Healthy marriages the first step toward evangelization of the family

Archbishop Allen Vigneron

Archbishop Allen Vigneron

I am writing to you to let you know about an exciting initiative that is under way in the Michigan Province. The Michigan Catholic Conference in collaboration with the seven dioceses in Michigan is promoting a province-wide observance of 2015 as a “Year for Marriage.”

The Year for Marriage includes a broad plan to educate about and reinforce the true nature of marriage by presenting a positive message about the good of marriage and its importance for society as a whole. The initiative, targeted toward the Catholic faithful and society at large, aims to bring into clearer focus the Church’s teaching on marriage and to show that society has a vested interest in maintaining the institution of marriage.

This broad plan includes educational events and activities at local levels as well as state-wide efforts that will include outreach through television, radio and the Internet. The MCC has developed a Michigan Celebrates Marriage website (www.michigancelebratesmarriage.com) to serve as a platform for this initiative and a portal for parish resources.

This initiative perfectly complements, and serves as an important first step, in our archdiocesan-wide evangelization initiative. Evangelization first takes place in the family, which is the fundamental cell of society. Parents, “by word and example, are the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children” (Lumen Gentium, no. 11). Strong and holy marriages promote strong and holy families.

In the Sacrament of Matrimony, the love between a husband and a wife is given life and sustenance by Jesus Christ Himself, who becomes the foundation and soul of the family and strengthens the relationships of the members. Fidelity between the spouses maintains stability in a home and fosters an environment where one’s emotional, spiritual and material needs are met and Christian values are nourished and transmitted.

Family, according to God’s plan, is the animating principle for the broader community and a witness to the Gospel. As such, marriage and marriage ministry is an important starting point for the evangelization of families, communities and culture.

A number of parish resources are readily available through the MCC and our Central Service Offices, and others will be made available throughout the year.

As we begin this New Year and continue to prepare for a new Pentecost, I want to personally thank you for your dedication and ministry to the People of God in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Let us continue to make way for the Holy Spirit to encounter Jesus anew, grow daily as his disciples, and learn to give witness to His mercy and love.

 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron

Archbishop of Detroit

 

Michigan Celebrates Marriage

To learn more about the Michigan Celebrates Marriage initiative, which includes a statewide “Year for Marriage,” visit www.michigancelebratesmarriage.com, which includes links to social media and other resources.