The Love Of Family ... Life's Greatest Blessing
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).
God’s greatest gift to mankind is family! Saint John Paul II said, “The divine mystery of the Incarnation of the Word thus has an intimate connection with the human family. Marriage has a role in the economy of salvation: it is and can be an instrument of redemption for the world.” These are powerful words from John Paul II about the early model of the family, which God Himself created for the world.
The typical family has evolved adversely in our present culture. How can we be the change that society so desperately needs? Truth is important! In marriage, when spouses embrace who they are in Christ and live according to that truth, their marriage is more than a natural union; it is a means of grace and salvation.
Through the Teens Encounter Christ Movement, I have developed many intergenerational friendships that give me great hope for the future Church. The witness of young people who encounter Christ and continue to serve as adults is a blessing. The world and our “domestic Church” need the involvement of faithful, young Catholics.
Jeremy and Katie Ginter Goebel met at a TEC weekend. They planned their wedding day on Saturday, May 18, 2013, which was Pentecost weekend, and the birthday of Saint John Paul II. They attribute the happiness in their marriage to the influence of their own parents, Jim and Faye Goebel, and Dr. Mark and Diane Ginter.
The Catholic faith shared while growing up provided a solid foundation for their future vocations. Jeremy’s Dad encouraged him to attend a TEC weekend when he was 17 years old, and the experience greatly enhanced his faith. A “Pilgrimage For Life” trip to Washington. D. C., planned by the Diocese of Evansville, was a turning point for Katie. During the Mass at the Shrine of the National Basilica, then-16-year-old Katie said she felt the Presence of God calling her to serve Him.
Five years into their marriage, Jeremy and Katie continue to “see the world through the eyes of Christ.” They understand that the grace provided in the sacraments strengthens their marriage. The Goebels have two young sons: John Paul, 4, and Elijah, 2. Daily prayer routines are recited as a family, including a rosary, Gospel reading or litany of the saints. Katie spent seven years as a director of youth ministry; and in 2016, she initiated, and is the Director of, “Mission Evansville,” which serves the community by helping others. Jeremy works with her by planning all the liturgical programming for the four-day event. He teaches Sophomore Theology at Mater Dei High School, where he is also an assistant wrestling coach.
“Parents cannot give their children what they do not have; and if you love Jesus, it is easier to talk to your kids about Him,” Jeremy said. “We are not perfect; but we use all the available resources, and the example of the saints, to foster a Christ-centered marriage in our home.”
On Oct. 21, 2016, the vigil of Saint John Paul’s Feast day, the special devotion that Jeremy and Katie have for this great saint became a witness of miracles. Their son John Paul was airlifted from Deaconess Hospital in Evansville to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis after a choking incident. He arrived unconscious for emergency surgery, and after a few days in the hospital, he was an active toddler again.
Trusting in God provides the peace of Christ that rules in our hearts, especially during times of turmoil. Be thankful for young families like the Goebels, who make the world a better place! Amen!