Archdiocese of Chicago


Catholic Chicago Blog

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About the Blogger

Frank Hannigan is the Director of the Family Ministries Office.

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Spring and time for weddings!

Looks like marriage is on the minds of a lot of people. It’s always on our minds at the Family Ministries Office. We work hard to provide high quality Catholic marriage preparation, education, and support to our married couples.

Studies are finally catching up to what the Church has taught all along, that the well-being of society is closely tied to the healthy state of marriage and family life. Marriage is good for children and all society! And we are doing everything we can to support it. Here are a few things you can do to strengthen marriages too.

  • Be sure your engaged couples are attending a PreCana for their marriage prep. Couples’ reviews and a video telling couples what to expect are on YouTube on our Family Ministries channel, called FamilyMin.  
  • We’re working on our annual Golden Wedding Anniversary Mass for couples married 50 years. It will take place on Sunday, September 19 at St. John Brebeuf at 3 PM. Couples can register through their parish or through our office (312.534.8351) or online. These Jubilarians really provide a great witness to how important it is to stay married through the joys and hardships of life.
  • The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a pastoral letter on marriage about the blessing and gift it is called Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan. The bishops urge the Catholic Church to become a community of hope and help for marriages and to join others in building a culture of marriage. The letter weaves together our Catholic faith with pastoral practice, social science information, and the experience of married couples to offer guidance and resources to promote, strengthen, sustain and restore marriage.
  • The couples that blog for us are celebrating their first anniversaries. You’ll be interested in seeing how they are adjusting to their first year of marriage.

Once the wedding is over, couples still need to strengthen their marriages. We offer workshops for couples in the first year of marriage called First Years and Forever. We discuss adjustments and expectations, time management, strengths, finances, faith, and sexuality, all topics that can cause problems in the first five years of marriage.

Even a few years ago we would not have been talking about online resources; we would be recommending books and articles for people to look up. Now so much information is available at all times to anyone. We used to get most of our questions from young couples on the phone, now we get them through our Facebook page. Other great resources are available on, the Bishops’ website in support of marriage and of course, on our own,

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010 9:59 AM

My wife Sharon and I will be celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary on September 1, 2010. We have learned over the years to let each other know often how much we love each other. We also are not afraid to admit we are wrong about something and we always support each other in every way. Maintaining a loving relationship means keeping an open line of communication. I wish all the best to the couples getting married, and remember to Make Jesus number one and each other number two in your lives.

Herbert B.

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