Pope Francis wants every family to be a beacon of the joy of [God’s] love in our world.
Working towards achieving that will be a huge contribution to evangelising our diocese. Each of us can find a way to contribute to creating those beacons. Not just in how we each live our own family lives as Catholics but also supporting others as they try to live out their family lives.
Within our diocese our Director of Marriage and family life works with parishes and external organisations to promote and support marriage and family life as a key part of the mission of our church. https://www.dioceseofbrentwood.net/departments/marriage-family-life/ Fr Mathew can help you find opportunities for you to get involved.
External organisations like Catholic Marriage Care can offer volunteering and training opportunities as well.
Tim Gallagher has been our diocesan contact for Marriage Care for quite some time and below you’ll find his reflection on the wonderful service he has given.
Reflections from Tim Gallagher on his years involved with Marriage Care
Here I am Lord.
How often have I sung that uplifting hymn and, perhaps, not really thought of its full meaning?
Since becoming involved in Marriage Care, it has taken on a new relevance, as it is almost the charity’s theme hymn.
Twenty-five years ago, I responded to a notice in the weekly Parish Newsletter for volunteers to help run and manage the local Marriage Care Centre.
Having no practical skills whatsoever, but with plenty of business experience, I replied and immediately was won over by both the people involved and the work the charity does.
I am very lucky. I am in a good marriage and would like as many other people as possible to have the same opportunity to have a fulfilled family life – so Marriage Preparation immediately became my passion – as it still is today.
Like most voluntary work you can do as much or as little as you want. One of the valuable lessons Marriage Care has taught me is to say “No” when you really do not want to do more.
Doing Marriage Preparation with, mainly, young couples is a huge joy and privilege and the way we work with them here in Chelmsford on a one to one basis, means that you get to know them quite well very quickly, and so quite frequently can help them in many ways to improve their already wonderful relationships.
I have met and worked with so many really good people and have made some excellent friendships which will last beyond our time with Marriage Care.
The 25 years spent as a volunteer have been rewarding and worthwhile – I can recommend volunteering with Marriage Care to anyone interested in family life.