Key Priorities in Engagement

What should I focus on during engagement? As you prepare for your wedding day, you are also preparing for your marriage. Fr. Josh Johnson is joined by Deacon Michael Parker to discuss some of the key priorities for engagement that will help you truly prepare for marriage.

Snippet from the Show
Cultivating relationships with married couples who are in different seasons of life can be incredibly beneficial to your own marriage. Learn from other couples and allow them to support you.


The Importance of Prison Ministry 

  •  Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you also are in the body” (Hebrews 13:3)
  • “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matthew 25:35)
  • And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ ” (Matthew 25:40)

Interested in getting involved in prison ministry? Make sure you don’t go into prison ministry alone. Partner with an existing ministry or organization that can guide and prepare you. Check out Kolbe Prison Ministries!

Finding a Priority in the Spiritual Life 

The enemy can easily distract us in our spiritual lives by overwhelming us with a long list of action items. The best way to avoid this temptation is to focus on one goal at a time. What is one thing in your spiritual life that you can grow in?

Glory Story (5:09)
Question (8:39)

What are some ways that an engaged couple can prepare for marriage?

Spiritual Life

Cultivate both your personal and common prayer life. Pray alone, but also pray together. Every couple needs as much spiritual support as they can get. Write a convent and ask cloistered nuns to pray for you.

Marriage Counseling

Start counseling before marriage. The challenges and struggles will come and it is best to do all you can to prepare yourselves for them. Learn how to communicate better and support one another.


Build bonds with family, both of your families. Every family has its challenges, but it is important to know them and love them as best you can. Also, it is very helpful to have couple friends who are also married. Work on developing close friendships with married couples. Sometimes our single friends won’t understand marriage and may offer unhelpful advice.

Avoid Cohabitation 

Cohabitation is a near occasion of sin and can also cause scandal. If you are already cohabitating, see if you can stay at someone’s house until married.

Saint Story: Cyprian and Daphrose Rugamba (35:13)

Cyprien and Daphrose were a married couple that lived in Rwanda. They were married in 1965 two years after Cyprien’s first fiance was killed tragically. Daphrose was a very devout woman and loved her faith greatly. Cyprien, however, had fallen away from the faith and was not a good husband. He was unfaithful to Daphrose and treated her poorly. However, Daphrose remained faithful to her husband and raised their ten children in the faith. She praised constantly for the conversion of her husband.

Seventeen years after they were married, Cyprien became very ill. His illness was undiagnosable and he believed he would die. It was during this time that Cyprien experienced a profound conversion. He asked for the forgiveness of his wife and the two were renewed in their marriage. In 1990, Cyprien and Daphrose established an Emmanuel Community in Rwanda. Their dedication to this community helped it to grow quickly throughout Rwanda even though it was such a tumultuous time in the country.

Cyprien and Daphrose spoke out on the need for unity in Rwanda. They spoke out against some of the immoral and harmful practices that were causing great division in Rwanda. Their work in this led to their assassinations along with six of their ten children.

The cause for Cyprien and Daphrose’s canonizations was opened in September 2015.


Meet Fr. Josh Johnson

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. Then, one day in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest.

Now, Fr. Josh is the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He is a presenter in four of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, The 99, and Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for This Generation, as well as the author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation, Pocket Guide to Adoration, and co-author of Pocket Guide to Reconciliation.

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