Monday, September 8, 2014

Secrets of Turning Water into Wine: What Our Marriage Advice Book Offers

As we announced last week, Ave Maria Press will be releasing our Catholic marriage help book in 2016. The working title (although publishers always change the title!) is Secrets of Turning Water into Wine. Why are we writing the book? What can you learn from the book? Read on to find out!


Divorce rates for Catholic marriages have almost tripled since the early 1970s, proving that Catholic marriages are not immune from the terrible epidemic of divorce. Catholic couples today desperately need a transfusion of spiritual truths combined with solid practical advice. Secrets of Turning Water into Wine offers a warm catechesis that illustrates how God’s plan for marriage can free us to experience deep, lasting, and soul-satisfying love in our everyday lives.

Weekend or one-day marriage preparation programs might not give couples all the information they need or want. Secrets of Turning Water into Wine shows how Biblical principles can provide trustworthy solutions to the most common problems facing couples today. The goal of Secrets of Turning Water into Wine is to inspire couples to stay in love with each other, in love with Christ, and in love with the wisdom of the Catholic Church. The book accomplishes this by teaching couples how to:

Become united to one another in body, mind, and soul
Welcome children with joy
Find a Natural Family Planning style that works for them
Accept special-needs children with open arms
Raise children to be successful saints
Learn to love their in-laws
Be a family at the service of other families
Become wise financial stewards 
Work for the good of their family and God’s kingdom
Stay together through praying together
Imitate the example of the Holy Family

The end of each chapter provides five bonus features to stimulate in-depth conversation, greater understanding, and positive change: 1) Discussion Questions; 2) Action Plan; 3) Catechism Corner, with a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church to think about or even memorize; 4) Papal Pointer, which contains wisdom from recent popes; and 5) More to Explore, which suggests additional online and print resources.

Secrets of Turning Water into Wine is ideal for couples to read and discuss on their own either before or after the wedding. It is also a perfect choice for small groups like book clubs, pre-Cana programs, and marriage enrichment programs. Two appendices in the back of the book provide a sample six-week and twelve-week curriculum, and free downloadable worksheets will be made available online. Leaders can customize the curriculum by adding their own personal stories to illustrate the key topics. By encouraging couples to gather together in community to learn about these issues, our book motivates people to help themselves and help each other at the same time.

If you are interested in receiving updates about the book plus news and tips about Catholic marriage and family, please subscribe to the blog by email. If you are involved in pre-Cana, marriage prep, or parish or diocesan ministry and would like to incorporate our book into your program, please email me directly at

If you enjoyed this post, we highly recommend:


  1. Inspiring, indeed! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and passion for all that is good, and for giving your best all along, start to finish. :)