Marriage & Family Life

The Catholic Church views marriage as a great gift from God. As a sacrament, marriage points to and makes present God's radical love. Christ's vision of marriage is one of vocation; it is a call from God which is mean to be lived for the sanctification of the spouses and the whole community. This view of marriage is challenging, but it was also given to us to that our "joy might be complete" (John 15:11). In our world today, Christ's vision of marriage and of the family is one which invites us to live abundantly! (John 10:10)

Sharing in Christ's vision, the Diocese of Des Moines Marriage and Family Life Department seeks to work with parishes and couples, walking with all families in all their stages, in their joys and sorrows, their celebrations and challenges.

We have a three-pronged ministry in Marriage and Family Life:

1. Marriage Preparation

We help organize and facilitate marriage preparation throughout our diocese, with the goal of catechizing couples regarding the covenantal relationship they are entering, equipping them with the necessary tools to thrive in their vocation, and supporting them throughout their married lives. Learn more about wedding guidelines, marriage preparation and natural family planning.

"For Christians, marriage, which has its origin in God the Creator, also implies a real vocation to a particular state and a life of grace. In order to be brought to its maturation, this vocation requires adequate, particular preparation and a specific path of faith and love, all the more so because this vocation is given to a couple for the good of the Church and society." (Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage, Pontifical Council of the Family)

2. Marriage Enrichment

We help coordinate marriage enrichment opportunities throughout the diocese, as well as provides parishes with enrichment resources and tools in order to better help them support their parish families.

"It is easier for married people to make progress if, with respect for the Church's teaching and with trust in the grace of Christ, and with the help and support of the pastors of souls and the entire ecclesial community, they are able to discover and experience the liberating and inspiring value of the authentic love that is offered by the Gospel and set before us by the Lord's commandment." (Familiaris Consortio)

3. Nurturing Family Life

We help by advancing the Christian vision of marriage and family life in the culture of south west Iowa, proclaiming again the great invitation and challenge that is extended to every family through the Gospel, and reminding our marriages of the support that Christ and His Church offer.

"Christians also have the mission of proclaiming with joy and conviction the Good News about the family, for the family absolutely needs to hear ever anew and to understand ever more deeply the authentic words that reveal its identity, its inner resources and the importance of its mission in the City of God and in that of man." (Familiaris Consortio)