NORTH CHARLESTON—After 24 years of preparing engaged couples for marriage, Jim and Marty Rebuck are ready to pass the torch to someone else.
The Rebucks lead the diocesan-wide Pre-Cana Marriage Formation classes held at Divine Redeemer in Hanahan. Right now, sessions are offered the third Saturday of every other month, for a total of six Saturdays a year.
Mr. Rebuck said it has been a wonderful ministry — one that has strengthened their own marriage — and he highly recommends it to other couples.
“We would like to see it continue. We would like to see other people involved who believe in marriage,” Mrs. Rebuck said. “If we can’t find someone to take it over, we’re going to have to shut it down.”
The Rebucks don’t want that to happen, but they’ve reached a point in their lives when they have to make tough decisions.
“It’s not that we want to give it up, but we need some help,” Mrs. Rebuck said. Originally, they planned to retire from pre-Cana when Mr. Rebuck was 70, but five years have come and gone and they are still putting on the program all by themselves.
They are also actively engaged in other areas of parish life, and still serve as foster parents to babies. They are fostering two babies now, and also babysit for three others, including twins. Their youngest daughter, Caitlin, 23, helps with the little ones.
At 75, Mr. Rebuck said his health is declining, and he worries he’ll end up in the hospital on a pre-Cana weekend, leaving all the couples signed up with no one to lead them.
Both said it is time for fresh faces to take over. Smiling, Mrs. Rebuck added that the conversation about marital relations might mean more to young couples if it wasn’t coming from “old folks.”
The Rebucks said they will always be willing to help by serving as consultants or even taking on a pre-Cana weekend. They just can’t be in charge anymore.
The marriage prep classes were initiated by the late Bishop David B. Thompson and have served thousands of couples over the years. The Rebucks said they have about 25-30 couples at each session.
Classes run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a continental breakfast and snacks. The Rebucks said they used to provide lunch as well, but that has become too much.
Mrs. Rebuck stresses that it is a commitment of only six Saturdays a year, and if more than one couple volunteers for the ministry, it will be even less.