Goals and Objectives
To inspire, challenge and help Catholics to witness to marriage as a natural institution founded by God and raised to the dignity of a Christian sacrament, and to the value of children and family life.
- Increase understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage and the sacredness of human sexuality through age-appropriate education and catechesis
- Develop and promote initiatives that help couples from various cultures to deal with challenges through the marriage life cycle
- Develop and promote resources and training that will motivate priests, deacons, and laity to achieve quality in marriage and family ministry
To work for laws and public policies that recognize marriage as a union of a man and a women, strengthen family life, and protect religious liberty.
- Develop and publicize positive and inspiring messages about marriage based on key aspects of church teaching.
- Support and advocate for legislation and public policies that promote and protect marriage and family life.
- Influence public policy and opinion about marriage and family life in collaboration with
other Conference entities, other churches and religious groups, and national organizations.
Faith formation focused on sacramental practice
To invite all Catholics to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ in the Church through formation focused on Sacred Scripture and Tradition, and Sacraments, especially the Sunday Eucharist.
- In the spirit of the New Evangelization, identify resources for outreach to inactive Catholics, and to all Catholics at strategic moments of sacramental and pastoral ministry, inclusive of the role of cultural identity in passing on the Catholic faith.
- Develop criteria for the identification of suitable catechists and teachers, and develop resources for their formation.
- Identify best practices in catechesis for high-school-age youth and for young adults, including those in colleges and universities.
To facilitate the prospective introduction, reception, and implementation of the new translation of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, to the Church in the United States.
- Develop remote and immediate comprehensive catechetical and formational resources for the facilitation of parish-level reception of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, by clergy and other parish ministers and leaders. Support and encourage the use of materials such as those developed by the Leeds Group and FDLC.
Recognition of cultural diversity with a special emphasis
on Hispanic ministry in the spirit of Encuentro 2000
To increase the Catholic community’s understanding and acceptance of cultural diversity in the Church.
- Identify processes and resources for the evangelization of cultures including the prevailing U.S. culture.
- Provide guidance that will help Church organizations to consistently include cultural diversity when developing policies and social and pastoral responses.
To include diverse cultures in the life and leadership of dioceses, parishes and other Catholic organizations in the United States.
- Invite various cultures in the Catholic community to collaborate in addressing issues and developing initiatives that affect the whole Church, including people with special pastoral needs (e.g. language, migrant workers, military families.)
- Identify best practices and develop models for pastoring multicultural parishes especially those with a growing Hispanic population.
- Promote formation to gain knowledge, motivation and skills in ministering to a culturally diverse Church.
- Strengthen the continuing formation of priests, religious, seminarians and lay ecclesial ministers coming from other countries.
Life and dignity of the human person
To affirm the intrinsic value of human life and the dignity of every human being in a way that transforms the culture.
- In order to develop effective communication strategies, to research the assumptions and cultural challenges that work for or against the acceptance of the intrinsic value and dignity of human life.
- To provide a comprehensive framework for teaching and defending the life and dignity of every human being.
- To use the life and dignity of the human person as the underlying framework for the work of all USCCB committees and task forces, tying together the Conferences ongoing education, policy, and advocacy efforts to mobilize the Catholic community on issues of life, justice, and peace.
- To mobilize the entire Catholic community to prevent erosion of any existing public policies protecting the unborn and rights of conscience.
Priestly and religious vocations
To help individuals hear and respond to a call by God to the priesthood or consecrated life through prayer and activities.
- Promote active discipleship of young men and women in parishes and other faith communities so they may more readily hear and respond to the vocation to which the Lord is calling them.
- Develop opportunities for young people to experience the rich Catholic tradition of prayer, spirituality, and discernment through education and catechesis.
To educate all of the faithful on the importance of encouraging others to consider a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life through prayer and activities.
- Create and foster an atmosphere of communal responsibility in which the clergy, those in consecrated life, and laity personally encourage and invite men and women to discern a call to the consecrated life – and men to discern a call to the priesthood.
- Promote a vocation culture within the home by developing family-based programs and activities.