There has been some positive news about marriage in Duval county. In 2016, the divorce rate dropped by 17.6%! There were fewer divorces last year in Duval County than in any previous year on record, dating back to 1970. We believe that this significant reduction in the number of divorces is largely due to a commitment by churches in Jacksonville to increase marriage education and enrichment.
The Church has made a great investment in family life with two Synods of Bishops and an apostolic exhortation from Pope Francis, which has provided renewed enthusiasm and guidance for addressing the challenges of our times. To work towards fulfilling the vision of the exhortation and continuing the momentum we have experienced in northeast Florida, the DCFL is partnering with other organizations and ministries with the goal of reducing the divorce rate by 50% over the next 3-5 years through a city-wide collaboration called the First Coast Healthy Marriage Initiative.
“Marriage Building” is a diocesan effort to help parishes, families, and volunteers achieve this goal.