Keynote Speakers: Bishop George Rassas & Julia Dezelski, USCCB
Description: TIn his 2016 Apostolic Exhortation on the Joy of Love, Pope Francis observed, “we do well to focus on the concrete realities” of family life. In response to these realities which are at the center of the Church’s ministry, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is preparing a pastoral plan for marriage and family life ministry and advocacy.
Inspired by Evangelii Gaudium and Amoris Laetitia, the pastoral plan seeks to respond to the real situations of families today in the United States. The plan will be a comprehensive guide to assist those who minister to marriages and families – dioceses, parishes, and marriage or family directors – in their own pastoral planning and outreach under the direction of the local bishop. By providing building blocks for comprehensive marriage and family life ministry based on broad consultation, best practices, needs in the field, and Church teaching, it is hoped that this effort will contribute to a renewed phase of evangelization toward and with married couples and families in our country.
As a Catholic family life minister, what are the most pressing needs to be addressed in the pastoral plan? How do you suggest these needs be met?
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Bishop George Rassas is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Episcopal Liaison to NACFLM. He was ordained as a priest in May of 1968 and ordained as a bishop in 2006 at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Prior to joining the Archdiocesan offices in Chicago, he was the pastor of St. Mary Parish in Lake Forest from 1990 to 2004. Raised in Winnetka, he was the Vicar General of the Chicago Archdiocese from 2004 to 2006. Bishop Rassas holds a Bachelor’s degree from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein and a Master’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago in counseling psychology.
Julia Dezelski is Assistant Director for marriage and family at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. In her role, she oversees ForYourMarriage.org, a website to help couples at all stages of life to understand and live God’s plan for happy, holy marriages. She is a regular guest on the Eternal Word Television Network’s radio show, More 2 Life, hosted by Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak. Prior to her work in marriage and family, Julia worked for and alongside consecrated women in their ministry worldwide and in the United States.