July 15, 2012; Source: The Wichita Eagle

Catholic Charities of Kansas has started a new program in hopes of building relationships and promoting the sanctity of marriage. The program, “Love Letters from Kansas,” encourages couples in and out of wedlock to share their love stories in order to strengthen relationship bonds. The project’s website advocates for marriage, stating it typically leads to a better quality of health and financial stability. “The divorce rate in Kansas is almost nine percent higher than the national rate, impacting thousands of Kansans on an annual basis,” said Cynthia Colbert, executive director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Wichita in a statement. “Good marriages can become even better. Broken marriages can be healed.”

Catholic Charities of Kansas received a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to run “free relationship education workshops and services.” These services will encompass employment assistance, job and educational training, parenting classes, one-on-one counseling and local workshops. Through its Marriage for Keeps program, Catholic Charities of Kansas has educated and counseled 1,100 couples since 2007.

The “Love Letters from Kansas” program aims to recruit 2,855 couples and 1,320 single adults over three years. The services are open to “married couples, engaged couples, dating couples and single adults.” NPQ wonders if the program would welcome any same-sex couples to their relationship education workshops. –Aine Creedon