Archdiocesan group aims to link faith couples
By Nissa LaPoint
As a newly married couple, Shane and Anne Provost looked for ways to meet like-minded Catholic couples.
“We’re always looking for other young married couples to interact with,” said Shane Provost, 27, who attends Mother of God Parish in Denver with his wife.
They discovered the recently launched Friendship.Faith.Fun. (FFF) group, an outreach of the Denver Archdiocese’s Office of Marriage and Family Life, targeted for young couples and families.
The group’s monthly Saturday events held at the John Paul II Center campus combine guest speakers, group discussions and dinners for those seeking to deepen their faith, build Catholic relationships and enrich their family life.
Although many parish groups for married couples exist, there wasn’t an archdiocesan-level group for couples to meet on a regular basis, said Kelly Bateson, executive assistant for the Office of Marriage and Family Life.
“The group came out of the recognition of the need for a community of young married couples and families,” she said.
The new outreach has a mission: to educate on the faith and build community with a little bit of fun.
“We saw a need … specifically (for) education in the faith about relationships and life through a Catholic lens,” Bateson said.
In addition to enriching couples’ faith, the group is meant to enable attendees to form new friendships.
“We’re all looking for like-minded friends, and we’re all looking for a place to belong,” Bateson said. “It can be hard for Catholic couples to find couple friends and even harder to find couple friends who are Catholic.”
The gatherings begin with a speaker who discusses a faith-related or current event topic. Then couples break into small groups and discuss the presentation before eating a meal together. Baby-sitting is provided for couples with children.
Provost said the group fulfilled his wife’s desire to engage in group discussions and his own to delve into theological topics. They plan to attend future FFF gatherings.
“It was a very comfortable environment and very relaxed,” Provost said. “We had a great time and it’s nice to have events like it.”
Previous speakers include Karna Swanson, director of the Denver Archdiocese’s Office of Communications, and Steve Markel, co-founder of Families of Character, which emphasizes building families through character and virtue.
At the next gathering, Matt and Mindy Dalton of Marriage Ministries will speak on “Too Busy to Love?”
All couples—dating, engaged, single parents and married couples with children—are invited to attend from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 26 at 1300 S. Steele St. in Denver. Attendees are asked to provide dinner for their own family.
For planning purposes, an RSVP is requested of those who plan to bring their children.