Workshop offers couples ways to enrich their marriage

Marriage Workshop is presented from a Catholic view


by Sheila Myers
Special to the Leaven

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — With books bearing catchy titles like “Holy Sex,” a successful counseling business, and a gift for teaching, Dr. Gregory Popcak has become a highly sought-after speaker on the Catholic marriage and family life circuit.

Married couples in the Kansas City metro area will have a chance to hear Popcak, along with his wife Lisa, on Nov. 3 at the Marriage Enrichment Day sponsored by the office for marriage and family life of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

“He’s such a good teacher and, with his wife, you will hear things that will touch you,” said Deacon Tony Zimmerman, the office’s lead consultant. “When I look at his books, I think he gives practical, everyday ways to live out the vows [married couples] made to one another.”

Popcak’s expertise is enhanced by a successful telephone counseling practice, which provides marriage, family and personal counseling to Catholics all over the world. Popcak and his wife have been married 25 years and have coauthored books on parenting and family life.

The workshop is open to all married couples, regardless of faith. However, the material is presented from a Catholic viewpoint — one Popcak feels is often missing from marriage discussions.

“As Catholics, we get our information about having a faithful marriage from either secular sources or from evangelical Protestant sources,” he said. “Both of those are great resources but, as Catholics, we have some unique perspectives on marriage and family life.”

One example of the Catholic difference, he said, is to see marriage and family life as a ministry.

“Everybody has this ache for a love that’s free and total and faithful and fruitful,” he said. “But I think in the world today, nobody believes it’s possible. Catholics want married couples and families to show the world that it is possible to have that love.”

The workshop, which runs from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m., will start with a presentation based on Popcak’s first book, “For Better, Forever,” which explores the characteristics of strong relationships.

Mass with Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and lunch will follow. The afternoon workshop features a session on married love, drawing from Popcak’s book, “Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving.” The book draws heavily on Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body.

The Marriage Enrichment Day is offered by the archdiocese to provide married couples with the opportunity to nourish their marriage with a little undivided attention — time they can’t always find in their lives.

“How in the world can you have undivided attention if you’ve got a job and you’re trying to provide for your family?” Deacon Zimmerman asked.

Children, schedules, financial pressures, aging parents — all these forces compete for time and attention and prevent married couples from taking the time to focus on each other and what drew them together in the first place.

“[This workshop] is a way to redirect us to that, because there’s always going to be this struggle,” he continued. “We can be better every day, but it takes action on our part.”

Learn more

To learn more about Dr. Gregory and Lisa Popcak and the Pastoral Solutions Institute, an organization devoted to helping Catholics discover faithful answers to their tough questions on marriage, family and personal life, visit the website at: www.exceptionalmarriages.com.

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