By Jeff Brumley

Deacon Dominick Pastore and Teresa Tomeo followed Father Menezes’ address with a presentation about the role the Eucharist plays in saving their marriage.

Teresa Tomeo and Deacon Dominick Pastore (photo by St. Augustine Catholic/Rudy Foschi)

Tomeo is a bestselling author and syndicated radio talk show host whose daily Catholic Connections program is heard on more than 500 stations. Pastore leads retreats, pilgrimages, and conferences for couples.

They used the Road to Emmaus passage in the Gospel of Luke to frame their talk.

The story relays the account of two disciples’ post-resurrection encounter with Christ on the road, and how they do not recognize him to be Jesus. Later, when Christ breaks bread with them, those present suddenly recognize their savior.

Tomeo and Pastore said the narrative describes a period of their marriage when devotion to profession, money, and materialism led them both away from the Catholic faith in which they had been raised and married.

Tomeo had been a top television anchor in Detroit, living a life dictated by being constantly on call for breaking news. Pastore, an engineer, was bound to the dictates of logic and reason. Differing schedules contributed even more to their drifting apart.

Like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, neither saw Christ in their midst while on their “secular journey,” she said.

But a pivotal moment came after attending an NBA game when, at dinner, Pastore was invited to an evangelical Bible study.

“I think I spit out my wine when he said that,” Pastore said. To his surprise, he said he heard himself saying yes.

“I realize now it was the Holy Spirit jumping in,” he said.

It was at the Bible study that he began to see the truth of the Catholic Church in the scriptures. Initially, however, Tomeo wasn’t buying it.

“I thought I was married to a Jesus freak,” she said.

Over the coming months, their marriage worsened. There were two separations and near divorce. But eventually, Tomeo attended the Bible study.

She was later let go by her station, giving her the time to examine her priorities in life. The couple now credits Retrouvaille, Marriage Encounter and Bible study for helping restore their marriage.

But the Eucharist was central to that restoration, Deacon Pastore added. Through that sacrament, both were eventually able to see that Christ had been with them throughout their difficulties and inspired their return to faith.

Tomeo recommends couples follow some practices to restore and maintain their relationships.

They include a daily recommitment to God through prayer, spending time each week in Adoration, asking God for a deeper understanding of him through the Eucharist, attending Mass as a family, daily readings and studying the lives of the saints.