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Mary Jo Pedersen


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Background Information

Employment History


Catholic News Service

Contributing Writer

Catholic News Service

Specialist In Marital and Family Spirituality for the Family Life Office

Archdiocese of Omaha


Catholic Bishops Inc

Member, Staff

Family Life Office

Member, Staff

Archdiocesan Family Life Office





Archdiocese of Omaha

Staff Member of the Family Life Office

Archdiocese of Omaha

Member, Family Life Office

Catholic Bishops Inc


Catholic Bishops Inc

Lay Advisor



Master's degrees

history and theology

Creighton University

Web References(62 Total References)


In addition to 2 keynote addresses given by nationally recognized author, Mary Jo Pedersen, there will be several break-out sessions, small and large-group discussions, a delicious luncheon, Liturgy, and a resource table for review.
Mary Jo Pedersen is an author, educator and Pastoral Minister who conducts workshops and retreats nationally and internationally for laypersons and clergy on the topic of marriage and marital spirituality. Mary Jo is the author of the recently published book on marital spirituality, "For Better, For Worse, For God". She is a contributing writer for Catholic News Service and has served as lay advisor to the USCCB and the Bishop's Committee on Marriage and Family. Mary Jo is married to David and together they have three grown children.

First Years and Forever

Mary Jo Pedersen, this month's author, offers her insights in this very important, foundational aspect of marriage.Enjoy! Mary Jo Pedersen, M.A. is an author and teacher in the areas of marriage and family spirituality.She is a writer for Catholic News Service and has produced family ministry resources for parishes and co-authored several books for parents and couples which include More Than Meets the Eye, Finding God in the Creases and Folds of Family life, St. Mary's Press, 2000 and Sharing the Faith With Your Child, Age 7-14, Liguori Publications.Mary Jo has been married to David for thirty-three years and has worked in the Family Life office of the Archdiocese of Omaha for twenty years. Mary Jo and David have three children. Body, Hearts and Minds: A Spiritual JourneyBy Mary Jo PedersenHe likes to sleep with the fan on high.I like the room still and perfectly quiet.He is a thinking type who needs to gather all the facts before making a decision.


Director: Mary Pedersen, D.Min., Email DBQCAF,
Lay Formation - Director: Mary Pedersen, D.Min., Email DBQCAF IMPACT - Director: Mary Pedersen, D.Min., Email DBQCAF Consultant: Mary Pedersen, D.Min. Email DBQCAF

October Archives

Mary Jo Pedersen, specialist in marital and family spirituality for the family life office of the Archdiocese of Omaha, will present the retreat with her husband Dave, a private practice lawyer.At the retreat, said Pedersen, "we'll focus on promises made at the altar: what they meant then and what they mean now.We'll open up Christian traditions and teachings and look at marriage as a sacrament, a commitment and a vocation - a call to holiness."A noted author, Pedersen presents workshops and retreats on marriage, family and lay ministry, both locally and nationally.She spent two years developing this retreat and will share research statistics that participants will find both alarming and reaffirming."Marriage is an institution that affects so many aspects of our lives," she said."Sociologists, psychologists, politicians, economists, clergy - all study the effect marriage and divorce have on our society.At the retreat, we'll look at research in terms of what makes a marriage work."Approximately 40 to 50 percent of marriages currently end in divorce, Pedersen said.However, religious marriages are less likely to break up than nonreligious marriages.Catholics and Lutherans share a similar divorce rate, but it's lower than that of other denominations.Pedersen believes premarital counseling is a contributing factor."Catholics and Lutherans have been very intentional about premarriage counseling," Pedersen said."In fact, 10 percent of those who go through the pre-marriage inventory choose not to marry because of what they learn about themselves and their partner."What the Catholic Church does not do is offer yearly checkups, she noted.

Retreat offers enrichment to married couples - February 13, 2003

The retreat was created and facilitated by Mary Jo Pedersen of Omaha, who holds her master's in theology and is a staff member of the Family Life Office for the Archdiocese of Omaha.During the retreat, Pedersen asked the couples to remember what they had promised on their wedding day - to love and honor one another.The couples were also asked to reflect upon the marriage vocation where they work toward oneness while maintaining individuality."They were encouraged to look at the marriage over the years and reflect on changes that have happened, what caused those changes and how they saw God's presence," said Hurni.In one activity following a talk by Pedersen, the couples were asked to complete the sentence: "I am committed to my spouse and our marriage because ... ""One of the things that the couples mentioned they appreciated was that she (Pedersen) had research and writings of the church that backed up what she said.In a talk centered on marriage as a sacrament, Pedersen spoke to the couples about how their relationship is a sign to their children and their community of God's presence.At one point, the facilitator had them write concrete promises as a couple.They kept that promise in mind particularly as she asked them to approach the reception of the Eucharist side-by-side during the liturgy that was held in the chapel."She also talked about how marriages go through cycles - infatuation, disillusionment and intimacy," noted Hurni."Couples should expect that cycle and when they are in disillusionment they need to pay attention and really work on their marriage because that is the time when they can become separated."She related this to the paschal mystery where the have Good Fridays, Holy Saturdays and Easter Sunday.During the examination of conscience, Pedersen encouraged couples to look at how they had strengthened their marriages and how they had weakened it.

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