Bishops Urged to Be "Marriage Builders"

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 17, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops’ conference is encouraging dioceses to become «marriage building» communities, and to celebrate World Marriage Day and National Marriage Week next month. 

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Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, sent a Jan. 13 letter to the bishops of the nation. The note encouraged the prelates to promote the two pro-marriage initiatives among the clergy and lay leaders of their dioceses, «so that together we might strive to become ‘marriage building’ communities of faith and action.” 

Both the events are near the celebration of Valentine’s Day. World Marriage Day, promoted by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter, will be held Sunday, Feb. 13. Its theme this year is «Love One Another.» 

The world day was given an apostolic blessing in 1993 by Pope John Paul II. 

«It has continued to grow and spread among many countries and faith expressions ever since,» Bishop Rhoades noted. 

National Marriage Week USA, meanwhile, will be observed Feb. 7-14 with the theme “Let’s Strengthen Marriage.” 

«This project — now in its second year — is a collaborative effort to influence the culture by faith communities, business, media, education, and non-profit groups,” Bishop Rhoades explained. 

The week aims to “focus national attention on the need to strengthen marriage,” launch “new efforts for marriage education and crisis intervention,” and promote “a message about the benefits of marriage.” 

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On the Net: 

World Marriage Day resources: wmd.wwme.org

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