With years of “marriage experience”, Church leadership and education, and a true passion for supporting married couples, the executive team of MarriageBuilding/ConstruyendoMatrimonios USA are eager to assist you in your Marriage Building events, ideas and/or planning! We can provide on-site consulting, programming and training, as well as resources to local diocese in both English and/or Spanish.
After 5 years of full-time parish and 30 years of diocesan ministry, Lorrie & Don Gramer founded MarriageBuilding/ConstruyendoMatrimonios USA in early 2014 to intensify the Marriage Building efforts in the Catholic Church. Along with achieving great results while implementing the US Bishops Pastoral Initiative for Marriage in the Diocese of Rockford, they worked in leadership for the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM) chairing several national conferences as well as the Pastoral Implementation Committee (PIC) for the Marriage Initiative. Their efforts have been unprecedented in establishing MarriageBuilding Construction Teams with over 450 couples ministering in most of the 107 parishes of the Rockford Diocese, in both English and Spanish. They were instrumental in developing a pastoral strategy for the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage using 8 Building Blocks that help to better define the areas that foster a Marriage Building Parish. Over their many years of ministry, the Gramers have helped to prepare over 25,000 couples for marriage. They have created various efforts for MarriageBuilding including a MarriageBuilding Construction Team Leaders Guide, Pathways to the Sacraments, Mary’s Mantle and MARRIAGECARE.
Lorrie graduated from Western Illinois University and is near completion of a MA in Leadership in Family Ministry from Dominican University, River Forest, IL. Don graduated from the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN in Religious Studies and Youth Ministry and has an MS in Adult Christian Community Development with emphasis in Family Ministry from Regis University, Denver, CO. They have served as Diocesan Family Life Directors for the past 30 years for the Diocese of Rockford and includes 22 years as Directors of Bishop Lane Retreat Center and 7 years as Directors of the Office of Family, Youth and Young Adults. Prior to that they worked in Parishes in Eveleth, MN and Fargo, ND as Youth Ministers and Parish Administration. They currently are consultants to Ascension Press for the development and promotion of their excellent programs for marriage and family. Lorrie was a senior Consultant for Healthy Relationships California where she was instrumental in forming MarriageBuilding California, as an outreach to the 12 Diocese of CA to assist them in accessing Federal Funds for Marriage Education. She is trained in 5 different skills programs. Lorrie is the immediate past President for NACFLM and Don was on the Board. Don is national chair of a Task Group on Pornography for Family Life Ministers. Prior to Church Ministry, he spent 8 years as a Warrant Officer in the Army as a Helicopter Pilot and Computer specialist. The Gramers have been married 41 years, have 7 adult children and 15 grandchildren.
Lucia and Ricardo recently left their jobs to serve as full time missionaries to further the cause of marriage and family in the Divine Plan. They have joined MarriageBuilding/ConstruyendoMatrimonios USA as the Directors of Hispanic Outreach providing retreats, workshops, concerts and conferences in the area of marriage and family life, evangelization and leadership formation focused on Hispanics in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Lucia and Ricardo are international conference speakers and singers, authors and co-founders of Renovacion Familiar Ministries. Lucia served as Director of Marriage and Family Life Ministry at the Archdiocese of Miami from 2011 until 2013. The Luzondos continue as the Content Development Editor and Consultant for the www.portumatrimonio.org, the initiative on marriage in Spanish of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops They host a radio program for couples Parejas a Prueba de Fuego, that airs live on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays on El Sembrador Nueva Evangelización Radio in Los Angeles to several markets in the United States and worldwide via internet. Lucia and Ricardo are consultants and writers for Oregon Catholic Press’s Ligurgia y Canción, a quarterly magazine that supplements the Flor y Canto liturgical musical resource for parishes, writing articles on marriage and family and the Bible. They are also consultants to Ascension Press and currently adapting their new marriage preparation life skills course into Spanish, along with her husband, Ricardo.
Lucia recently completed the coursework for her Masters in Practical Theology and Ministry from Barry University. She is a retired Family Law and Immigration Attorney. Ricardo Luzondo, M.D. is a pediatric neurologist. Ricardo is undertaking coursework for his Master in Practical Theology and Ministry from Barry University. Prior to their marriage Ricardo was the head of the Charismatic Renewal for the country of Venezuela. They have been married 15 years and have one son, Sebastian.
Rose Sweet joined the MarriageBuilding Evangelization (MET) to lead the REBUILD Conferences for Divorced Catholics, and be speak at other events put on by MBUSA.
- for couples and familes have the resources to thrive and be sanctified
- to form and equip marriage and family champions
- to support local diocese with solutions, assistance and training to be marriage building parishes.
MarriageBuilding USA is Episcopal supported.
Please contact us today for more information.