The purpose of A Catechism for Family Life: Insights from Catholic Teaching on Love, Marriage, Sex, and Parenting is to present the teachings of the Catholic Church as they relate to specific questions in marriage and family life. Many Catholics are under-catechized and have trouble both understanding and articulating Church teaching on sexuality and marriage to an increasingly challenging culture. Pope Francis, along with the fathers of the two recent Synods on the Family, have called for better formation for those who work in the area of marriage and family life (see Amoris Laetitia, 202).
To address this need, we gathered pertinent questions facing men, women, and pastoral workers in marriage and family life. We then found passages relevant to these questions by researching Church documents on marriage and family from the past one hundred years. These include papal encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, and addresses, Vatican II documents, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Mainstream media coverage of Church events and Church teaching leads many to misunderstand Catholic positions on marriage and family life. While the Catholic Church has developed a rich, detailed, and positive teaching on marriage, family, and sexuality, many Catholics do not have access to this teaching, buried as it is in lengthy Church documents which many find intimidating. Finding the relevant teaching to address specific questions is not always a simple task, either. This book’s main contribution is to present Church teaching relevant to marriage and family in one volume clearly organized by topic and question.
"If you're interested in learning more about the Church's beautiful vision of family life, in addition to John Paul's letter, a new book may also be helpful, A Catechism for Family Life: Insights from Catholic Teaching on Love, Marriage, Sex, and Parenting (Catholic University of America Press, 2018). The editors, Sarah Bartel and John Grabowski, follow the traditional catechism question and answer format, proposing key questions related to marriage, vocational discernment, sexuality, parenting, and challenges facing the family. They select the answers from Church documents, such as papal encyclicals and other writings from the popes, Vatican offices, and the Second Vatican Council."~Staudt, Jared, Denver Catholic
"Will be helpful for students, dating/engaged couples and married couples, as well as being useful in high school and college classes, from marriage prep to ongoing enrichment and adult faith formation opportunities. Additionally, it will serve as a handy and trustworthy resource and reference for catechists, teachers, professors and pastoral leaders in the field of marraige and family ministry."~Andrew Lichtenwalner, Archdiocese of Atlanta
"Sarah Bartel and John Grabowski have created a treasure of a book and an absolutely essential guide to life as a Catholic family. The Church has an ocean of wisdom on choosing a vocation; choosing a spouse, engagement, marriage, bearing and raising children, balancing work and family life; finances, annulments, divorce, the death of a spouse, remarriage – all of the lights and shadows that press in on today’s family. The great strength of this excellent volume is its skill at offering rich Catholic teaching in a format of simple, appealing, very practical questions relevant to every stage and challenge in family life."~Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
"Having visited most US dioceses and taught young adults for decades, I can testify that this book contains the questions Catholics are asking here and now about sex, marriage, and family life, and sourced answers they can trust. This book is for every person who wants the full story on Catholic marriage, and for every marriage preparation instructor who has struggled to teach why indeed Catholics don't ‘get married on the beach."~Helen Alvare, Professor of Law, Scalia Law School at George Mason University
"From St. Paul to Pope St. John Paul II, we are taught that marriage is the primordial sacrament revealing Christ’s marriage to the Church. In A Catechism for Family Life, Bartel and Grabowski have masterfully drawn out of the Church’s rich tradition key insights to help us navigate the realities of modern marriage and family life. Whether the reader is married or not, there is much to gain from this work."~Curtis Martin, Founder and CEO of FOCUS
" A Catechism for Family Life is an absolutely essential guide for anyone involved in Catholic teaching on marriage and family. This much-needed resource gathers together what can seem to many of us like daunting information from encyclicals, exhortations and other Church documents into a user-friendly volume. Highly recommended!"~Gregory Popcak, Founder and Director of CatholicCounselors.com
"This relatively short book represents a valuable tool for navigating through a vast amount of literature. It will be of great help to any Catholic lay person who wants to gain a better understanding of the Church's teaching on sexual ethics and marriage matters. The collection would also be most helpful for catechists, pastoral leaders and anyone who is lecturing on Catholic sexual ethics and family matters, and even more so for the student taking such classes."~Heythrop Journal
"The book is clear, well‐organised, user‐friendly, and offers further resources. Bringing together church teaching in an accessible and ordered way, the book is a valuable contribution for anyone who is looking for a deeper understanding of church teaching on marriage and family life."~New Blackfriars
"This invaluable resource marshals selections from primary sources into a single, user-friendly volume. Anyone who assists in catechesis, marriage preparation, or couples counseling would benefit from this reference book. Each section can stand independently, or the book can be read cover-to-cover. The editors helpfully offer brief explanatory remarks at certain points, affix a citation to each passage, and close with a list of further reading in order to prevent proof-texting and promote deeper understanding. In sum, this diligently compiled resource presents the rich tradition of Catholic teaching on marriage and family life in "bite-sized pieces.""~Homiletic and Pastoral Review