Marriage, Family, and Relationship Enrichment
Our mission is to make "family" a more important part of "church." We do this by offering resources, services and programs to parishes and individual families to enrich, affirm, and nurture the many kinds of families who make up our diocesan church.
Wedding Anniversary Celebration
An annual Wedding Anniversary Mass is held at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet, IL each year. In 2017, the Mass will be held on August 27. More information will be forthcoming in the summer of 2017.
Parishes are encouraged to hold anniversary celebrations regarding marriage on World Marriage Day, which is always the second Sunday in February. Suggestions for ways to celebrate World Marriage Day are sent to the parishes each year by Worldwide Marriage Encounter.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend is a positive, private experience for married couples who want to work at revitalizing their marriage, whether married in a religious or civil ceremony. The weekend is designed to enrich and deepen the joys a couple share together and is beneficial to couples of all ages and years married, from a short time to many years For more information and upcoming dates for Worldwide Marriage Encounter in the Joliet diocese,check our Event Calendar, go to their website, or call 630-577-0778 to register.
Natural Family Planning
Information, class schedules, reservations, and support for couples who are interested in learning more about Natural Family Planning are available from The Office of Family Ministry at 815-838-5334. For classes in English or Spanish in the Joliet/Crest Hill or Kankakee areas, call Lupita Sorich at 815-735-8439 or email her LupitaSorich@gmail.com. For classes in English or Spanish in the Addison area, call Edna Pasillas at 630-279-6553 x 101 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org. Check our Event Calendar for dates and times for English and Spanish classes.
Strengthening Marriages at your Parish
“Let’s get a speaker on marriage!” That is the first impulse when many parish leaders start talking about marriage enrichment at their parish. While a speaker can be a good idea and a worthy event, there are countless other ways, big and small, of strengthening marriages.
Please consider holding a Strengthening Marriages at Your Parish seminar. This workshop is for staff, key volunteers, and anybody else the parish has invited to review how marriages are supported and strengthened at the local level.
As part of the U.S. Bishops’ National Initiative on Marriage, Dr. Jim Healy has presented this seminar in the Joliet Diocese for parishes, parish clusters, directors of adult faith formation, and for diocesan gatherings of parish personnel. Normally, it is a three-hour experience, but adaptations can be made for particular settings. The focus is on presenting a variety of ideas and options, so a parish can consider what works most appropriately for them. Interested? Call Dr. Jim Healy at 815-838-5334.
Parenting and Marriage Enrichment Leadership Training and Materials
Both training and materials are available for individuals or couples who would like to minister in these areas. Check our Event Calendar for upcoming trainings and enrichment days for marriage preparation ministers. Please call The Office of Family Ministry for more information: (815) 838-5334.
Baptism Preparation Programs
Most of us instinctively know that the birth of a child, especially of one's first child, is a time of explosive change in one's marriage, self-identity, and spirituality. Many couples say their lives changed more dramatically when their first child arrived than when they were married. While this is usually a time of great joy, it is also a time which puts significant stress on a new, or not-so-new, marriage. Any interested parish or parish representative can contact The Office of Family Ministry for more information: (815) 838-5334. Check our Event Calendar for upcoming programs.
Men and Family Roles
Materials to help men reflect on their identities as husband and father are available from The Office of Family Ministry, as is assistance in setting up groups for men to reflect on these issues. The office also offers workshops and seminars designed to help men come to a fuller sense of their roles in family life.
Retrouvaille is a national organization which offers a weekend program for troubled marriages. The Retrouvaille weekend provides a Catholic spiritual context for working carefully on one’s marriage. Through presentations, private reflection, and dialogue, couples whose marriages are seriously troubled and who may be contemplating divorce are invited to reflect on their marriage and on what they can do to save it. For more information, call 708-802-1830. Please check our Event Calendar for upcoming 2016 dates in the Joliet Diocese for April and September.
The Office of Family Ministry acts as a clearinghouse and source of information for a wide variety of independent family movements and groups, such as Christian Family Movement (Movimiento Familiar Cristiano), Parenting for Peace and Justice, Stepfamily Association of America, etc. See our Helpful Links page for more information.
Although The Office of Family Ministry does not offer counseling, the nature of our programs is such that participants often find the need to seek professional resources. The director, Dr. James Healy, is available to help in that process.
The office wishes to bring a family perspective to parish ministry. We offer consultation with parishes regarding any family issue, and are particularly interested in the formation and maintenance of family ministry teams and commissions.
Please check our Event Calendar for dates of upcoming marriage, family, and relationship enrichment programs.