Marriage Building Initiative

Strategy | Get Involved | Resources | Upcoming Events


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.


With the support of Live the Life and MarriageBuilding USA, the DCFL will be focusing on 4 areas over the course of the initiative:

  • Events
    Coordinating and promoting diocesan and city-wide events that foster healthy relationships.
  • Programs
    Promoting local marriage/family ministries and providing resources for parish-based efforts.
  • Trainings
    Equipping parish and family ministry leaders and growing the volunteer base to support local efforts.
  • Devotionals
    Promoting the use of spiritual tools to cultivate healthy marriages and families.
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Get Involved!

“Families, by the grace of the sacrament of matrimony, are the principal agents of the family apostolate, above all through their joy-filled witness as domestic churches.”
– Amoris Laetitia, 200

Live Your Sacrament!
The most simple and yet most profound way to change the culture is for couples to live their sacrament – in both its sorrows and joys – as God’s witness of love to the world.

Take every opportunity to learn more about one another as a couple, develop more effective relationship skills, deepen your spirituality, and grow in holiness together to fulfill God’s plan of love for you. The effect you will have on your children is greater than any relationship course or program they may take in the future.

Support Locally
The Diocese is blessed with many marriage and family life ministries throughout the Diocese. Some are diocesan-wide and some are parish based. If there isn’t a ministry at your parish, there are many easy to facilitate programs.

Check a listing of local marriage ministries:

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Parish Family Life Coordinators
Many parishes throughout the Diocese of St. Augustine have a volunteer Family Life Coordinator assigned at their parish whose ministry is to promote a culture of marriage and family and offer programming and resources. The coordinators are appointed by the pastor and trained at annual workshops provided by the Diocese. If you parish does not have one and you would like to serve the parish in this way, please contact Mike Day, Director of Marriage & Family Life at or (904) 551-2619 for more information.

Lending Library
Our office hosts copies of materials that can be provided to the parishes for limited use.

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Upcoming Events

Information night for Pathways to the Sacrament
This evening is an invitation to examine the steps towards how to participate in the sacraments by learning about the annulment process and how to have your current marriage “blessed” or convalidated by the Catholic Church.

August 9, 2018 – Christ the King

Pathways to the Sacrament Preparation Marriage Convalidation

August 11, 2018 from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Click here to register

Together in Holiness Marriage Conference

September 15, 2018 – St. Joseph Catholic Church

Together in Holiness is a marriage conference series for dioceses inspiring spouses to grow together in holiness and empowering parents to form their children in the Catholic faith.

  • Powerful presentations from national and local speakers
  • Quiet time together, Mass, Reconciliation, Eucharistic Adoration
  • Practical ideas and insights for spouses and parents

Click here to register.

Marriage Angels training

Parish Marriage Angels is a new and innovative way to offer help and care for couples and/or individuals in crisis, experiencing loss, or in need of help in discernment.

Additional dates TBD

Adventure in Marriage

Adventures in Marriage combines Christian principles with the latest research to provide specific, practical, attainable skills for a successful marriage.
Come learn how to create the marriage you have always wanted with the spouse you already have!

Next AIM weekend dates: TBD


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