"It's getting better," she added hopefully. "We're starting earlier."
This year, the diocese hopes that people will start talking more about marriage. This means that even children will have a kind of "remote preparation" for successful relationships one day. It begins, says Zurface, "by teaching kids how to really love."
"At the same time, this is an opportunity for us to talk about the deep, deep love and respect Christ and His Church has for all people, regardless of whether they are married, single, divorced, have same-sex attraction, experience sexual brokenness, and the list goes on," she explained.
"This year provides us with an opportunity to discuss honestly how we are all called to approach our sexuality in virtuous ways."
The Year of Marriage will begin on December 1 with a mass celebrated by Bishop Hoeppner, including the blessing of an original Byzantine Icon of the Holy Family written exclusively for the Diocese of Crookston's year-long celebration of Marriage.
Those who make a pilgrimage to the Cathedral within the Year so as to venerate the icon will receive a partial indulgence.
For couples preparing to be married, the diocese's newly created Office of Marriage and Family Life is planning to enhance the formation currently offered.
Several retreats will be held throughout the year, including one for men entitled "Radiant Fatherhood" and another for married couples, "Blessed are the Married."
Other events include presentations on topics like "7 Keys to a Holy, Healthy Marriage," and "Paschal Suffering & the Sacrament of Marriage."
Parishes and deaneries throughout the diocese will hold local events: Zurface and her co-workers plan to use social media like facebook and twitter as platforms for keeping people up-to-date on all the activities.
The year will culminate with a diocesan marriage congress that includes keynote speaker Fr. Thomas Loya and Catholic recording artist Danielle Rose.
(Story continues below)
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More information can be found at Crookston's Year of Marriage website: http://www.crookston.org/yom/.