Interview with Dr. Allen Hunt
Dynamic Catholic (DC): What differentiates these events from other Catholic marriage programs?
Allen Hunt: A Passion and Purpose for Marriage event is not a program. It is a four-hour investment in the strength and health of your marriage.
This event is designed to help a couple at a deeply practical level. In our half-day together, each husband and wife will learn more about what makes their partner tick and how to love their spouse more meaningfully. My talks will combine the beauty of Church teaching and Scripture with the best of recent research about what makes marriages healthy. This combination will engage and inspire every couple, and usually will do so in ways they have never experienced before. Honestly, I don’t know of anything else out there quite like this Passion and Purpose for Marriage event.
In fact, at the end of each talk, I will lead the couples in an exercise right then to apply what they are discovering. And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that the couple will worship God together and do so alongside other couples who are also desiring the same goals in life. That sense of community and purpose is a powerful thing.
DC: You have a unique personal story. How did you come to be a voice in the Catholic Church in ministering to married couples?
AH: Having been a Protestant pastor, I assisted couples over two decades in a variety of ways: pre-marital preparation, one-on-one sessions, and in weekly preaching to strengthen marriages. Having been married twenty-five years, my wife and I have experienced real joys and real struggles together. We have learned and discovered much together that we have offered to other couples on their own journeys.
After I converted and became Catholic in 2008, Matthew Kelly and I immediately began talking about ways to strengthen and enrich marriages. We both have a passion for that. And through that passion, these events were born.
DC: Why are these marriage events so important? Don’t Catholics, as they say, “Marry for Life?”
AH: Every marriage can grow stronger. Whether it is an engaged couple seeking to prepare for the sacrament of marriage and a life together, a healthy marriage looking to keep everything “in tune,” or a struggling relationship desiring real assistance through a difficult time, all marriages benefit from experiences that intentionally help couples grow forward together. Catholics have the advantage of understanding marriage as a sacrament and excellent Church teaching on marriage; however, all marriages need attention and effort to grow strong and stay strong. Passion and Purpose for Marriage events do just that.
DC: Where do you see Catholic marriages heading in America?
AH: All American marriages are in trouble. Our culture emphasizes selfishness rather than real, sacrificial love. Selfishness will erode, and kill, a marriage. Love, as shown us in Jesus Christ, will safeguard and deepen a marriage. Catholic marriages who embrace the faith of Jesus Christ will thrive. Those who do not will struggle.
DC: What is the number one contributor to divorces in America?
AH: The idea that marriage is about “me” rather than “we.”
DC: How are these events changing relationships?
AH: Couples find real help in these events. Any time you intentionally invest four hours in your relationship, your marriage will grow. Any time you invite the Spirit of God to fill your life together with passion and purpose, He will do so. And usually in a way that surprises you both for the better.