Mary Heery, member of Accord CLG in Mullingar pictured flying the papal flag at the WMOF Festival in Croke Park in August 2018
Role: Facilitator and Chairperson of the centre
Mary Heery has been a member of Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service for almost 7 years. She graduated as a facilitator in 2012 and has been chairperson of Accord Mullingar since 2013.
When Mary and her husband were preparing to get married in 1979 they attended a Marriage Preparation Course and found it most useful and beneficial for their marriage and relationship. Such was the positive impression that the facilitators made that when Mary saw an advertisement for training for facilitators she was motivated to apply for selection for training.
In Mary’s opinion, life in Ireland has changed considerably since her Marriage Preparation Course. “In my time, life was very much black and white. There was no separation, divorce, second marriages, second families, and very few couples lived together before getting married. That was Irish life at the time, but I am sure there was plenty of dysfunction going on that no one heard of. Now that has all changed. Everything is out in the open, and young couples are facing bigger challenges today than ever before. Marriage and Family Life is under threat everywhere. I felt that by becoming a member of Accord, and Facilitating Marriage Preparation courses, that I could in some small way encourage young couples to keep their Marriage and Family Life safe, in these changing and challenging times”. She adds that many of the people coming to a Marriage Preparation Course “may never have been in a position where they would have done some personal work on themselves, or felt the need to do so. I feel the course is an eye opener to them personally and as a couple. Learning about one self and one’s relationship with people and life, is very important to a successful marriage. The course is only a stepping stone for them to want a “Healthy Relationship”. We hear so much about health and wellbeing, but very seldom if ever, a “Healthy Relationship”, and what it entails. The more healthy relationships we have, the more of a healthy society we will have.”
Mary thoroughly enjoys meeting couples who have decided to get married in the Catholic Church. In her opinion she feels that couples gain a great insight into what ‘Sacramental Marriage’ means and this adds to their experience of the marriage ceremony. Additionally she has found the journey with Accord to be a great avenue of personal growth and development. The genuine friends Mary has made since joining Accord has also made the experience very worthwhile.