Helping married and engaged couples strengthen their union and their faith through prayer together will be the focus of a one-day conference hosted by the Diocese of Nashville’s Office of Faith Formation.
The Together In Holiness conference is an initiative of the St. John Paul II Foundation, based in Houston, Texas.
“It is our hope that couples leave Together In Holiness rejuvenated and equipped to live out God’s beautiful plan for marriage and family life,” said Erin Ellwanger, conference coordinator for the St. John Paul II Foundation.
The foundation hosts “a number of these conferences annually and are the official organizer of Together In Holiness,” said Joan Watson, director of the Office of Faith Formation. “This is our first one to be held here at the Catholic Pastoral Center.”
The workshop will be held 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 2800 McGavock Pike in Nashville. The day will feature several speakers and opportunities for Confession and Eucharistic adoration. Bishop J. Mark Spalding will celebrate the closing Mass at 4:30 p.m.
A box lunch and light afternoon snack will be provided and child care will be available, said Deacon Tom Samoray, director of the diocese’s Family Life and Marriage Ministry, which is helping to organize the event.
“It will be an opportunity for couples who attend to renew … their love for each other,” Deacon Samoray of the workshop.
“The conference is focusing on the importance of prayer in marriage and praying together as a married couple,” Watson said.
“The St. John Paul II Foundation is a national Catholic apostolate proclaiming the good news about life and family,” Ellwanger said. “We pursue this mission for couples and families through the Together In Holiness marriage conference, which inspires spouses to grow together in holiness and form their children in the Catholic faith.”
“St. John Paul II stated that ‘as the family goes, so goes the whole nation and so goes the whole world in which we live,’” Ellwanger said.
Speakers at the conference will include:
- Mary Caprio, Associate Fellow at the St. John Paul II Foundation and Pastoral Associate for Evangelization at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Houston. Caprio is a former nurse who has master’s degrees in theology. She will speak on “The Covenant of Marriage: A Dialogue of Three.”
- Danielle Bean, a speaker, author and brand manager for CatholicMom.com, an online community of women who encourage and support one another in the vocation of Catholic motherhood. Bean also is the creator and host of “The Gist,” a weekly Catholic women’s television talk show and the host of the Girlfriends podcast.
- John and Teri Bosio, local authors of marriage enrichment materials and parishioners at St. Stephen Catholic Community in Old Hickory. John Bosio writes the “Faithful Marriage” column for the Tennessee Register.
“We were connected to John and Terri Bosio through their previous work in building up marriages in Nashville, particularly through the formation materials they have provided to couples in the diocese,” Ellwanger said.
The Bosios have been married for 48 years, noted Terri Bosio. “We have been together longer than we have been apart.”
The topic of the couple’s talk will be “Your Home Is A Holy Place, A Sacred Space.”
The goal of the talk is three-fold, John Bosio said. “First, we are talking to those couples whose desire is to grow in holiness and strengthen their marriage and family life. The second is to strive to find happiness in their marriage; try to love each other like Christ loves the Church. And the third is learning to see your home as your holy place and learning how to pray at home.”
Bean, another scheduled speaker at the conference, “has written numerous books on motherhood and parenting as well as hosting multiple podcasts that speak to our audience,” Ellwanger said. “We have worked with her for several years now and always received rave reviews from our conference attendees about her presence.”
Bean’s talk is titled “Learning to Pray Together as Spouses.”
“We are going to talk to people about praying together as spouses, why it is important, and what it does to the value of your family’s faith life,” Bean said.
“All of the couples that I talked to said that they have taken away from these conferences a way to renew their faith with one another, and how to practice that faith in their home and pass it on to their children,” said Bean.
People can find more information about the conference and register by visiting https://forlifeandfamily.org/events/th21-nvtn.
The cost is $59 for couples and $35 for individuals. So far, Watson said, about 40 couples have registered for the conference. “We are hoping for around 75 couples to attend,” she said.