Community key to marriage
A marriage is a new beginning for more than just two people.
For many Catholic couples, marriage means creating a new faith community – a community that can be showcased at the wedding, in some ways, but grows and deepens as the couple continues in their married life together.
When Megan and Adam Tietsort of St. Thomas More Parish in Omaha were married two years ago, family and their parish played a big role, and the same held true at the wedding two years ago of Jada and Robbie Miller of St. Peter Parish in Omaha.
Most of the bridesmaids and groomsmen at Megan’s and Adam’s wedding were family; the greeters were family. Megan’s family has deep roots in the parish – her grandparents were one of the founding families, she had served as a volleyball coach at the school, and her mother is still the school secretary.
Megan and Adam had been volunteering, both with the church and in the community at large, before they got married, and service to the community has continued to be part of their life together.
Megan said her entire family volunteers, cooking dinners at the Bethlehem House (a home in Omaha for at-risk pregnant women) or helping with a benefit for a fellow parishioner.
"It not only helps, but it’s fun to be a part of something bigger than yourself," she said.
The Millers also knew they wanted family and friends involved in their wedding ceremony and in their marriage – "and most important, in our lives in general," Jada said. "It wasn’t just us by ourselves."
"We had lots of friends and family in our wedding party, friends singing, taking our photos and doing our readings," Robbie recalled.
For the Millers, Robbie, a math teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs and Jada, a reading teacher at Buffett Middle School in Omaha, their marriage always was going to be a part of the community – and the recent birth of their son has made that even more apparent.
"Christ says, ‘Everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,’" Robbie said. For him and his wife, marriage is a basic building block, allowing them to share their family life with the community. The Millers invite people over, "letting them be part of our family life, sharing our time," Robbie said. "We try to be pretty intentional about that."
They carry that outlook into the community and the church as well, Jada said.
"We were part of a young adult group at St. Peter (Parish) in Omaha, and that was a big blessing for us at the time," she said.
Jada joining the church through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults was another way to invite people into their lives. And now, the couple is considering becoming parenting facilitators through the archdiocese’s Center for Family Life Formation – another way to reach out to the community.
Community and marriage also come together in the most important goal as a couple, helping each other get to heaven, Megan said.
"That is our ultimate goal," she said. "So, with that being your goal, you are going to surround yourself with people who are going to help you accomplish that, and the people that come to mind would be the people in your church. They want the exact same thing as you, so you can’t really help but feel like you are all a part of something bigger and better together."