Archdiocese reopens marriage, family life office closed years ago
Published: July 12, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) -- The Office of Marriage and Family Life in the San Francisco Archdiocese, closed several years ago because of budgetary pressure, has been restored in the fiscal year budget beginning July 1. The archdiocese is in the process of hiring a director of the office, who must have experience in marriage preparation and other family life programs and be bilingual in English and Spanish, said Auxiliary Bishop Robert W. McElroy, who is helping to manage the program's revival. The director and an assistant also to be hired will be charged with supporting and supplementing marriage and family life matters in the parishes, as an archdiocesan liaison, he said. During the past 15 years, the number of sacramental marriages in the archdiocese, and across the nation, has fallen by almost 60 percent, an interim task force on marriage assembled by the archdiocese found. There is a constellation of forces behind the statistic, Bishop McElroy noted, including the growing secularization in society. Launching an office amid those challenges, as well as managing other ministries, including support for separated and divorced people, aid to the grieving and support for people after they're married, is a tall order, Bishop McElroy said, and so part of the director's job will be to find volunteers to assist. "The work of this office will be a lot of start-up work and work with volunteers, and it won't get done all at once," he told Catholic San Francisco, newspaper of the archdiocese.
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