Garrison, NY – Family and marriage professionals, clergy, and Archdiocesan leaders gathered Saturday, December 7th at Saint Basil Academy in Garrison, New York at the invitation of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. The "Roundtable on the Family" was convened by the Archbishop as the initial step of an intense focus on the critical needs of today's families.
In his opening remarks to the participants, the Archbishop stated, "The significance of the family and the crises faced by families today necessitate that we do everything possible for the family. Think of the impact, the consequences, the happiness that can be brought to individual families through expanding our ministry in this area."
During the meeting participants reviewed some of the most critical challenges facing families today and discussed resources for addressing family needs. Three committees were organized to analyze some of these resources in preparation for a second meeting in early March. Following this meeting, plans and information will be presented for discussion and review at the spring meetings of the Eparchial Synod and the Archdiocesan Council.
The "Roundtable" follows the emphasis given to the family by Archbishop Demetrios in his keynote address at the 36th Clergy-Laity Congress, which was held in Los Angeles in the summer of 2002. In his speech, the Archbishop announced the initiation of plans for The Center for Family Care. This center will develop programs and resources that will address issues related to preparation for marriage, marital difficulties, mixed marriages, clergy families, and families of divorce. It will also produce video, audio, and printed material relevant to these areas and make these resources available to parishes and families. Further, the center will organize seminars and educational opportunities that will address areas of family life and development, as well as offer counseling resources via telephone or the Internet. Referring to the importance of the Center the Archbishop stated, "Our vision is to create a model institution which will be a leader in the field of family care among the Christian denominations of contemporary America."