"A committed, permanent, faithful relationship of husband and wife is the root of a family. It strengthens all the members, provides best for the needs of children, and causes the church of the home to be an effective sign of Christ in the world" (U.S. Catholic Bishops, Follow the Way of Love: A Pastoral Message to Families, 1994).
Major USCCB Marriage Projects & Activities
The Bishops launched the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage in 2005 to call attention to the meaning and value of married life for the Church and for society. The crowning achievement of the Initiative was the Bishops' 2009 pastoral letter, Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan.
The Initiative's other activities included: a research study on Catholics and marriage; focus groups with married couples, priests, and canon lawyers; an analysis of diocesan marriage preparation policies; and dialogues with social scientists and theologians.
The Bishops reaffirmed their strong support for marriage and the family by identifying "strengthening marriage and family life" as one of four strategic priorities of the USCCB for the planning period of 2008-2012 and again for 2013-2016. One of the five strategic priorities for 2017-2020 is to "encourage and strengthen all families" and "inspire Catholics to embrace the Sacrament of Matrimony."
Ongoing web initiatives of the USCCB
The "For Your Marriage" website offers practical help and advice whether you're seriously dating, engaged, or at any stage of married life. If you're planning a Catholic wedding, you'll find information on everything from choosing the music and readings to marrying someone who is not Catholic. On the homepage check out the Daily Marriage Tips, book reviews, and blogs by engaged and married couples.
The "Marriage: Unique for a Reason" website is part of the Bishops' ongoing efforts to promote and defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It offers many educational resources for Catholics and others who want to better understand and articulate the Church's teaching on marriage. The website currently features three DVD resources, "Made for Each Other," "Made for Life," and "El Matrimonio: Hecho para el Amor y Vida" (in Spanish with English subtitles), as well as FAQs about marriage, a library of Church teaching, and a regularly updated blog.
The Por tu Matrimonio Website is a space to inspire, assist and encourage Spanish-speaking couples to live their marriage more fully. Por Tu Matrimonio es un espacio para inspirar, ayudar y exhortar a las parejas de habla hispana a vivir más plenamente su relación de pareja.