The Office of Family Ministry works with parishes to provide a variety of services that support and minister to families, whether these families are traditional, single parent, blended, or extended.  Many of these programs are focused on supporting couples. The Coordinator of Family Ministry, Charlene Bearden, may be contacted as follows: charlene.bearden@jacksondiocese.org or 601.960.8487.

Marriage Preparation

The main goal of marriage preparation is to assist engaged couples to fully understand the church’s beautiful vision of marriage and to equip them with the information and tools necessary to deal with day to day joys and struggles of married life. Each couple begins their marriage preparation process by contacting their local parish at least four months in advance, discerning which parish based or diocesan based marriage preparation program they will attend and discussing further requirements that are required on the local parish level. The following links are provided to assist couples in the wonderful experience of engagement. To begin the process, contact your Pastor, Deacon, Pastoral Associate, or Lay Ecclesial Minister.

Diocese of Jackson Marriage Policy

Diocesan Marriage Preparation Opportunities:

  • Engaged Encounter – Weekend offering couples the time and opportunity to question, examine and deepen their relationship with each other and with God.  Engaged Encounter 2018 Please note: If you wish to register for Engaged Encounter, contact Arnie or Lois Senger at 601-346-9708; cee_jackson_ms@yahoo.com;
  • FOCCUS – Facilitating Open Couple Communication Understanding and Study. To participate in the FOCCUS program, please contact your Pastor, Deacon, Pastoral Associate, or Lay Ecclesial Minister.
  • A Redeeming State – Blended family engaged couples gather on Saturday or by weekday appointment to address blended family issues, of step-family structure and step parenting. For more information, please contact the Office of Family Ministry at 601-960-8487 or email Charlene Bearden at charlene.bearden@jacksondiocese.org.
  • For Better & For Ever is designed to help couples reflect on topics they need to address before committing to a Christian marriage. The couple meets with a sponsor couple at pre-scheduled times. To begin this marriage preparation process, contact your Pastor, Deacon, Pastoral Associate, or Lay Ecclesial Minister. For additional information, please contact the Office of Family Ministry at 601-960-8487 or email Charlene Bearden at charlene.bearden@jacksondiocese.org.

The Diocese of Jackson also offers the following helpful links:

  • For Your Marriage – United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s website on Marriage Preparation and the living out the Sacrament of Matrimony.
  • Retrouvaille– The word Retrouvaille™ (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i.) is a French word meaning rediscovery. The program offers tools needed to rediscover a loving marriage relationship. Thousands of couples headed for cold, unloving relationships or divorce have successfully overcome their marriage problems by attending the program. The Retrouvaille Program consists of a weekend experience combined with a series of 6-12 post-weekend sessions over 3 months. It provides the tools to help put your marriage in order again. The main emphasis of the program is on communication in marriage between husband and wife. It will give you the opportunity to rediscover each other and examine your lives together in a new and positive way.
  • USCCB

MARRIAGE ENRICHMENT

The Diocese is very aware of the demands placed on today’s families and how overwhelming life can be. The church has responded in creative and flexible ways in providing workshops and programs to assist couples that are working hard to live out the Sacrament of Matrimony. The Office of Family Ministry of the Diocese of Jackson works with parishes to provide a variety of services that support and minister to families, whether these families are traditional, single parent, blended or extended. Below you will find some of the programs offered:

  • REFOCCUS – A marriage enrichment program helping couples reflect on how their marriage has grown and changed, celebrating their strengths, and seeking healing in their struggles. To participate in REFOCCUS, please contact your Pastor, Deacon, Pastoral Associate, or Lay Ecclesial Minister.
  • Marriage and Family Counseling – The Solomon Counseling Center at Catholic Charities provides therapy to individuals, couples and families including play therapy for younger children. These services are based on a sliding scale. Please call 601-326-3719 to schedule an appointment.
  • Natural Family Planning – NFP classes using the BOMA® method are offered in English on a regular basis in the Jackson Diocese. For more information, please contact the Office of Family Ministry at 601-960-8487 or email Charlene Bearden at charlene.bearden@jacksondiocese.org.
  • World Marriage Day (WMD): World Marriage Day is an annual Diocesan wide celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage celebrated by Bishop Joseph Kopacz in February. The celebration involves a Mass held at the Cathedral of Saint Peter the Apostle in Jackson, with a wedding reception immediately following Mass. Couples celebrating 25, 50, and 60 years, and couples celebrating other significant anniversaries are honored. Parishes and missions are asked to submit names of those couples wanting to attend. Anyone is welcome to attend the World Marriage Day celebration. Honored couples are invited to bring their families. Click here for a copy of the couple registration form. We ask parishes and missions to advertise the event in their bulletins in November as the deadline for registration ends on December 31 of the year that is prior to the scheduled event year. For more information, please contact the Office of Family Ministry at 601-960- 8487 or email Charlene Bearden at charlene.bearden@jacksondiocese.org.

DIVORCE SUPPORT

In every parish, there are some marriages struggling to survive. Sometimes, some of these marriages end in divorce. The first place most Catholics turn when confronted with divorce is to their own parish. The Office of Family Ministry of the Diocese of Jackson works with parishes to provide support and ministry for parishioners recovering from divorce.

  • Recovering from Divorce Parish Program – Is a parish program that supports parishioners recovering from divorce, by assisting them with learning and living their faith more fully. For more information, please contact the Office of Family Ministry at 601-960-8487 or email Charlene Bearden at charlene.bearden@jacksondiocese.org.

GRIEF SUPPORT

“A Guide for Grievers”

Mark your calendars! Learn creative ways to express grief and loss, and how to support others through the grieving process. Through a partnership between Catholic Charities’ Parish Health Care Ministry and the Catholic Diocese of Jackson’s Office of Family Ministry, Bob Willis; artist, author, sculptor and grief specialist from Oklahoma City will present a half day workshop and a discussion on grief, and how to adapt to loss.

Workshops will be offered at the following locations/times:

Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Hernando, November 28, 2018: 9:30-1:30 PM

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Indianola, November 28, 2018: 5:30-9:00 PM

St. Joseph Catholic Church, Starkville, November 29, 2018: 12:30 – 5:00 PM

St. Joseph Catholic Church, Gluckstadt,November 30, 2018: 12:00 – 4:00 PM.

The workshops are open to all throughout the Diocese who would like to participate. Three Continuing Education (CE) contact hours are available for nurses and social workers who attend the workshops. This is a wonderful opportunity for parishes, other churches, and organizations to come together and receive the proper training to help start a grief support group.

To register, and for more details, please contact: Sister Pat Clemen, Coordinator of Parish Health Ministry at 601-213-6378, or via email: sisterpat.clemen@ccjackson.org or Charlene Bearden, Coordinator of Family Ministry at 601-960-8487, or via email: charlene.bearden@jacksondiocese.org.

RESPECT LIFE

Human life must be respected and protected from the moment of conception until natural death. From the first moment of existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2270).

Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Jackson supports respect for life through a variety of services including its Parish Social Ministries Office, Adoption and Maternity Services, Domestic Violence Shelter, Solomon Counseling Center, Rape Crisis Services and more.

The Diocese of Jackson’s Office of Family Ministry also provides support to crisis pregnancy centers, pregnancy care centers via councils of the Knights of Columbus, as well as marriage and family support and outreach. For more information, please contact the Office of Family Ministry at 601-960- 8487 or email Charlene Bearden at charlene.bearden@jacksondiocese.org.