Archdiocese of Omaha & St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church: Starting Marriage on the Right Foot with Money Talk
Catholic churches and dioceses use Money Habitudes in marriage preparation programs to help couples better understand themselves and their partners when it comes to money and finances. Valerie Conzett, director of the Family Life Office in the Archdiocese of Omaha, and Sr. Virginia West, a marriage and family therapist at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park, FL, both say the activity has offered a positive approach to an often difficult subject.
Since incorporating Money Habitudes into their marriage preparation programs, both organizations have been able to:
- Provide a fun, positive approach to a sometimes-difficult subject, a useful tactic in both smaller groups and in individualized sessions for couples.
- Offer a non-judgmental approach to money.
- Give couples the opportunity to understand new information as individuals and as a couple.
- Use the cards in a variety of settings. Conzett of the Archdiocese of Omaha sees the value of Money Habitudes for people who have been newly married and long married, as well as those who are single, separated, widowed or divorced.
How They Use Money Habitudes
- Premarital classes may be a single day, a whole weekend or a series of seminars spread over a few weeks. After an introduction to the role of money in marriage, everyone in the class sorts his/her own deck of Money Habitudes cards at the same time. West’s church has a large number of Spanish-speaking participants so she also offers both the English and Spanish versions to facilitate the process.
- Because the premarital class is intended for Catholic couples to focus on themselves, West has couples just talk to each other rather than try to foster a financial discussion among a large group.
- West also gives the couples worksheets from the Professional Guide so they have something to refer to and discuss when they go home.