In this conversation with Edward Herrera, Executive Director of the Institute for Evangelization in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, we explore the importance of strong marriages and families in our Catholic parishes.
The Office of Family, Youth, and Young Adult Ministry is one of the departments in the Institute for Evangelization. This may not be an obvious place for this office, but Edward Herrera reminds us that John Paul II reflected this insight: “The family is the object and the agent of the New Evangelization.” The family is at our ball fields, our groceries, in our schools, and many other places. As the “object” of the new evangelization, husbands and wives are called to do this work. Through community engagement, family members are “agents” of the new evangelization by conveying their faith through word and action.
Herrera says, “When we talk about family, in many ways, we are starting with marriage.”
The Institute for Evangelization has chosen to build up marriage ministry through a “marriage mentoring model.” Couples are paired together to walk through the experience.
Herrera also emphasizes the need to equip young families so the parents can be the primary educators of the faith. This means starting with parents who may not have a strong relationship with Christ or learning beyond their own classroom experience and then providing them confidence to guide their children.
The right technology can help, too. Systems can help ministry leaders accompany their people and provide notifications when special personal action is needed.
Data reflect that healthy marriages are good for our parishes and good for the church. Listen to the conversation to hear more:
Terry Poplava serves as General Manager, ACST Catholic. As a cradle Catholic, his faith was lukewarm until he was confronted by the intense challenge and commitment he heard in the message about Stewardship. “What do I own and what owns me?” which led him to executive roles at Our Sunday Visitor and Catholic Leadership Institute before his current focus on serving the Catholic Church at ACS Technologies. Terry has extensive experience working with churches across the U.S., supporting their planning, stewardship, and engagement efforts