My fiancée and I have grown and deepened our love and commitment to Christ more from this class than in our whole relationship.— Steve S.
If my fiancé and I had learned these teachings of the Church on sexuality sooner, we would never have become sexually active.— Mark M.
This program is the first that I have heard that offered candid and logically sound discussions about Catholic teaching on sex and marriage. I am truly appreciative.— Tom S.
The pre-marriage classes have been exceptionally beneficial and have brought us closer together in love of each other, and in deeper union with the Catholic Church.— Rebecca W.
The program was wonderful. I plan to return to the Church because of it and I'm so excited. Thank you so much—this program has truly touched me.— Stephanie S.
— Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino
It is with great joy that I endorse your God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage, marriage preparation program.
The Diocese of Madison has completed its first year of implementing the program. Through it, the beauty of marriage and family, and the true meaning of human sexuality are held up as a beacon of hope in the all-too-dark culture in which we live.
With skill, God’s plan for love and life are revealed through this program, according to the insights of Pope John Paul the Great’s Theology of the Body-perhaps being presented for first time to many of the engaged couples. The message is a “hard-sell” in today’s culture, but though this presentation, essential seeds are planted in a loving and invitational manner that will bear transforming fruit in years to come for families, for the Church and for the world.
This program is one of many signs of hope within the Church. And the God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage program, coupled with other marriage preparation opportunities at both parish and diocesan levels, address a great need for formational tools that are essential for building up the Catholic family of the future.
Bishop of Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin
To his diocesan priests: “I am pleased to introduce a new marriage preparation resource based on Pope John Paul II’s collection of writings known as the ‘Theology of the Body.’ The Theology of the Body offers the Church a new language that can reshape, strengthen and transform the Church’s approach to marriage preparation."— Most Reverend John J. Myers
Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey
— Judith Psota, Family Life Director
From the first moment I saw the God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage materials—and understood the importance of the need for more formation for our engaged couples in the area of sacramentality and sexuality, I knew such a formation could not be neglected.
We are seeing hearts being changed because of the God’s Plan program. Such a conversion is necessary today because our engaged couples need to understand what the sacrament is and what the marriage commitment involves. The message that Pope John Paul II gave us in regards to marriage, as revealed in the Theology of the Body and this program, really resonates in their hearts. If you want to see couples really grasp what the sacrament of matrimony really is, take a close look at these materials.
Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey
The God’s Plan program was one of eighteen reviewed by our marriage preparation evaluation committee. The God’s Plan program was the best expressed and the most adaptable in format. The program’s DVD component was also attractive to us as was the training offered by Ascension Press. I have received calls from all over the diocese to say how well-done the training program was and to say how much their own marriages benefited from the learning. Many of the couples expressed how they wished there had been something like this when they prepared for marriage and shared how excited they were to help the engaged understand those things that will really make their marriages great.— Pat McCarthy, Family Life Director
Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming
— Father John Keehner, Pastor and Tribunal Member
I had the opportunity to view the videos of God's Plan for a Joy Filled Marriage. At the age of 41, I thought I knew it all (Or at least most of it). For the first time in my life, I can honestly say "I get it"!! Your talks have opened my eyes to a whole new understanding not only of married love and sexuality, but also of my own masculinity and the celibacy which I promised over fourteen years ago when I was ordained a deacon. I wish I had heard you speak on this topic when I was in the seminary. I would be a better priest today.
Spending these last three days studying with your videos and the accompanying workbook and book have made me want to be a better priest--a better preacher--a better judge in our tribunal--a better pastor, even a better son and brother and friend.
Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio
— Deacon Jim & Mary Rose McGarry, Marriage Preparation Providers
We have worked in Marriage Preparation in the Catholic Church since 1972.
We are pleased with the opportunity to assist in promoting God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage. We have successfully integrated the God’s Plan DVDs in our Marriage Preparation program. The DVDs are a real help, it is like having Christopher West as another team member on the weekend. His experience is real and relatable for engaged couples.
Sexual Honesty Before Marriage is a subject that is difficult for most team couples because they are afraid addressing this issue will “turn off” the couple. Christopher West’s sharing and teaching in this DVD Presentation are so powerful that couples are, at least, willing to reconsider their choice about sex before marriage.
We share this with you to reaffirm our appreciation for a solid program that provides answers to many of the ills of our time. God's Plan for A Joy-Filled Marriage is the Good News.
Diocese of Venice, Florida
— Sister Mary Elizabeth, Director of Family Life
As one who saw the potential that the Theology of the Body could offer to the marriage preparation process, I was eager to look into the God’s Plan program. The response we have been getting from our engaged couples has been very favorable.
I was amazed at the dramatic increase we have seen in the number of couples who are signing up for Natural Family Planning classes since we began the God’s Plan program. I had a feeling that we would see an increase but it has been much higher than we expected, growing from approximately 4% to 15%.
The God’s Plan program based on the Theology of the Body, uses a 'new language' in presenting God’s Plan for marriage—a language that is both liberating and refreshing. I am confident that, in conjunction with our office’s current efforts, the program is going to plant the seeds for a renewal of faith for thousands of couples who will go through our marriage preparation programs over the next several years.
The God’s Plan program captures the challenging, counter-cultural, and compelling message of the Theology of the Body. This is what we knew we needed on the front lines of the new evangelization with our engaged couples.
Archdiocese of New York, New York
God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage represents an important development in marriage preparation materials for Catholics everywhere. The content is well-thought out and offers parish and diocesan marriage preparation programs a practical means for passing on the Church's profound view of married love. The training programs of Ascension Press also helped us greatly in developing facilitators and speakers to implement the program. We have been very happy with the services and materials we have received from Ascension Press.— Tom Frei, Director of Evangelization and Catechesis
Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota
— Mike Allen, Family Life Director
My experience with God's Plan and the Ascension Press team has been excellent. They presented a basic overview of the curriculum at our NACFLM Region V, and made a compelling case for the Theology of the Body in general as a key component to marriage preparation, and the effectiveness of the God's Plan material in particular. The presentation only confirmed our original decision to make God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage a required marriage preparation component in the Diocese of Lexington.
Ascension Press also led a facilitator training weekend for five couples we had recruited to lead the God's Plan workshops in our diocese. The training was spiritually deep, theologically sound, and very motivating. We are seeing the fruit of that training as we begin to lead engaged couples through the God's Plan material.
The God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage has my strong recommendation.
Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky
I believe I speak for all the participants when I say that the God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage training was truly an inspiration. The professional and caring preparation of your materials and presentations was self evident. I thank you for your hard work. This program clearly has a bright future in spreading the Good News about the Church's teaching on marriage and human sexuality.— Andrew Bournos Jr. God’s Plan Instructor Training Participant
Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut
— Peggy Skiano, Director of Family Life
We have been extremely pleased with our adoption of God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage as a central component of our diocesan marriage preparation offering. The God’s Plan program helps us present Catholic teaching about marriage in a simple way that challenges both engaged and civilly married couples to see the deeper meaning of their relationship. The majority of couples are pleasantly surprised because they have not heard this message about how their marriage is built upon and reflects the love of God. This is particularly important in a world in which secular values dominate the formation of young people today. We are seeing the conversion of hearts.
We are also pleased to report a 30% increase in the number of couples choosing to take NFP classes, a wonderful benefit of sharing the God’s Plan message with our couples. Our engaged come away from this experience with a better understanding of the Sacrament of Matrimony and the meaning of the vows they exchange.
Diocese of San Diego, California