Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis


The shortage of priests isn’t the only vocation crisis.


I agree with the article that there is little focus on forming solid marriages vs. religious vocations. I rarely ever hear petitions at mass for single people called to marriage (I think I’ve heard this petition once. Ever.) but frequently hear petitions for persons to discern a religious vocation.

And while marriage preparation is apparently weak in the arena of spousal holiness, as the article asserts, I have to address this paragraph:

Catholic couples with even limited exposure to Catholic media know that contraception is wrong, that the potential spouse needs to be a different gender for the marriage to be valid, and that they should wait until marriage to engage in sexual relations.

Whether or not Catholics “know” this, many of them don’t follow the moral teaching anyway. Anyone who’s been single recently or on a Catholic dating site knows there is a large amount of Catholic singles who openly say they reject the Church’s teaching on contraception or pre-marital sex or even other Church dogmas.


I agree with the article particularly where it says that marriage vocation has been treated as the default vocation. Unfortunately I think marriage has been taken for granted. The anti life movement realized very early that when the marriage vocation would be in crisis the priesthood vocations would be affected and it would cause a crisis in the church so they dedicated to attack marriage while the church took too long to realize there was a crisis. There is a huge need of strong catholic families where the faith is transmitted to the children. There is a big crisis on marriage and we need to start focusing on how to stregnten it.


A priest friend noted that his particular vocation took 5 years of Chrurch directed preparation and discernment, while my vocation took a couple of afternoons.

And both are equally as permanent.



Part of the problem is that while on the “Church side” there is a lengthy formal discernment, followed by an even lengthier formation, under the watchful eye of the Church; on the marriage side dating, flirting, bars, etc are considered to be adequate preparation.

And realistically, that isn’t going to change.



And realistically, that isn’t going to change.

Isn’t there anything that can be done though(with God’s Grace and Will of course). For instance,if enough of us laity talk to our clergy and write letters to our bishops about this. Perhaps something can be done-Dioceses could end up setting up year long marriage preparation programs that emphasize the role of marriage in bringing up children in the Faith,natural family planning,the Church’s position on divorce and contraception and information about annulments.


Between the media and social media as well as many surveys done world over in preparation for the synod the clergy and bishops are aware of the marriage crisis.

A year long marriage prep isn’t very realistic. People already moan and wail that 6 months and a few hours here and there is too much. Requiring a year may do more harm than good. Couples can simply go to another denomination or marry civilly with little to no prep. It’s hard enough convincing couples to marry vs cohabitating as it is as evidenced by the declining marriage rates.

Any couple can show up for a weekly class and spend their hour nodding and smiling while not actually believing what they are being taught. Marriage is seen by society as dissoluble and that same society sees contraception and pre-marital sex as ok, even desirable. These things are something witnessed by catholics in their every day lives. In order for catholics to truly believe what the Church teaches they’ll have to see good examples of marriage while being taught regularly over a period of years starting in childhood.


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