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By Auguste Meyrat, Crisis Magazine, Sept. 9, 2022

Auguste Meyrat is an English teacher and department chair in north Texas. He has a BA in Arts and Humanities from University of Texas at Dallas and an MA in Humanities from the University of Dallas.

Throughout the last decade, the number of people getting married has been plummeting while the divorce rate remains stubbornly high. Not only has this led to a serious breakdown in family life, but it has wreaked havoc on community life as well, particularly church communities. In response, many churches have instituted marriage preparation programs that would help prospective couples understand the commitment they are making and help them work through potential problems with the relationship.

Although such programs would theoretically nip certain marital problems in the bud, it’s debatable just how effective it has been in promoting a culture of marriage and family. Despite the time, attention, and thoughtfulness put into them, most couples tend to see these programs as hurdles to jump through if they want to have a wedding in the Catholic Church. Other couples, who aren’t so patient, will usually just get married outside the Church and never come back.  …