Around the ArchdioceseEvangelization

Couple to talk about how to overcome marriage struggles

By Dan Russo

Witness Editor

CEDAR RAPIDS — Too much focus on being “successful” and not enough time with each other put Jen and George Erwin on the road to divorce. The parents of three children and professional teachers were active in their church and making progress in their careers, but knew something had to change or their union wouldn’t survive.

“We were focused on success,” explained George. “We had a five to seven year path of struggles financially and in other ways. Because of our busyness, we were not really being in tune with each other.”

Eventually, the couple turned to God for help and was able to correct the course of their relationship. The Erwins, now married for 13 years, will speak about their difficulties and how they transformed their marriage for the better at a Catholic Evangelization Outreach (CEO) event at St. Ludmila Parish Church in Cedar Rapids, their home parish, from 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 13. They will include in their presentation some of what they learned through their experiences that may help other marriages that are struggling.

“We’ll talk about a couple of great resources that really help us, prayer and the liturgy,” said George Erwin. “The biggest thing from my perspective to the men — I like to challenge them to get in tune with their wives and prioritize their wives. Where are you spending your time, energy and money and is that where it should be?”

The Erwins have a compassion for helping to strengthen marriages and have been leading a date night ministry for couples at their parish for about three years. They also speak regularly to engaged couples at Pre-Cana retreats. They also led a faith sharing group for couples at St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Student Center when they were both students at the University of Northern Iowa.

Their talk at the CEO will offer a more comprehensive view of their own story, their faith, and what they have learned about their vocation as a married couple. CEO is a lay driven evangelization effort started in Cedar Rapids, which now also has events in Dubuque. The Erwins’ talk is open to the public and free. A soup supper is included and childcare is provided. For more information, visit