The National Catholic Community Foundation is fortunate to include among its trustees Mr. James Coffey of the Papal Foundation. Jim has brought to our attention an important gathering which will occur later this month in Dallas concerning marriage and its sacramental and societal implications. It will be held in a safe, non-solicitation environment and will be for donors concerned about this pressing issue.
As Jim explains, the Church and marriage are the two institutions God gifted to us on which to build a holy people and society. Today marriage is challenged by high rates of divorce and cohabitation with consequences for children and adults alike. The health and strength of marriages in America also affect society as a whole. Poverty, crime and lack of educational achievement are only a few of numerous harmful results. The Catholic Church is concerned about the social impact as well as the sacramental and holds a key position to bring positive change. The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops promotes marriage as a high priority and supports the collaborative efforts of the Church and its laity. Its National Pastoral Initiative on Marriage is a multi-year effort to communicate the meaning and value of married life for the Church and for society. The bishops’ letter can be accessed here.
The gathering on July 25th in Dallas will be a briefing that brings experts and leaders together to report on the state of marriage in the nation, and the impact the institution (and its decline) has on society and on the Church. The report will touch on what has been done to date to build healthy marriages, and what has been learned as to what works and why in creating an effective marriage ministry by clergy and laity.
Hosts will include Bishop George Rassas of Chicago, the Papal Foundation and John and Jamee Stanley. The evening will begin with Mass, then dinner during which a panel of experts and leaders will each make brief remarks. Engaging conversation with guests will follow. The expert panelists will include: Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project – University of Virginia; Dr. Robby George, founding director of the James Madison Program on American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, political theorist, and board member of the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation; Ms. Sheila Garcia, associate director of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; Ms. Lorrie Gramer, president of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers; and Mr. Scott Beck (invited) president of the Tango Family Initiative.
Readers interested in obtaining more information on this impressive event should contact: Mr. John Stanley at firstname.lastname@example.org.