A new podcast from the Diocese of Westminster has launched and is available to listen to on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor and Google Podcasts. Each episode will feature people and clergy from the diocese, in parishes and communities, sharing their stories of faith.
In this edition, we hear from Deacon Roger Carr-Jones, Marriage and Family Life Coordinator, newlyweds Anna and Michael Desbruslais and couples who celebrated significant anniversaries at the Mass for Matrimony in May.
Deacon Roger Carr-Jones shares his insights in journeying with people preparing for marriage:
'If you take it as a broader thing of understanding a vocation, if you only understand it in abstract terms or as ideals, often right at the start we're going to fail because we think we can never aspire to that. But if we bring our experience, particularly as a couple, and sometimes it may not be perfect, it might be a little bit be fragmented on the edges, it's that transformative aspect of the marriage vocation that I think possibly has not been given enough credence over the past few decades.
'What I've come to realise, let's say, with marriage preparation, is that I'm bringing, to those couples, some tools in terms of how relationships work. I might be bringing them insights into understanding the vocation of marriage. But I'm also recognising at the same time that their relationship is their relationship. In other words, it will be a unique expression of married life. It can't be the same as mine because they're different people.'
Couples who celebrated significant anniversaries at the Mass for Matrimony in May speak about their marriages:
'This place (Westminster Cathedral) holds a very important place in our life. We came to this country in 2017, but I never knew one day I would to come to London. I had to take a connecting bus and just entered the church and from that time when everything was fine, especially during pre-Covid times, on alternate Sundays I used to come here for the 8am Mass and I used to pray, and after 10 years, God blessed us with our son, this year.'
Anna and Michael Desbruslais, married for only a month at the time of recording, speak of their experience beginning this new stage in their lives:
Anna: 'For me, there's a massive sense of gratitude. I really feel like the Church gifted us our wedding. Even turning up to the church, some of my friends were outside and my family who'd just turned up knowing they couldn't come inside the church because of restrictions, were just there to pray with me before I went in. Our friends had created the music; one of our amazing friends had done the flowers in the church. The priests who had come. Just a real sense of gratitude, and super pumped.'
Michael: 'I remember turning up to the church seeing everyone doing their own individual jobs and I was just constantly thinking to myself and expressing "Thank you" to people throughout the day. All different vocations coming together: the religious sisters and brothers who've been praying for us on the day; the amazing priests around the world saying Mass for us and our intentions and our family that day. I think it really brings out how the variety of vocations in really come alive.'
Anna: 'I think in terms of faith, it was really important that we were both people who wanted to pray. The end goal of our marriage is to get each other to heaven. That's why we're getting married and, God willing, to have children and get them to heaven and to have a good death. And so, I think we've both been very lucky to be exposed to the beauty and truth and goodness that the Church has to offer, and both from our parents' marriages being really beautiful and holy and faithful, and seeing that in our friends, really desiring that, and that being slowly planted in us.'