For some couples, living together seems like a logical step in their progression towards marriage and may be surprised to find that studies do not bear this out.

This optional segment covers cohabitation and what studies have shown to be problems associated with cohabitation. Dr. Healy walks couples through the steps to commitment and shares ways to have your actions match your beliefs as the two of you enter into Catholic marriage equal in dignity, authority, and power.

Areas of Discussion

  • How do you think your relationship will change once you make the commitment to permanent faithfulness?
  • How will your relationship be on firmer ground once you marry?
  • Have you ever felt that living together does not really correspond to your deepest beliefs?
  • What habits will need to change when you are married?
  • Are there topics we have avoided discussing that need to be talked about now?

The Presenter

Dr. James HealyJames Healy, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Family Ministries of the Diocese of Joliet.

Dr. Healy is a popular speaker on marriage and has in over 70 dioceses across the country. His marriage preparation and enrichment booklets and CDs include How to Get Married and Stay Engaged CD and Living Together and Christian Commitment (which is a free downloadable with this program), and his materials are used by dioceses, parishes, and couples throughout the United States and the world.

Since 1989, Dr. Healy has been the director of the Center for Family Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Joliet, Illinois. He received his M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois in 1985.

He has written for such magazines as Family Perspectives, Marriage, Liguorian, Catholic World, and Deacon Digest and is also an online contributor to the Catholic Bishops’ marriage website:

Dr. Healy was the founding president of Illinois Catholic Family Ministries, and has served as an advisor to the National Council of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Marriage and the Family. He was honored with the 2000 Family Ministry Award by the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers. He and his wife Madonna have four children.