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Why are those who oppose the faith using all the best technology while the Church works inefficiently for the things that matter most: faith and family?
Communio Church strategist Joseph Heasley says that is no longer the case. He works to address problem marriages with 21st-century technologies and says that the results of the programs are tangible – “marriages are being strengthened and churches are growing,” and parishes are seeing significant results in engaging “with those religiously unaffiliated, also known as ‘nones’.”
You don’t have to know all the stats to know one thing for sure: families are hurting. But you also don’t have to study all the national marriage trends to observe the inverse: Marriages that are healthy have a powerful positive impact on the health of children, families, and even communities.
But the statistics surrounding the health of marriages and families in America today are truly staggering. Less than half of all young adults today had continuously married parents throughout childhood. One in four marriages end in divorce; one in five church-goers struggles in their marriage.
Both the Center for Family Life at Benedictine College, directed by Tory Baucum, and Communio, a national, ecumenical marriage ministry, have observed and studied the positive and negative effects of marital health on families and communities. In working to both reverse negative national marriage trends and to support and empower healthy marriages, the Center and Communio have created a partnership which benefits countless families in the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas.
Baucum serves as a consultant for 11 Communio parishes in the Archdiocese. Together they work to develop “catechetical habits of mind and ways of being,” according to Baucum, by coming up with new formation and outreach strategies, as well as troubleshooting when problems arise.
Communio’s model of work is unique, according to Joe Heasley, a Benedictine College alumnus. He highlights the organization’s strengths, saying that:
“Communio doesn’t just provide the church with curriculum or resources, we consult with them to build a holistic strategy to make the church a hub for marriage and relationship health. Communio is not just another program. Rather, we equip [parishes] with a proven strategic framework, 21st century data tools, and a ministry gameplan that helps you put members of your church — and those in the surrounding community — onto a growth journey toward healthier relationships.”
The work being done by the Center for Family is equally as unique. Through a three-step process of prevention, restoration, and exploration, the Center works to create programs and partnerships that produce practical solutions for cultivating healthy relationships within the family and beyond.
“Marriage and the family constitute one of the most precious of human values,” writes St. John Paul II. The combination of Communio’s strategic framework and the Center for Family Life’s practical application of the teachings of John Paul II has allowed the collaboration between the two to be incredibly fruitful in the archdiocese for building up this precious human value.
Dr. Baucum often argues that Christians must move marriage from a subject of theology to the object of ministry. The Center for Family Life and Communio are doing just that, and in doing so are improving the health of communities in the Kansas City area, one marriage at a time.
You can learn more about the work of Communio here.