Young couple says M4EO faith affirming & a call to action

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Young couple says M4EO faith affirming & a call to action
Ella Fitzpatrick and Nicholas Gaskin

An interstate participant said he was “absolutely blindsided” with the quality of what he learnt at the recent Made for Each Other Summer School in Hobart.

“It's [the teaching] throwing off the shackles of that old traditional view on marriage, that it's just a formalised union to have children and procreate. That there is something inherently good about marriage,” said Andrew Kennedy, 23, from Toongabbie in western Sydney.

“I can't stress how incredible it is for me personally coming from almost a drought of knowledge in this area.”

The second instalment of the Made for Each Other (M4EO) Summer School brought together young people from across Australia to be immersed in a week of exploring the Church’s teaching on marriage and relationships. 

Held from January 20-24, the M4EO Summer School combined a variety of faith-based presentations, prayer and social occasions – helping participants gain a deeper understanding of the beauty of authentic human sexuality. 

The school’s keynote speaker Katrina Zeno from the USA who specialises in the teachings of Pope St John Paul II on love and relationships known as Theology of the Body, said the school was unique in that a group of young adults spent five days together “exploring how man and woman are made for each not only naturally, but supernaturally”.

“That's what I think is unique [about M4EO] because the concept that man and woman, in their embodiment as male, female, and enter into a one-flesh union, through which bodies become a channel of grace, in the sacrament of marriage, is a theme very rarely explored,” Ms Zeno said.

For engaged couple Nicholas Gaskin and Ella Fitzpatrick, both 22, of Wollongong, attending M4EO was not only a chance to deepen their understanding of the theological purpose of marriage before their wedding in October of this year, but also to re-affirm their faith in expressing and living such counter-cultural beliefs.

“This week has definitely been faith-affirming,” Miss Fitzpatrick said.

“We had the three married couples come in. They've all been married for different amounts of time. And I really enjoyed hearing their stories and how they pushed through and how they conquered with love and conquered with God in their hearts,” she said.

“It sounds so cheesy, it's made me a better person. It really has … I would recommend it to anyone and everyone married, single, engaged, consecrated virgins.”

For Mr Gaskin, the school was an experience of unity, truth and hope.

“Throughout each of Katrina's workshops and the others, there's a real reality of the truth, God's truth, goodness and beauty, swimming upstream in the current culture today,” Mr Gaskin said.

“ … And [M4E0] really inspires a confidence that it's not all downhill, that there's a real seed of hope,” he said.

“There's this real sense of unity among the people here and in the theology that this is the truth and this is how we should live our life. And a real call to action, to live as counterculture.”