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Focusing on the importance of marriage and family

By Juan Carlos Moreno
Special to The Texas Catholic

On Saturday, June 11, our local Church in Dallas gathered for a Diocese of Dallas Synod listening session on the topic of “Marriage and Family Life.” There hardly is a more important topic for the Catholic Church today.

As St. John Paul II taught us, “as the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live” (homily, Nov. 30, 1986). In choosing to live amongst us in the bosom of a family, our Lord Jesus Christ left us a model to follow and revealed to us the centrality of the family in his plan of salvation.

Conscious of the significance of the family and marriage for our faith, close to 400 faithful from all corners of the diocese responded to Bishop Edward J. Burns’ invitation to share their needs and hopes for local Church regarding this topic. The questions posed at the session asked participants to provide feedback in the areas of parish support for families, welcoming of new families and how to best promote the Church’s teachings that affect families.

Alongside with the family, marriage is of the utmost importance for our faith. From the creation of man and woman in its first pages, right to the vision of a wedding feast of the Lamb at its conclusion, Sacred Scripture speaks of marriage and its mystery (c.f. Catechism of the Catholic Church #1602). The self-donating sacrifice of spouses constantly direct us to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our salvation.

Aware of the importance of marriage for the life of the Church, the listening session provided a space for dialogue in the areas of marriage preparation, promoting an openness to life, resources for marriages in crisis and annulments.

Participants had an opportunity to address questions directly to Bishop Burns, and the listening session ended with a space where he took time to address some of the questions.

The listening sessions of our local synod offer us a historic opportunity to make our voices heard, and hopefully you can join us at the next one taking place Saturday, Aug. 20 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Bishop Lynch High School. The focus of that synod listening session will be “Catholic Social and Moral Teaching and the Church in the World.”

Visit to learn more about the Diocese of Dallas Synod 2024 and to register or volunteer for an upcoming session.

Juan Carlos Moreno is the director of the Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Family for the Diocese of Dallas.