"What Have You Done for Your Marriage Today?" new national ad campaign - 6/28/07
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Sun Jul 15 13:47:20 EDT 2007
- URGING COUPLES TO RENEW "I DO"
- CATHOLICS BEGIN CAMPAIGN ON MARRIAGE
- URGING COUPLES TO RENEW "I DO"
So sorry this email didn't go out on June 28th! My consolation is that this
press conference held at Smart Marriages in Denver was well attended and
coverage appeared across the country - hoping you saw it and have since seen
the PSAs. - diane
The National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM)
conference held in conjunction with the Denver Smart Marriages conference,
launched on Wed, June 27th, the U.S. Catholic Bishop's promising new
national advertising campaign to promote marriage. The campaign asks "What
did you do for your marriage today?" in television and radio public service
announcements (PSAs) supported by a wonderful website:
http://www.foryourmarriage.org. Check out the website and look for the
PSAs and piggy-back on this effort in your community - the ads and PSAs
include no religious content. The website features a free e-newsletter with
marriage tips; a state-by-state directory of resources; a book of the month
feature (this month John Van Epp's "How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk" is in the
spotlight); and much more.... - diane
Urging couples to renew "I do"
"Both marriage and family are necessary for the common good of society."
By Manny Gonzales Denver Post Staff Writer
After 40 years of marriage, Steve and Kathy Beirne still hold hands and make
a point to tell each other "I love you" every day.
"We're the happiest married couple on Earth," says Steve Beirne, president
of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers, holding its
conference in Denver this week.
It's the little things that keep marriages going, the Beirnes of Portland,
Ore., say, and that's the motto of a new national advertising campaign by
the U.S. Catholic Bishops to promote marriage.
Archbishop Charles Chaput on Wednesday launched the public awareness and
education phase of the 2-year-old marriage initiative at the conference.
"Marriage is the foundation of family," Chaput said. "The family, in turn,
is the bedrock of society and the church. Both marriage and family are
necessary for the common good of society."
The campaign is in response to rising divorce rates and the plummeting
numbers of couples walking down the aisle. The effort involves a website,
www.foryourmarriage.org, and a series of television and radio public service
announcements. The productions and market research were done on a $600,000
budget and paid for by parish contributions, church officials said.
The campaign asks the question: "What have you done for your marriage
today?" The ads feature people on the streets, saying what they've done for
their marriages that day.
"There is no religious content in them, and that's by design," Chaput said.
"We wanted to reach out to everyone and keep the focus on marriage as a
significant social institution."
The website provides a variety of services for married couples or people
considering marriage, including daily marriage tips and links to marriage
counselors at archdioceses across the country.
In answer to the question that serves as the campaign's slogan, conference
attendees and family counselors Gary and Gayle Frank of Ogdensburg, N.Y.,
said when they awoke Wednesday they made the decision to continue loving
"These days everything in the media tells people that if their marriage
isn't working, to get out of it," Gayle Frank said. "It's going to be nice
to see a positive message out there reminding people that it takes work
daily to keep a marriage going."
- CATHOLICS BEGIN CAMPAIGN ON MARRIAGE
Catholics Begin Campaign on Marriage
By ERIC GORSKI
The Associated Press
June 27, 2007
DENVER -- U.S. Roman Catholic bishops began a campaign Wednesday to
strengthen the institution of marriage by encouraging spouses to perform
simple day-to-day gestures for one another.
The campaign, a series of radio and television spots, is part of a broader
effort to bring a greater Catholic voice to the debate over the meaning of
The spots show ordinary people in parks and other public places answering
the question "What have you done for your marriage today?" The answers _
waking up early with the baby, organizing a date night _ are meant to
promote small acts of kindness as medicine for making marriages last a
Missing from the spots is any overt religious message, although they are
identified as Catholic and end with an invitation to visit
http://www.foryourmarriage.org. The Web site promises resources for Catholic
and non-Catholic couples on everything from conflict resolution to finances.
Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, a member of the bishops' committee on
marriage and family life, said the spots deliberately avoid religion to
reach a wide audience.
"Both marriage and family are necessary for the common good of society," he
said. "When either institution weakens, all of us suffer the consequences.
When both marriage and family grow stronger, all of us benefit."
The $600,000 marketing campaign was introduced in Denver to coincide with
the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers conference
underway here. The media spots are not paid advertisements, but public
service announcements available to TV, radio and cable outlets.
U.S. Catholic bishops and conservative evangelicals have found common ground
opposing same-sex marriage since it has emerged as a political issue.
But the bishops' National Pastoral Initiative on Marriage _ which runs
through 2011 and of which the marketing campaign is a part _ seeks to branch
beyond gay marriage and combat other trends that church leaders deem
disturbing. That includes a declining marriage rate, more people living
together outside of marriage and the prevalence of divorce.
"I don't think this is a political maneuver against gay marriage," said
Timothy Muldoon, director of The Church in the 21st Century Center at Boston
College. "Many bishops see this issue of marriage broadly as having
significant impact on the well-being of a good society, not to mention an
impact on the church. There is no hiding the fact that Catholics are
Catholics because they were raised that way, people who choose to bring
their children to church."
The bishops' larger marriage initiative, set in motion in 2004 and still in
the research and development stages, aims to promote marriage as both "a
human institution and a Christian sacrament." Plans call for improving
parish marriage ministries, a pastoral letter and working in the legal and
political arenas to "promote, strengthen and protect marriage."
Perhaps anticipating one criticism, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
emphasizes that married couples have played a key role in the initiative,
both through focus groups and continued consultation.
"In spite of what the public reaction or perception might be, it isn't just
a bunch of celibate men who are behind all of this," said John Grabowski, an
associate professor of theology and religious studies at the Catholic
University of America in Washington and a consultant on the project.
Grabowski acknowledged other challenges, including lingering mistrust
created by the clergy sexual abuse crisis that exploded in 2002.
"It certainly has become harder for people with those funny collars on to
get up and talk publicly about sexuality and marriage because the immediate
cynical reaction on the part of some people is, 'Who are you to tell us
about morality and sexual relationships?'" he said. "You can't deny that's
in the background here."
© 2007 The Associated Press
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