways to share Be Light: A Marriage Renewal Date Night Series with couples in your parish? We have put together some tools to help spread the word.  For parish/diocese custom/branded option, click here.

What participating couples are saying about Be Light Date Night Series:

Best, most down to earth short course ever!  Goes straight to the heart. Thank you so much for your ministry.  -Dan, Ontario, Canada

 

I recommend this series of brief videos for couples struggling during this time of quarantine. There is a level of authenticity in these videos that I haven’t seen in a long time.  -Alexander Schimpf, Director of Family Life, Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, OK

 

Gathering, albeit “virtually” with other couples ENCOURAGED us through the solidarity of hearts we felt knowing that we were not alone in our desire to grow.  By humbling ourselves before others who were not afraid to be vulnerable and transparent…to bear the “wisdom of their wounds” is an investment with infinite return and eternal reward.  -Mike and Julie Bishop, Germantown, TN

 

During our Diocese of Orange post-series hangout, I was impressed to discover that even couples who have been married over 20, 30 years found the series to be helpful and enriching.  They appreciated the unabashedly Catholic presentations about sacramental marriage and were nourished in their faith.  Our couples had heated conversations and healing conversations throughout the series and were ultimately renewed. Most of us are sad that the five nights are already over! There is definitely a hunger for more.

-Linda Ji, Director of Family Life, Diocese of Orange, CA

 

Thank you! What a blessing to engage in these brief videos with concepts that matter for the health of our marriage, the Church, and society! We were super excited to see that there are other couples out there who are striving for holiness like we are, and are very “real” at the same time.  -Anne Marie, Springfield, IL

 

We were able to take some time each evening to relax, have some dessert on the couch and listen to the couples share about their journeys. We had some really good discussions after each video. It was nice that this was provided during this stressful pandemic time; it was a good change of pace and helpful to reflect on the things that really matter.  -Ian & Elizabeth, Owensboro, KY

 

Be Light Date Night Series has made us stronger and has motivated us to spend more time dating each other no matter how small the date might seem!  -Tiffany, Austin, TX

 

We enjoyed this a lot. We’re super grateful to the Schimpfs for hosting a local virtual discussion group. I don’t think this would have been anywhere near as effective if we’d only watched the videos and skipped the opportunity to share and learn from other couples near us. Thank you so much!  – Jason, Oklahoma City, OK