Healthy marriage must be the goal of any Marriage-Building Parish. It needs to be a stated priority to build a culture of confidence and courage that bears witness to the truth and beauty of marriage in all areas of parish life. As a parish makes these efforts, offers support and practical assistance for marriage to flourish both in society and in the church.
It’s important that we preach loudly the riches of marriage and family in the life of the parish. This is true not only from the pulpit, but in how decisions are made in the care for marriages and family life. Having a vital Marriage Ministry is one we’ve spent considerable time here exploring.
Another is how a parish allocates money and other resources to promote healthy marriage and implementing the Eight Building Blocks of a Marriage-Building Parish. We’ve often thought, while we are working hard at our marriage and teaching our children about the value of marriage and family, there’s someone out there raising the person one of our children will choose to marry. And that’s significant. It makes us want to succeed in becoming a Marriage-Building Church!
Creating a Culture involves the visible signs that healthy marriage is a priority. Posters, banners and other ideas can acknowledge a parishes desire to communicate effectively the value it places on marriage and family.
Marriage-Building Sundays and something as simple as an Anniversary Card says your marriage is important to us. Marriage messages in the bulletin or parish newsletter reminds and encourages parishioners to work at their marriages and to care about the other marriages in the church.
So, now that you have a desire to create a Culture of Marriage, a Marriage Ministry Team, and a Marriage Ministry event or class, how best can you get the folks to join you? Marketing your Marriage Ministry efforts are essential to ensure marriages improve and that you have full participation from the parish community.
- A plan for MarriageCare is in place for couples who come to us during a difficult time.
- Couple struggling with infertility, or when going through the adoption process, are supported and given guidance.
- Bereavement care is available for those who lost a spouse.
- Couples are supported when experiencing the loss of a child.
- Pastoral staff has intervention skills to help with initial care for struggling marriages.
- Marriage messages should appear regularly in the parish bulletin, newsletters and website.