Phase II: An Expansion to the Marriage Initiative

Phase I of the initiative has focused primarily on providing a new framework to expand the vision of marriage preparation in our Diocese. The main objective for this phase was to create awareness about the importance of the vocation of marriage and to provide a new vision; to help us create a culture of life in which marriage formation/education is seen as an integral part of people’s lives in becoming the domestic church.

Phase II of the diocesan marriage initiative was launched in the spring of 2012. A major aspect of this phase is to focus on promoting healthy and faith filled marriages. To achieve this, we will:

    1. Continue implementing the goal and objectives of the initial proposal approved by Bishop Barnes on December, 2009.

    2. Offer marriage celebrations/events to enhance and promote the Diocesan Marriage Initiative.

    3. Launch a “marriage awareness” month, and hope this can repeat itself every year.

    4. Publish a bi-yearly magazine dedicated to the vocation of marriage.

    5. Promote a Diocesan and parish Marriage-Building Ministry model.

    6. Promote a Diocesan and parish Marriage-Building Mentoring model.

    7. Offer the Marriage Specialization course and Communications Skills training at a low cost.

    8. To expand the already established Sacramental Preparation (Baptism, Reconciliation, First Communion, Confirmation and Marriage) to include as part of this preparation age appropriate effective parenting and communication skills; to help build a solid foundation for healthy and faith filled marriages and families.

This pledge to become a Marriage-Building Church, calls for a comprehensive and collaborative ministry to marriages that…

Proclaims and witnesses to the fullness of God's Revelation about the meaning and mystery of marriage

Accompanies and assists people at all stages of their journey: from the early years when young people begin to learn about committed relationships to the later years of married life, and even beyond them to grieving the loss of a spouse

Invites and includes the gifts of many, beginning with married couples themselves and welcoming also the service and witness offered by ordained ministers and by women and men in consecrated life.

Encourages and utilizes many methods and approaches in order to serve individuals and couples whose circumstances in life, show needs, and whose preparation and readiness to receive the Church's ministry can vary widely

Celebrates and incorporates the diversity of races, cultures, ethnicities, and heritage with which God enriches the world and the Church, especially in our nation.