"Becoming a Marriage-Building Church"

The Diocese of San Bernardino's Marriage Education Initiative focuses on youth, engaged couples and married couples. The initiative aims to promote strengthen, sustain and restore marriages by providing a comprehensive approach to ongoing education at all stages of life.

Intentional Formation for Christian Marraige

There are three main target stages included in this proposal to be developed, planned, and implemented in the next five years (2010-2015).

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In most Roman Catholic dioceses of the United States, the responsibility for marriage preparation belongs to the diocesan Family Life Office. During the restructuring of the Diocese in 2007, Bishop Gerald Barnes gave the Office of Catechetical Ministry the responsibility for the immediate preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage.

To begin this new ministry, Catechetical Ministry saw the need to understand the bigger picture of what was happening in the Diocese of San Bernardino in regards to marriage preparation. In March 2007, we sent a survey to all the parishes in the diocese with the purpose of the methodology of marriage preparation at the parish level?

After extensive research, in the fall of 2009, a marriage initiative proposal was written by María G. Covarrubias and presented to Bishop Barnes and his delegates: Curia, Vicars Forane, Pastors and Deacons to review. Its title is “Becoming a Marriage-Building Church, so that people’s lives are filled with Hope.” This initiative proposed a comprehensive and intentional approach to marriage as a response to the diocesan vision statement and the concern for youth, young adults, married couples and families. This initiative also sought to respond and support the National Pastoral Initiative on Marriage launched by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops in 2005; which declared, “bringing Catholic belief into dialogue with contemporary needs, the bishops urge the Catholic Church to become a community of hope and help for marriages and to join others in building a culture of marriage.”