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Catholic Bishops in Southern Africa Announce Campaign to Strengthen Marriages

Credit: SACBC

Members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) have announced a campaign in which they plan to journey with the people of God seeking to strengthen their marriage relationships and families in the ecclesiastical region.

In a Thursday, August 19 report, the SACBC leadership highlights modern challenges facing families and the resulting break-ups and acknowledge that there are still successful relationships that act as a source of hope in the marriage institution.

“While the statistics on marriage and family wellness may not be so encouraging nowadays, there are still marriages and families that are a shining example of hope; of what can be achieved. This is despite the problems and challenges they come across,” the Catholic Bishops of the three-nation Conference say.

They add, “Some marriages though are in trouble, believed to have ended, while some are about to collapse and that goes for families in general too.”

The Catholic Bishops in Botswana, Eswatini, and South Africa have pledged to provide their pastoral guidance to the institution of marriage through the SACBC’ Marriage and Family Life Office “as a sign of their firm believe and support of the institution of marriage and family.”

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The Marriage Awareness Campaign in Southern Africa will run from August 22 to October 9.

Information provided by the SACBC website indicates that the program is scheduled to run on Sundays on Radio Veritas between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and on Thursdays on SACBC Facebook Live respectively, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

SACBC members make reference to Pope Francis who says, “No family drops down from heaven perfectly formed; families need constantly to grow and mature in the ability to love.”

“For that same reason the SACBC Marriage and Family Life Office is inviting the engaged, married, divorced and widowed to be part of this grace for guidance, strengthening and healing of relationships and families,” the Southern African Catholic Bishops say.

Themes for the campaign, which have been spread across the various weeks through which the program will run, will include God’s purpose for marriage, choosing a right partner, and marriage as between a man and a woman.

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Other themes for the awareness include marriage as a sacrament and the importance of matrimonial ceremony, procreation and rearing of children, reconciliation in marriage, and till death do us part.

“The Sunday sessions will focus on Scriptural passages whose reflections and intercessions will be offered by various Priests and Bishops,” the information on the SACBC website indicates.

The Thursday sessions, SACBC members say, “will be offered by different speakers in different marital statuses and a Priest.”

“This awareness will conclude with the celebration of a Holy Mass on October 9,” members of the three-nation Conference say.