The following comes from an August 7 story in Catholic San Francisco.
For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, Ed Hopfner is all in as director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life Ministries of the archdiocese of San Francisco. Hopfner comes to the archdiocese after serving for five years in a similar marriage and family life role for the diocese of Oakland.
Marriage and family life work first piqued Hopfner’s interest while acquiring a graduate degree in theology from the Dominican School of Theology and Philosophy in Berkeley. His way in was Blessed John Paul II’s theology of the body, a work he called “a catechesis delivered by Pope John Paul II on the nature of the human person, and our relationship to God, to other persons particularly in marriage, and to ourselves.” The teaching’s being accessible to “the modern person” impressed Hopfner greatly saying it “quite naturally led me into the areas of marriage and family.”
He also holds a graduate degree in chemistry and taught for “many years” at the high school and college level in Seattle. “The teaching experience is very important, as a big part of this job is teaching about marriage and preparing leaders to do the same,” Hopfner said.
A surprise to some may be that the new marriage and family life director is not married. “At least not at this point,” Hopfner said parenthetically in his email interview with Catholic San Francisco, admitting that being minus a bride does make the job more challenging. “I don’t have the immediate experience of marriage to draw on, to add ‘authenticity’ to what I have to say,” he said. His experience, that marriage is based on universal principles and the church’s 2,000 years experience helps ease the crunch.
“Even though each particular marriage is unique, there are ways to make marriage work well that apply to everyone,” Hopfner said. “I’ve had the great fortune to speak in depth to many happily married couples – some married over 50 years – as well as to study what makes marriages successful, so I’m convinced that I am able to present couples with information that is well validated by experience….”
To read original story, click here.
Maybe he can do something about the SF Catholic newspaper allowing pro-“gay” marriage propaganda in the Archbishop’s own newspaper. The editor doesn’t seem to worry about promoting this evil.
It would seem to me the Archbishop has still a lot of cleaning up to do. Hopefully, he goes into that department next.
A. Why would happily married couples seek marriage counseling, especially after fifty years? B. This is absurd … some single dude with 1. teaching experience, 2. degree in chemistry, 3. studied Theology of the Body, 4. degree from Dominicans of SF Bay area in something. B. No marriage experience, C. no mention of his own parents’ marriage, D. no hobbies, E. no day job. This is funnier than watching an old rerun of an Abbot and Costello movie on youtube.
How can you judge someone, when you don’t know their heart? Shame on you.
Well, SandraD, my post is hardly a judgment. Do you believe everything the bishops tell you, while the society they are supposed to be transforming is wallowing in abortion, sodomy and renigging on the production of babies?
Whose talking about a Bishop? You spoke judgement against Mr. Hopfner without even knowing who he is. I know him and how hard he has worked for marriage, children and families within the Church.
You seem to think that Judgement involves an analysis of someone’s qualifications to hold a position. That is not the case.
The man’s resume has holes.
It doesn’t say that Ed counsels couples who have been married for 50+ years. He says he has spoken with many such couples and has heard a great deal from them about what makes marriage work. Why would such a couple not be interested in sharing their wisdom with a person in Ed’s position?
And no day job? This IS his day job.
This is why many, many couples are not getting married in the Church – Too much red tape – Too complex, outdated and the whole package is too expensive –
The Church teachings will never outdated to those who seek the Truth.
You do not know what you speak off. There is no red tape for Marriege. If you are poor and cannot pay for Classes, the Church will joyfully foot your bill.
Plus if you are already living in a pretend marriege, the Church will hapilly celebrate the sacrement for you at no charge.
Bwangi is quite correct.
What some people call “red tape” is really the Church’s attempt to make sure engaged couples have the best chance possible for a happy, life-long, successful marriage — especially in this day and age when divorce is rampant.
Too, as Bwangi points out, poverty is NEVER an impediment to marriage. Some people spend a fortune, and others are poor — for them, the parishes do everything for free, even if the parish itself is very poor.
Bwangi, I do know what I speak of – I was married 51 years ago in the Church – Very simple, one personal meeting with the priest, one wedding rehearsal and then the Ceremony – There was none of this 6/12 months instruction class and the expense & time wasted that goes with it – and guess what, the divorce rate of my generation is very, very small compared to the divorce rate today – Do some research –
I don’t mean this as a personal affront to Mr. Hopfner at all, but it does strike me that a married person probably doesn’t need yet another celibate man to tell him or her how to be married. It’s a bit of a tin ear on the part of the Archdiocese.
So with your reasoning, if I don’t have children, I wouldn’t be able to teach children about God?
Ummm we aren’t talking about teaching someone about God SandraD. And we all have a lot of experience about God and about having been a child.
I’m just saying that I think the 50+ year married couple is probably a lot more qualified to teach about marriage than yet ANOTHER celibate man. I’m sure this guy is wonderful, kind, prayerful, and fully competetent to teach the rules and regulations of the Church. But if you’ve never played the game, it’s hard to teach someone else how to play it by teaching them just the rules of the game. That’s all I’m saying. He can teach them what a foul ball IS, but can he teach them how to swing the bat when he’s never swung one himself?
It doesn’t say that Ed is celibate. He is simply not married right now. He specifically says that he is not married “at this point,” which means he’s open to it. In any case, I would think that someone who has held a position like this for a while, working with many married couples on a daily basis, would have very good insights into marriage even if he’s not married himself. After all, a lot of priests know a great deal about marriage and have a lot of wisdom to share about it precisely because they counsel so many married couples. They are not married, but they have a kind of exposure to the realities of married life on a much wider scale.
From the replies by people who know Hopfner, it appears his function is to promote the limiting of the number of babies conceived. The results of this ideology should be obvious by now: As the average number of babies per couple is 1.8, so the average number of people in a marriage is 1.8 also. Now, obviously my figures are metaphorical, so you stat-heads can relax and chill … consult someone who is familiar with language in general to find out what I’m driving at.
The story does not tell us his job description only his job title.
Is he going to teach Natural Family Planning Classes? If so, to whom?
Is he going to teach that all sexual activity outside of marriage is a Mortal Sin?
Is he going to teach what Jesus stated about Marriage from the Bible, and include the teachings of the Church from the CCC? (If everyone was told to read the Bible and the CCC at home, and Christ’s teachings were read from the pulpit and taught in homilies this part would not be necessary. But most Bishops and Priests do not acitively and publically encourage this.)
Per the CCC married people are also called to “Chastity”. There are 30 separate paragraphs in the CCC related to “chastity”.
Ed Hopfner has organized NFP education, chastity programs, etc in the Oakland Diocese for over 5 years. He brought me and many others forward to become NFP teachers. He will promote, educate and teach from the CCC. Have faith.
Welcome Ed Hopfner! For the past 5 years, I’ve had to jump over the pond to seek ministry help for pro life, NFP and Chastity programs that would just hit a brick wall on this side of the pond. I believe Ed will activate programs that will help our youth and young adults understand why purity of our souls and body are so important. He especially will be able to work with our pastors and priests by giving them the tools to embrace the urgency of the pro family, chastity, and sacredness of life cause. I pledge my prayers, goodwill and service to help Ed with this huge undertaking in the San Francisco Archdiocese.
clarification: I went over to Oakland to receive support and encouragement for NFP, Chastity and pro life ministeries because of Ed’s wonderful presence. And as you can tell from my posts, I and many others who know Ed are estatic to have him here with us in San Francisco. I know that my friends in Oakland are bummed that they lost him–but because of his leadership and direction there, they have solid programs in place in order to journey on! Now he can get us on track. Thank you Jesus.
Thank you SandraD, I do not live in that area nor will I ever run into him but I do appreciate your encouragement of him and so I will keep him in my prayers for him to do God’s will. I was tempted to post my comments of what I thought but I decided to resist that temptation. I instead will pray for him and wish him well, because I’m sure it won’t be an easy ministry to take on, we only pray for great success and may our Lord lead him always.
Congrats to Ed. Medical doctors who successfully treat and educate patients in well being don’t have to have cancer themselves to be effective. So Ed is not married right now. Ed came from a marriage, observes marriage, studies it, and has a heart for God’s plan for marriage and families. He is a blessing to the Archdiocese.
Those who find fault in Ed because he is not married, sound just like those who find fault with good priests who try to teach chastity to all.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Marriage Manual Basics
May I most strongly and sincerely recommend to Anyone in Any Way concerned with Normal Men & Marriage – to check out the New Book by Helen Smith PHD =
“MEN ON STRIKE – Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood and the American Dream – and Why It Matters”
Smith provides such a depth of Insight in to the Current State of Maleness in Amerika – as to show that she Actually Listened to some Men – Other than the ‘usual suspects’ in the stable of the lamesteam media.
She also admits that: “…as a Woman, I am not going to get as much grief as a Man for saying the same thing.”
She Is Correct, as I have found to my own considerable bemusement over the decades. Cest La Vie.
To Understand and Promote Normal Marriage (between a Woman XX & Man XY – even if currently single) Requires understanding Both Genders, and how they fit in a Complimentary Manner…
And how Radical Gender Feminism (she avoids the word Misandry) has warped the relationship and led Many Men to ‘Conscientious Objector’ status in the Marriage Wars…
Not because they are little boys refusing to grow up, but because they are Grown Men who refused to be scolded by Male Bashing Feminists in to conforming to a paradigm that is intrinsically and objectively hateful to them and Masculinity itself.
I have never read as important a book in relation to Gender and Marriage as “Men On Strike” – and I submit that to date neither have you…
But You Should
Just thinking of wedding two love birds, to then have them call it quits after 5 years would break my heart as a priest. I don’t think I could do marriage, as a priest, since they can quit and remarry(adultery).
Welcome Ed! I couldn’t think of a better Catholic for this role!
Ed will bear much fruit and bring blessings upon couples just wait and see.
To say that I am delighted with this appointment is an understatement.
It’s such a blessing for our Archdiocese to have Ed. Welcome! You have our prayers and support.
Ed was chosen by Archbishop Cordleone as one of the first speakers at this year’s PRIEST EDUCATION WEEK for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and every priest I’ve spoken with has told me he was terrific!
The other speakers, too, all on the subject of family, life, marriage and so forth.
I’m glad the Archbishop persuaded the fellow to jump the bay and come to our diocese!
They’re all terrific Michael, and abortion continues, gay power escalates, social perversion accelerates, and the pews are filled with happy faces.
Umm…Skai…what makes you think this man would ever promote abortion, homosexuality, or social perversion?
He’s just the opposite.
I’m grateful to Archbishop Cordileone for bringing him to the Archdiocese of San Francisco — for far too long, we haven’t even HAD an office of marriage and family life!
All this stuff would easily be solved if the Church actually stopped wasting time and catechized the laity. All problems in our Families come from the fact that Holiness in the home has been lost.
I like the concept of someone who isn’t married doing marriage ministries. I think it offers an objective mindset. Like in engineering or programming, sometimes it helps to have a fresh set of eyes on an issue.
I think about psychologists treating patients — they don’t need to have experienced the exact psychological issues as the patient in order to listen to them and offer objective advice.
Besides, Ed isn’t a marriage counselor if I understand the role. He manages and arranges programs in the archdiocese to teach authentic Catholic teachings on marriage and family. Hopefully his programs will avert the need for counseling for many couples.
Welcome to SF Ed!
First, I would agree with Brent who stated that the head of a Family Life Ministry has the job of managing & arranging programs that deal with family issues–not counseling individuals. Perhaps the Archdiocese provides such skilled individuals in that regard. To the extent of my knowledge & experience, there are many family life issues that could be addressed, not the least of which is divorce recovery. Yes, we need to realize that even long-term marriages need help & some do end in divorce. Having served in divorce ministry for many years in the Midwest, I can certainly attest to that fact. Divorce results in grief & having solid programs in place can help an individual recover from this trauma. I hope Hopfner covers the entire spectrum of issues which pertain to families (including single Catholics as well) in bringing enrichment to the Archdiocese by following the teachings of the Church. I also agree that he should not be judged even before he begins his job.
A married woman or man would be more in tune with family matters in this position of Director.