WASHINGTON (June 27, 2007)—What have you done for your marriage today?
That's the question the Catholic Church asks in a series of TV and radio spots launched June 27 by the U.S. bishops' Committees on Marriage and Family Life and Communications.
The answers, which come from people interviewed on the street, range from getting up early with the baby to carrying a spouse's purse. They show that short-term kindnesses cement a lifelong relationship. With humorous bits of life, the spots prompt people to think of and do more for their own commitments.
The couples featured were filmed in parks and other public sites in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Texas and Providence, Rhode Island. They include young and old and a rich variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Together the couples offer insights into marriage.
The spots can be viewed on www.foryourmarriage.org, the marriage campaign Web site. The site also offers other resources to help couples build strong marriages.
"Healthy marriages are the bedrock of our church and our society," said Archbishop-elect Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, chairman of the bishops' Marriage and Family Life Committee, announcing the campaign. "The church seeks to do all it can to encourage what goes into a solid marriage: prayer, fidelity, commitment, and the little things that count."
The campaign is part of a multi-year National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage of the U.S. Catholic bishops to convey the meaning and value of married life for the Church and for society. The initiative will develop guidance and resources, including a pastoral letter, to promote, strengthen, sustain, and restore marriages.
The bishops approved the effort at the November 2004 meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Phase one (2005-2007) included research and consultation. Phase two (2007-2008) includes the spot campaign and the writing of a pastoral letter. Phase three (2008-2011) includes implementation, development of pastoral resources, and evaluation.
The bishops launched the campaign at the annual meeting of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers in Denver.
The TV and radio spots are funded by the U.S. bishops' Catholic Communication Campaign, which collects money in parishes nationwide to support church media efforts.