MILWAUKEE -- Over the past 29 years, Lorrie Gramer helped prepare 25,000 couples for marriage in the Rockford, Ill., diocese.
“On the Friday night before the wedding, I tell the couples that they have paid the florist and the caterer and they’ve gone home,” Gamer said. “But the church is still there.”
The church is more to a marriage than a backdrop for the ceremony -- it is a couple’s lifelong commitment to uphold church teachings.
Gramer is president-elect of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministries, a group that attracted some 280 participants to a conference called the “Marriage-building Construction Zone” at Marquette University in Milwaukee Aug. 3-6. Almost all attending were lay parish leaders who had paid their own way, although there were a few priests and permanent deacons.
“Marriage-building is a lay movement,” Gramer said. “The bishops gave us the framework, but this is the third annual conference where this has been our theme.”