Couple rekindles a marriage and helps others

covoflove    Fourteen years ago, Greg and Julie Alexander had two children, separate lives and no hope for their marriage.
    Today, they have seven children, two grandchildren, a deep love for each other and a ministry that provides nothing but hope for the sacrament of marriage.
    What happened? Just the right question at just the right time.
    The Alexanders were like many young couples 14 years ago, looking to succeed and raise a family.
     “We had jobs, money and, by the world’s standards, we were successful,” Greg Alexander said. “But we didn’t think we could continue with our marriage.”
    “We had a dream life,” Julie Alexander added. “But things had become our God. We bought into the ways of the world.”
Covenant of Love
    The Alexanders, who run the Alexander House, a nonprofit ministry dedicated to marriage enrichment, spoke Nov. 3 at the Bishop Perry Conference at Xavier University of Louisiana. They shared their story and their work, which includes Covenant of Love, a parish-based ministry that encourages couples to spend time together and learn about God’s plan for marriage.
    It was 14 years ago, Julie Alexander said, when she returned to her Austin home from work in San Antonio and was greeted by her husband, who said, “I am done; let’s get a divorce.”
    She said she readily agreed, and they told their children, 7 and 9, that sometimes moms and dads aren’t meant to be together.
    Eventually, however, God intervened. After a “911 call to our priest” and some marriage counseling, the Alexanders met with a visiting priest in their parish, hoping to find out about annulments. The priest asked them a question that changed their lives: “What is God’s plan for marriage?”
    That question launched Greg Alexander on a journey of discovery that saved his marriage and cemented his future as a man dedicated to marriage enrichment.
    “I learned what it meant to be a good Christian husband, father and man,” he said. He read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” he read the Scriptures and he read encyclicals and papal exhortations such as Blessed John Paul II’s “Familiaris Consortio.”
    After spending days researching and reading, he said, “I called Julie into the room where I was, and we talked about what the Church teaches about marriage.”
    Not knowing exactly what to do next, he said, “I told Julie, ‘I think we should pray.’ And so we got on our knees, holding hands, and asked God to deliver us and guide us.” They also promised to commit themselves to marriage ministry.
    Once they managed to get their own marriage on the right track, the Alexanders quit their jobs and started Alexander House. They work with couples and created Covenant of Love, a foundation that helps parishes encourage healthy marriages.
    The Alexanders are living proof of how God can bring a couple through the toughest times. Even as they work to help others, they don’t take the credit. “It’s not Greg and Julie, but God at work,” Julie Alexander said. “Our only hope is to give hope.”
    For more information on the Alexander House and Covenant of Love, visit http://www.thealexanderhouse.org.

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