Knights of Columbus Video Series: How to Have a Christ-Centered Catholic Marriage
The Mission of the Family video series teaches couples the importance of matrimony.
Following their successful first Into the Breach video series and taking a cue from the attacks on marriage in secular society, the Knights of Columbus have just released another video series called Into the Breach: The Mission of the Family — to strengthen Catholic marriages and Catholic families.
Looking at marriage as the foundation of the family, the gift of children, healing in the family, creating a legacy of faith and more, the six parts bring not only words of wisdom from people like Tim Gray, president of Augustine Institute; Carrie Gress, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, scholar at the Institute for Human Ecology at The Catholic University of America, and editor at the online women’s magazine Theology of Home; and Catholic psychologist and EWTN host Dr. Ray Guarendi, but also beautiful stories and advice from marriage couples in the pews such as the wife of a Navy officer who says, “I want to be happy family and know that our true happiness lies in God. Our common goal is to become a saint, to get our spouse to heaven and help our kids get to heaven; and then for them to help us get to heaven.”
Damien O’Connor, the Knights of Columbus vice president of evangelization and faith formation, spoke about this new video series with the Register.
How does this video series fit into the Knights’ philosophy and emphasis?
What we’re seeing right now in the world is a lot of confusion in the modern culture, its misunderstanding what the nature and the meaning of marriage is, and the teachings of marriage by the Church, given to us by Christ.
When Father [Michael] McGivney started the Knights, simply reading of the history of what he wrote or what others wrote about him, he cared deeply about the formation of men. He wasn’t hoping that men would join the Knights. He wanted to form men in the faith. So the family series is simply getting back to the basics and really helping not just our brother knights, but also families in general, to know what it is to be formed in the faith when it comes to sacramental marriage.
It’s something that has been either not taught or forgotten. So rather than be critical of people, let’s teach them; let’s bring them back to the basics … and to go deeper to really understand their marriages.
Do you find people are eager to learn how to live sacramental marriages?
I think people are hungry for this. They want successful marriages. But they’re struggling to form and build and maintain them because they just don’t know what to do.
So many people have never heard or even seen in their own lives the Catholic vision of marriage and family life. As a former teacher, I can’t help but say that we have to teach that. People want to be inspired.
So this series is meant to reach people across the spectrum, correct?
I absolutely think this could be viewed by not just couples, but families with young children, by people who have been married for some time and may think it’s too late to better their marriage. It’s never too late. Dr. Ray Guarendi actually talks about that in one of the episodes. It’s absolutely not too late.
If we bring people to Christ, if Christ is the center of your marriage, it never means it’s going to be perfect, but it radically changes your focus in what you’re intentional about. Christ must be the center of that marriage. Somewhere along the way, secular society I would dare say, has taught us that Jesus isn’t enough; you have to do all these other things. And yet, it’s so simple what we’re being called to do. In the series, there are a lot issues that couples and families deal with. But somehow, Christ takes chaos and turns it into a masterpiece. I can’t do that; I can’t take chaos and make it into a masterpiece. And he can do that.
When you think about Christ in the Gospels, he said, “Come and see” (John 1:39). He didn’t say, “Come and see if you’re well-rounded.” We’re trying to model that with the series. It’s not the beginning and end of how to have a successful marriage, but we are trying to model Christ. Come and look at what your marriage could be by making Christ the focus.
It's so important to have a faith life in your marriage. Otherwise, you are 100% throwing the dice, just rolling those dice. You only need to look at the data out there.
The series is not critical but quite positive in its outlook.
It's so important that we stop being critical of these couples, because they may have never even heard of this before. We literally need to teach again. We don’t live in a Christian culture anymore. We must be apostolic. We must be intentional about everything — my prayer life, what I watch, technology, all that. We have to be very careful. But Christ is saying, “Follow me.” If we don’t follow, there are only two options: Either we’re following him, or the evil one takes over. So you got to make a choice.
And this video series is a “GPS” for couples to learn the right route for marriage given by God’s Precious Son?
There are families or couples that you just enjoy being around because they are faith-filled families, not even close to perfect, but there’s a joy about them. Yes, there’s a balance that they have. I love being around that. And I often think I want to be like that, you know, “What do you have?” 100% of the time, it’s they have a strong faith life. And they know they’re powerless without God.
Is there a particular highlight in the whole series you’d like to share?
The video that personally I like the most and think is really, really important is the first one “The Catholic Family in the Post-Christian World.” Families need to understand we don’t live in a Christian culture. If there’s an umbrella theme … “intentionality.” We must be intentional. We can’t depend on the world to teach us what a sacramental marriage is anymore. We have to be intentional about couples we hang out with … if you want your kids to grow up in the faith. They need to be around other families that are also doing that. They just do.
I need to be intentional about those things that are coming into my home, especially through technology. I need to protect my family from those things. … And secular society is absolutely hostile to the whole idea of a sacramental marriage because in secular society there’s no faith — where it’s “I’m in charge. I’m god.”
So that first video for me personally really resonates because I think it’s so important to know what hand you’ve been dealt. It’s not to be negative, but it is to know this is the reality that now we know what we have to do: We have to be intentional about our faith life.
What are the particular hopes for this series?
We just hope that it has a significant impact on helping couples and families to get back to the basics. We’re meant to know a joy that has no bounds. God wants us to be joyful. God wants us to be happy and know that we’re loved. And marriage is the foundation of society; if we can help couples to start realizing that you are meant to have so much joy in your marriage and your family, and here’s the way to do it. It’s getting back to the basics of the teachings of the faith and what marriage is all about and sacrificing and loving and all that’s involved. We are meant to be full of joy. I think we forget that sometimes; if we can help families to really put Christ at the center of their family. Salvation history was changed forever by a family. They could have said, “No” — we forget that part — but they said, “Yes” and they struggled a lot, but now the Holy Family is our model. They just are.
There is a study guide via digital or paper copy.