Sponsor couples gather in Guam.
Sponsor couples gather in Guam.

Creating Strong Marriages in Guam

By Kristine Stremel

For Better and For Ever, the successful marriage preparation program created and developed by our own Fr. Rob Ruhnke, has been helping couples living on the island of Guam create strong marriages and strong families for the past 25 years.

Christine Rosario was a single gal working at the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery in 1997 when Fr. Rob introduced his marriage preparation program in Guam. As her marriage to Richard Rosario coincided with Fr. Rob’s return visit, the couple included him in their wedding celebration. The Rosarios were among the first generation prepped as sponsor couples in Guam, and now fully half of the parishes in the Archdiocese of Agana use For Better and For Ever. “Pastors who use the program are incredibly supportive, and we work very well together,” Christine said.

After the lengthy isolation imposed by the global pandemic restrictions, sponsor couples were excited that they were able to gather in person a few months ago. “All of us were hungry to spend quiet time praying with our partners, reflecting on the meaning of our calling as couples, and reflecting with each other as a group as we renewed our commitment to our marriages,” she explained.

In addition to helping engaged couples create a firm foundation for marriage, sponsor couples recognize the value the ministry has for their own marriages. “We hear that the program has helped strengthen sponsor couple marriages as much—if not even more—than the couples they assist,” Christine said.

More sponsor couples are being trained to ensure quality marriage preparation in the Archdiocese of Agana. “We are hosting a training session for sponsor couples in June, but want to do more to strengthen marriages throughout our island,” Christine said. “We want to create opportunities for couples to pray together and deepen their faith together, and continue strengthening their marriages. Our goal is to have a recollection or retreat to nourish and celebrate marriages at least once a year.”


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