Inspired by Pope Francis’ audience for couples on Valentine’s Day 2014, Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, Virginia, will lead a week-long, online retreat for married couples from February 8 – February 14.
The retreat begins on World Marriage Sunday and ends with a live reflection and Mass at St. Thomas More Cathedral in Arlington on Valentine’s Day, though its online format means that couples from beyond the diocese can easily participate even if they won’t attend the final Mass.
The retreat highlights both the role of new media in faith formation and the need to develop innovative means of evangelizing the faithful in a fast-paced, over-scheduled culture. The retreat intentionally falls in the lead-up to the September World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and the October Synod on the Family.
“I recognize that many married couples have competing demands on their time – professional responsibilities, children’s busy schedules, and family obligations. I want to give them an opportunity to pause and invite the peace and quiet of Christ into their hearts and homes,” Bishop Loverde said. “Today’s technology provides me with the opportunity to do just that.”
Over the course of six days, couples will be able to stream 15-minute video reflections from Bishop Loverde and engage in guided prayer and reflection.
Therese Bermpohl, director of the diocese’s Office of Family Life, commented, “This is a remarkable opportunity for couples both within and beyond the boundaries of our diocese to benefit from the great wisdom that Bishop Loverde has acquired over his many years as priest and Bishop. It is the best of all worlds as couples are able to combine an at-home retreat with a live reflection and Mass on February 14th. What a blessed way to spend Valentine’s Day!”
Bishop Loverde’s video invitation can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nayEDSIEtV8
To register for the retreat or view the videos, visit www.arlingtondiocese.org/couplesretreat.