Faith in Action June 2022

Tom & Marcy on Faith in Action

The Renkens shared about how the Celebrate Marriage ministry began and where it’s going.

Celebrate Marriage offers Christ-centered enrichment.

Tom and Marcy Renken were invited to be guests of Brigid Ayer on Catholic Radio Indy’s Faith in Action radio show.

Marcy and Tom talk with Jim and Brigid about the marriage enrichment program and how it assists couples of all stages in marriage with their relationships. They discuss an upcoming marriage conference with Dr. Ray Guarendi scheduled for Saturday, August 27th, 2022 at Our Lady of the Greenwood in Greenwood, IN.

For details or to register see the website or for questions, email or call 317- 489-1557.


For the latest Celebrate Marriage events, check out our events tab above!

Faith in Action October 2021

Tom & Marcy on Faith in Action

Tom and Marcy Renken were invited to be guests of Brigid Ayer on Catholic Radio Indy’s Faith in Action radio show.

This show ended up being two parts. The Renkens shared about the Celebrate Marriage ministry during the first half. The second half, Marcy continues on with Brigid, joined by Katherine Morris, to speak about a new opportunity for women – The Recharge Conference.


People can listen live over the airwaves on 89.1FM, 90.9 FM, or via live stream on their computer from our webpage  or on demand via podcast. Catholic Radio Indy also has an app available for android or apple devices.

For the latest Celebrate Marriage events, check out our events tab above!

For information about Recharge, a day for women, go to Our Lady of Greenwood’s Facebook Page under events.

My husband doesn’t make me happy

My husband doesn’t make me happy.

We just made it through our second “seven year itch” and he still doesn’t make me happy. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a problem here. Around the time of our 7th year of marriage, Tom and I each had a friend who was suddenly getting a divorce.

When we found out about each of them getting divorced, we were shocked. When we had spent time with them, they seemed happy and got along well. We didn’t think they were any different from us. Neither of our friends came to us for advice. Neither of them let us know that there was anything wrong in their marriages.

In both of these situations, the wives said their husbands didn’t make them happy any more.

My husband doesn’t make me happy. Why am I still married?

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Tom and I went through marriage prep in the Catholic Church. That was one difference between us and our friends. We met 6 times with a married sponsor couple and then attended a weekend retreat to prepare us for marriage. We were “prepared” for marriage. Were we really prepared for our life together?

When we got married, we were like a new car – newly-weds with nothing but a smooth ride ahead. We were low on mileage and had no scratches or dents. We hadn’t even hit any bumps in the road.

What happens after marriage prep? What happens after you drive off the lot in that new car? Your car is now worth significantly less.

From experience, I can tell you that discussing and planning for marriage – getting prepared – is a lot different than living the married life. If you’re married, you know planning for the wedding is different than living in marriage. Even though we went through marriage preparation, after 7 years of marriage, we found ourselves growing apart.

We had promised each other we would go back and review the materials we kept from our marriage preparation, each year on our anniversary. I was in Iraq during our first anniversary. The next anniversaries came and went without much thought of reviewing those old notes.  As the years started passing by, we lost that new car smell. We started getting used to seeing a few scratches. We even missed some regular maintenance.

Tom and I didn’t want to end up like our friends. What could we do to avoid what our friends went through? Marriage counseling? That was pretty much the only thing we had heard of up to that point. All that we could see offered to married couples were responses to conflict – a therapist or a divorce attorney.

After 7 years, Tom wasn’t making me happy. We needed to do something, right?  I did some digging and learned that there is more out there for marriages.

We took our not-so-new-anymore car for a long overdue visit to the mechanic. We found a World Wide Marriage Encounter weekend. It is a time-free weekend away from all of life’s distractions to focus only on each other.

That weekend opened up my eyes in our marriage. I’m the optimist in our relationship. I learned that our relationship was not as good as I thought. It wasn’t that we did not get along. It was that we had allowed parts of us to be hidden from each other. We allowed ourselves to grow apart and become roommates, roommates with benefits.

It is hard to believe the tears and emotions we shared that weekend. We had years of built-up heartache and pain. At the same time, we grew closer together intimately than we had ever been before. We were open and honest in a safe environment.

I learned that Tom had feelings. He learned that I am real too. Now, I’m not sure why he didn’t think I was real before – I have plenty of faults and imperfections, believe me! We learned how to communicate in a more intimate way which has allowed our relationship to flourish.

We were fortunate that we had a wake-up call when our friends divorced. I’m telling you today that you don’t have to have a wake-up call to decide to place your marriage as a priority.

According to the Heritage Foundation, federal and state governments spend $150 billion per year to subsidize and sustain single-parent families. Only $150 million is spent to strengthen marriage. To put that into perspective, for every $1,000 spent to deal with the effects of Family disintegration, only $1 is spent to prevent that disintegration.

If you are married, speak positively about your spouse enough that he or she hears how much you actually like them from a third party. Encourage your friends who are married. Don’t let your friends speak negatively about their spouses – certainly do not encourage it. You don’t know the whole story.

It’s better to get regular oil-changes and check-ups on your car than to neglect maintenance and hope it will last for 200,000 miles. It’s no different in your marriage.

The result of Tom and I attending one weekend marriage retreat together is that our marriage is a priority. We are not a statistic. Tom and I were inspired to begin the Celebrate Marriage program at our church to give married couples a supportive community. Celebrate Marriage gives couples the opportunity for Christ-centered marriage enrichment through large group, small group, and individual couple experiences.

Marriage enrichment programs are becoming more common. The government statistics do not show that they are in the business of supporting existing families before they are broken. We, however, can take a stand and do our small part in giving hope for marriages in the future.

Tom is not responsible for my happiness. I am. He cannot make me happy any more than he can make me change my mind about my favorite kind of chocolate. I learned how to take charge of my own happiness and not put the responsibility on Tom. Tom can make me happy, but he is not in charge of my happiness.

It is true, my husband doesn’t always make me happy and I’m okay with that.

Is your marriage worth one day?

The best thing that Tom and I have done in our lives has been attending a marriage retreat.

Who helps you to improve your marriage? Does your spouse or your kids? What about your boss? Do you remember all of those extra training hours your boss required for an improved marriage? Me neither.

As married couples, oftentimes we see a marriage retreat as a place for those “other” couples, you know, the ones who have problems.

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We forget to take time for our own marriage, and in the Catholic church, our covenant. Tom and I believe we are called to marriage just as a priest, deacon, or nun is called to religious life. The church is Christ’s bride as I am Tom’s bride. Our loving relationship is built upon those grounds.

I remember going above and beyond the minimum requirements we were instructed to complete before we were married in 2002. We attended a Tobit retreat and met multiple times with a sponsor couple. We even decided that we would review what we learned each year on our anniversary. As each year passed, we would reminisce about our wedding. Seldom, maybe once or twice, did we open our marriage preparation books. I thought we had a great marriage. Of course it wouldn’t fail.

It was several years after we were married when we kept hearing about our friends’ and some family members’ relationships ending. None of the divorces came with much, if any, warning. That was when Tom and I decided to take a step towards strengthening, not just coasting along in, our marriage. We too had become roommates and were far from God’s call for our marriage.

Our experience at the Worldwide Marriage Encounter retreat (WWME) brought us back together. Christ became the center of our marriage. It continues to break our hearts when we see broken and struggling relationships. A belief that God wants the best for all marriages continues to inspire us to provide ongoing opportunities for enrichment through the Celebrate Marriage ministry. We continue to answer God’s call to share our journey.

We would like to offer you a day away from the everyday routine. Is your marriage worth one day? Take a day just for you and your spouse to focus on one of God’s greatest blessings, your marriage. Married couples of all ages are invited to join us for the annual one-day retreat, “Celebrate Marriage”, at Our Lady of the Greenwood.


August 22, 2015
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (A special marriage blessing will be offered at the 5:30 PM mass)
Cost for this event: $15 (includes materials, childcare, and lunch)
Register online by clicking on Celebrate Marriage