Lorrie & Don Gramer consider themselves champions in the Marriage-Building efforts underway in Catholic dioceses across the United States. Responding to the US Bishops Pastoral Initiative for Marriage (NPIM) in early 2013, the Gramers took their 35 years of parish, diocesan and national leadership in marriage, youth, young adult and family ministry, and founded MarriageBuilding/ConstruyendoMatrimonios USA to help intensify the Marriage-Building efforts in the Church. MBUSA seeks to revolutionize how a parish addresses and meets the spiritual and relational needs of marriages and families.
“We don’t just offer events, we want to engage couples and mobilize parishes” say the Gramers, “by empowering them with a sense of mission that continues to form and support marriages and families long beyond any single event.”
The Gramers have worked in leadership for the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM). They were inﬂuential in the development of a pastoral strategy for the NPIM using 8 Building Blocks that help to better deﬁne the areas that foster a Marriage Building Parish. Their efforts have been unprecedented in establishing Marriage-Building Ministry Teams, training leaders in a Marriage-Building Parish, and creating effective ministerial responses and strategies.
Lorrie received her MA in Leadership in Family Ministry from Dominican University, River Forest, IL and working on a second Masters in Pastoral Counseling for Marriages and Families. Don has an MS in Adult Christian Community Development with emphasis in Family Ministry from Regis University, Denver, CO. They served as Diocesan Family Life Directors for 30 years in the Diocese of Rockford including 22 years as Directors of Bishop Lane Retreat Center and 7 years as Directors of the Ofﬁce of Family, Youth and Young Adults. Lorrie was a senior Consultant for Healthy Relationships California where she was instrumental in forming MarriageBuilding California, an outreach to Catholic Diocese there. Prior to Church Ministry, Don spent 8 years as a Warrant Ofﬁcer in the Army flying Helicopters and as a computer specialist. The Gramers have been married 49 years, have 7 adult children and 19 grandchildren.