Today We Became Engaged

by Dianne Ahern

A thoughtful, romantic, faith-centered, keepsake book for couples discerning marriage. Discusses the power of love, the importance of shared values and more. This is a marriage planner…not a wedding planner! Allows couples to record their courtship and engagement stories for years to come.

Price: $22.95 hardback gift edition

THE BOOK

A thought provoking, romantic, faith-centered book for young adults and couples discerning marriage.
engage3

This book explores:
– The power of love
– The importance of shared values — commitment, fairness, courage, compassion, honesty, respect, and forgiveness
– History of betrothal and engagement
– Entertaining stories of proposals, engagement rings, and acceptances

engage1

“Something magical happens when two people decide they want to spend the rest of their lives together. They stand on the threshold of being totally committed to one another for as long as they both shall live, regardless of health or wealth. It is the time to revel in the mystery of what lies ahead — soon a wedding and a honeymoon, then a home, children, mingling of families and friends, sharing joys, sharing sorrows, and most importantly, the two becoming one through marriage,” excerpt from Today We Became Engaged.

It’s also a keepsake book for the engaged couple to record
– The story of how we met
– Our courtship
– Our Engagement
– Family traditions we want to keep
– Promises to each other
– Our future together
… and more

engage2

 

TESTIMONIALS

The Catholic Post
(Diocese of Peoria), February 10, 2002
What to do before ‘I do’?

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — There is no shortage of guidebooks for engaged couples seeking answers to questions such as who should pay for their wedding reception, what are the current fashions in wedding attire and how soon thank-you notes must be sent for gifts.

But when it comes to the ultimate questions engaged couples face — is my fiancée really the right person for me? Do we really love one another? Would I make a good spouse or parent? — few publications in the secular market have addressed them.

That is, until Dianne Ahern decided to change that

Ahern, a native of Sacred Heart Parish in Campus, recently published “Today We Became Engaged,” a combination keepsake book and compendium of advice to help engaged couples know if they are truly in love, approach marriage as a vocation, and discern whether or not they are really called to it.

“I wanted it to be romantic, yet thoughtful, and to bring God into it in a friendly manner, not ‘lecturey’ or preachy,” Ahern, 58, told The Catholic Post in a telephone interview from her office in Ann Arbor this week.

“When people are in love, they are very excited and looking to the future,” she said. She believes her book celebrates and fosters that spirit, while also “bringing to the fore things they (the couple) should think about.”

“Today We Became Engaged,” published in December, is the second in her planned series of books focusing on the sacraments and other rites of passage. Ahern’s first book, “Today I Was Baptized,” was published in June of 2000, and her third book, “Today I Made My First Communion,” is due out later this year.

The 56-page engagement book, illustrated by Katherine Larson, includes sections on wedding and engagement customs and pages for couples to preserve photos and record memories of how they met, how they proposed and their favorite shared or individual activities. It is available through both secular and religious outlets, including several Catholic bookstores in the Diocese of Peoria.

Through anecdotes and personal stories, the book also demonstrates that a relationship is more likely to last when based on shared values such as commitment, fairness, courage, compassion, honesty, respect, and forgiveness, rather than on outward appearance or attractiveness.

“A lot of material published (for engaged couples) covers how to execute a wedding or how to cope with a spouse’s idiosyncrasies,” Ahern said. “But it doesn’t get into what I think is the key to the period of engagement — which is a period of discernment and making sure this man or woman is going to be your lifelong soul mate.”

Ahern, the youngest of four children of the late Vernon and Mary Ahern, grew up in rural Livingston County near Campus. She graduated from Dwight High School in 1961 and from Marian College in Indianapolis in 1965 with a degree in biology. She worked in the medical laboratory field before completing a master’s degree in healthcare administration at Indiana University in 1975.

Currently she is vice president of Elan Systems, an international healthcare consulting firm based in Ann Arbor. In the mid-1990s she worked with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria to complete a needs assessment for new laboratory facilities that were completed in 1998.

Her interest in writing books began several years ago with a burst of what she now considers divine inspiration.

“I was walking to work one day, having my morning talk with God, and wondering if I was doing the right thing with my life,” she said. “The idea then came to me, why not write little keepsake books on events in your life?”

As a Catholic she immediately thought of the sacraments as natural subjects for her writing. She started with baptism, since it is a sacrament common to all Christians and because christening celebrations bring generations of family together. She then wanted to do a book on marriage, but felt something was lacking in most of the existing guidebooks on wedding planning and marriage relationships.

“I thought something is not hitting the right spot, because there are still so many divorces and bad marriages” despite all the pages of advice, Ahern said. “I thought people needed to focus more on why they are getting married.”

While Ahern is not married herself, she said she is familiar with both the good and bad sides of couple relationships from her own experience and those of her loved ones.

“My parents were a wonderful example” of a good marriage, she said, noting in the book that they prayed with the family every night before bed. “Until I got out into the world, I didn’t realize how strong a marriage they had. Very few people have the kind of happiness they did.”

She said the spiritual content of the book is “subtle” and designed to appeal to couples who might not otherwise think about the role of God or moral values in their relationship.

The book encourages couples to respect traditional moral convictions regarding premarital sex and cohabitation. It notes that couples who do not live together or have sex before marriage are less likely to divorce.

“Being soul mates first, having a relationship steeped in mutual trust, honesty, commitment, respect and fairness, will guarantee that life together and sex will be totally fulfilling in the marriage covenant,” Ahern writes. “The opposite is not true.”

Because she is known to her nieces and nephews as Aunt Dee, and because she has many childhood memories of exploring her parents’ attic, Ahern named her publishing company Aunt Dee’s Attic.

“You can explore and have an imagination and pretend there,” she said. An attic represents “a creative space” full of personal and family history, she added.

Ahern said all her Aunt Dee’s Attic projects will emphasize strong family values, respect for life and belief in God. Other projects she is planning include books on confirmation, careers or vocations in religious life, dealing with illness and death, becoming grandparents, a child’s first day of school, and welcoming a new baby into the home.


AMSNews
(Archdiocese of Military Services), Vol 2 No 3, 2003
“Spreading the Faith” a letter from the Archbishop
“I was especially taken by a series of colorful, highly informative and attractive gift books ($19.95 each), ‘Today I was Baptized’, ‘Today I Made My First Communion’, and ‘Today We Became Engaged’, each solid, amazingly comprehensive and bound to appeal to the whole family.” Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA.

engagedrvw_herald engagedrvw_thepaper

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DMA_Pix1_2013

Dianne Ahern grew up on a farm in Illinois, has traveled extensively for business and pleasure, and now resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Medical Technology from Marian College (University), and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Indiana University.  After rewarding careers in laboratory medicine, hospital administration, and healthcare consulting, Dianne found a new love: researching and writing about the events that shape our lives.

It was after her first Vatican visit in 1999, when Dianne looked into the eyes of Pope (Saint) John Paul II, held his hand, and kissed his ring, that she felt called to write books for Catholic children and their families.  Already a successful businesswoman, Dianne formed her own publishing company, Aunt Dee’s Attic, to support her new calling.

Beginning with the sacrament of baptism, Dianne outlined a series of books on the sacraments designed to prepare families for these most important events.  Her books’ formats merge storybook, reference book, and memory book elements into beautiful keepsake books. The sacrament books feature the imprimatur of the Catholic Church to assure families that the contents are true Church teachings.

In addition to her books on the sacraments, Dianne has developed a series of adventure/mystery books for young readers subtitled Adventures with Sister Philomena, Special Agent to the Pope.  The Adventure books place fictional characters in real settings to teach about the Church, saints, and holy places.  Her books have won accolades from retailers, readers, clergy, teachers, grandparents, and moms and dads.

OTHER POPULAR SPIRITUALITY BOOKS

Mornings with Mary (A Rosary Prayer Book)

Mornings with Mary (A Rosary Prayer Book)

Below is a spiritual talk that Mary gave to a group of Polish youth at a retreat center in Babliniec, Poland about the Love that God has for them. It was on September 3, 2005 and is translated by Hania Przybylo. You can listen to this both in my English and Hania's...

read more
The Mercy Ocean

The Mercy Ocean

The Mercy Ocean by Reverend Vincent A. Salamoni, M.S.A. Simply described as a collection of information, which perhaps will USEFUL TO YOU AND/OR OTHERS! Father Vincent’s book of meditative reflections offers a spiritual journey into the depths of grace through the...

read more
Shared Miracle Stories

Shared Miracle Stories

Shared Miracle Stories of the Dominican Community of Mary Mother of Dominic and Friends of Cedaredge Ed. by Mrs. Helen R. Hawkins, OP This is a book that invites us to share our miracles with one another. Why does God use or allow miracles? First, a miracle is an...

read more
The Fourteen Holy Helpers

The Fourteen Holy Helpers

The Fourteen Holy Helpers Authored by Allison Lunsford and Illustrated by Joan Bennett Saint Acacius, Saint Barbara, Saint Blaise, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Christopher, Saint Cyriacus, Saint Denis, Saint Erasmus, Saint Eustace, Saint George, Saint Giles,...

read more
Led by the Spirit

Led by the Spirit

Led by the Spirit: Into the Consciousness of Christ by Dennis J. Billy, C.Ss.R. Following Jesus means being open to and led by his Spirit. This book explores the meaning of this phrase by looking at the larger picture of why God entered our world and became one of us...

read more
Experiencing God: Thoughts and Testimonies

Experiencing God: Thoughts and Testimonies

Experiencing God: Thoughts and Testimonies by Robin Arthur In this thoughtful reflection, Robin Arthur presents his perspectives on the God experience, addressing the conundrum of faith in Christ crucified, which St. Paul has told us is "a stumbling block to Jews and...

read more
Fuera de las Tinieblas… por Mary Kloska

Fuera de las Tinieblas… por Mary Kloska

Fuera de las Tinieblas por Mary Kloska Aquí, al principio de este libro, no quiero explicar mucho sobre mí (quien soy, o dónde vivo, o dónde estudié), en su lugar, me gustaría simplemente presentarlo como es: una colección de tesoros que Jesús ha compartido con mi...

read more
Z ciemności…

Z ciemności…

Z Ciemności... Mary Kloska (tłumaczenie: Agata Wesołowska) Ta książka to kolekcja skarbów, których Pan Jezus zechciał udzielić sercu autorki ‒ Mary Kloska. Dzieląc swoje refleksje z czytelnikiem, pragnie ona jak najlepiej zaświadczyć o wielkiej mocy, jaką zawiera w...

read more
A Philosopher Reflects on the Rosary by Raymond Dennehy

A Philosopher Reflects on the Rosary by Raymond Dennehy

A Philosopher Reflects on the Rosary by Raymond Dennehy In this book, Catholic philosopher Raymond Dennehy demonstrates to the reader that besides being a powerful source of God's grace and, as Father Garrigou-Lagrange observed, "a school of contemplation," the Rosary...

read more
In Our Lady’s Shadow, authored by Mary Kloska

In Our Lady’s Shadow, authored by Mary Kloska

Mary Kloska speaks to a 'Seven Sisters' Group about her book In Our Lady's Shadow (May 21, 2021)In Our Lady's Shadow: The Spirituality of Praying for Priests by Mary Kloska In Our Lady’s Shadow–the Spirituality of Praying for Priests is a guide for women, taking them...

read more
Table for Three by Larry Hopperton

Table for Three by Larry Hopperton

Private chapel Picture someone like a pope,an altar in prayer, serversin robes at the feet murmurresponses robed arms raisepersonal praise. We did thatat choir school for the cathedralacross the street; solfeggio, latin.We didn’t know what it all meantbut sang recited...

read more
33 Days … with St. Joseph by Fr. Nicholas Cachia

33 Days … with St. Joseph by Fr. Nicholas Cachia

33 Days . . . with Saint Joseph by Fr. Nicholas Cachia This book is a resource for meditative prayer based on excerpts taken from the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde of Pope Francis (December 8, 2020). It is a prayerful journey into the attitudes and sentiments of St....

read more
Out of the Darkness by Mary Kloska

Out of the Darkness by Mary Kloska

Out of the Darkness by Mary Kloska This work is a collection of treasures Jesus has shared with Mary Kloska's heart. In offering this to the reader, Mary hopes to witness to the great power Jesus’ Cross contains in itself.  Her heart cringes at the thought of her...

read more
Our House of the Sacred Heart

Our House of the Sacred Heart

When you join, you’ll get: for each day of the Consecration: a daily reflection sent to your inbox. You will be guided in beautiful prayer, contemplation or story, great works of Catholic art, and reflection for that day. Each day will prepare your own heart for...

read more
La Santidad de la Mujer by Mary Kloska

La Santidad de la Mujer by Mary Kloska

La Santidad de la Mujer por Mary Kloska, traducido por Alicia Izaguirre La Santidad de la Mujer es un libro de retiro para mujeres. Hay un gran misterio rodeando el don de la femineidad que Dios quiere que la gente atesore y proteja.  Este libro describe los varios...

read more
ŚWIĘTOŚĆ KOBIECOŚCI by Mary Kloska

ŚWIĘTOŚĆ KOBIECOŚCI by Mary Kloska

Poniżej znajduje się konferencja, którą Mary wygłosiła w ośrodku rekolekcyjnym w Bąblińcu (w Polsce) do grupy młodych Polaków, poruszając temat Miłości Boga do nich. Konferencja miała miejsce 3 września 2005 r. i była tłumaczona przez Hanię Przybyło. Możecie jej...

read more
The Crisis in the Church

The Crisis in the Church

The Crisis in the Church: A Semi-Fictional Dialogue Between a Post-Vatican II-Evolving Catholic James Marley and an Eternal-Doctrine Catholic Ronda Chervin Because of the crisis in the Church, quite a number of books have been written by Catholic thinkers with the...

read more
A Love Letter to Mary – Keith Berube

A Love Letter to Mary – Keith Berube

A Love Letter to Mary By Keith Berubé The Holy Trinity is absolutely enamoured of Mary. The Saints and so many good Catholics not canonized are totally in love with Mary. Both God and man have expressed their hearts for Mary in poetry.   When these expressions of love...

read more
Always a New Beginning!

Always a New Beginning!

Always a New Beginning! A Conversation between Broken Catholic Spiritual Warriors By Ronda Chervin, Ph.D., and David E. Dowd RONDA: Life is a broken field of dreams for some of us. Loved ones, experience, accidents, illness, old age... each inflicting pain and...

read more
Returning Home: A Spirituality of the Christian Journey

Returning Home: A Spirituality of the Christian Journey

Returning Home: A Spirituality of the Christian Journey The spiritual life has often been presented in terms of a journey because it is all about finding our way to God. For Christians, the spiritual journey has to do with following Christ into the mystery of the...

read more
The Holiness of Womanhood by Mary Kloska

The Holiness of Womanhood by Mary Kloska

Below is a spiritual talk that Mary gave to a group of Polish youth at a retreat center in Babliniec, Poland about the Love that God has for them. It was on September 3, 2005 and is translated by Hania Przybylo. You can listen to this both in my English and Hania's...

read more
Help Dante Help Italy

Help Dante Help Italy

Help Dante Help Italy A new translation by Daniel Fitzpatrick accompanied by the new sculptures of Timothy Schmalz Donate today!Canto 100 Revealed!The Inferno is now available in Paperback and Kindle! Click a link below to order your copy today! And, as you're...

read more
New Paths to God and the Soul by Roger Skrenes

New Paths to God and the Soul by Roger Skrenes

New Paths to God and the Soul by Roger Skrenes Much of what we receive through media of social communications does not concern itself with either God or the soul. So it is up to each of us to make ourselves aware of the pathways to God and the evidence for...

read more
Light for the Journey: Reflections from Carmel

Light for the Journey: Reflections from Carmel

"Our Lady of Mount Carmel with Simon Stock, Angelus of Jerusalem, Maria Maddalena de’Pazzi, Teresa da Avila." Italian painter and architect Pietro Novelli (1603-1647), dated 1641.Light for the Journey: Reflections from Carmel by the Association of St. Teresa EVERY...

read more
Ave Maria, authored by Richard Ruesch

Ave Maria, authored by Richard Ruesch

Ave Maria by Richard Ruesch The life of our Lord, Jesus Christ, is brought to mind through the contemplation of the mysteries of the Rosary and the recitation of its prayers. The mysteries of the Rosary are those that are Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious, and...

read more
Simple Holiness, authored by Al Hughes and Ronda Chervin

Simple Holiness, authored by Al Hughes and Ronda Chervin

Simple Holiness by Albert E. Hughes and Ronda Chervin We all are called to holiness, but we may not know what holiness means or how to approach it. Do you really desire to climb the ladder of holiness? Do you seek a life of spiritual joy in union with God,...

read more
Today I Made My First Reconciliation

Today I Made My First Reconciliation

Today I Made My First Reconciliationby Dianne AhernWonderfully instructional book!Best friends Maria and Riley accidentally break a window then lie to their parents. Their growing discomfort coincides with encounters with their parish priests and teachers and lessons...

read more
Today I Made My First Communion

Today I Made My First Communion

Today I Made My First Communionby Dianne AhernA favorite gift for First Communion!Join Maria and Riley and their classmates as they offer to help Father Hugo solve the Mystery of the Eucharist. Learn about the Church, the Mass, music and prayer. “Look in the Back of...

read more
Today I Was Baptized

Today I Was Baptized

Today I Was Baptized by Dianne Ahern All time best seller! Begins with a children’s story about a baby’s baptism day-told from the baby’s perspective! Includes short essays that explain the sacrament of Baptism. The book becomes a keepsake for this very special day...

read more
Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of Aging

Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of Aging

Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of Aging by Dr. Ronda Chervin Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of Aging is a refreshing and inspiring look at a period of your life ‘en route to eternity’ where Jesus awaits you in a new way. A perfect gift also for...

read more
Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John

Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John

Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John is about recovering who we are . . . our true selves. Simply put, the true self is the self that God wants us to be, what Kierkegaard called God’s prophesy for...

read more
Holding Hands with God

Holding Hands with God

Holding Hands with God Edited by Dr. Ronda Chervin Miscarriage, depression, breast cancer, abuse, divorce, addiction, and other specific personal, chronic problems touch the lives of many Catholic women. While expert advice is plentiful, what so many women...

read more
Quotable Saints

Quotable Saints

Quotable Saints Ed. Dr. Ronda Chervin These memorable quotes of the saints and hundreds more are uniquely organized by theme in this uplifting treasury. In each chapter, you follow a particular theme and journey with the saints as they provide just the right word of...

read more
St. Robert Bellarmine

St. Robert Bellarmine

St. Robert Bellarmine by Shaun McAfee St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) was a prolific author of the Counter Reformation and great defender of the Catholic Church. This book tells the story of the great saint who went from obscure title to become one of...

read more
Today Someone I Love Passed Away

Today Someone I Love Passed Away

Today Someone I Love Passed Away by Dianne Ahern Danny becomes enraged when he learns he has to give up his room so Grandpa Vernon can come live with his family. However, as time passes, Danny and his siblings develop a deep love for their grandfather who teaches them...

read more