Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), hailed National Marriage Week USA (February 7-14) and World Marriage Day (Sunday, February 8) as opportunities “to celebrate the gift and blessing of marriage and to affirm and support engaged and married couples.”
In a letter sent to U.S. bishops, Bishop Malone identified numerous resources that can be of assistance to bishops, priests and lay leaders in promoting, strengthening and defending the gift of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman, including the websites For Your Marriage, Por Tu Matrimonio, and Marriage: Unique for a Reason. He also encouraged participation in the Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, and shared a preaching resource for World Marriage Day. A bulletin insert is also available for World Marriage Day or subsequent Sundays, with a focus on the social benefits of marriage.
Bishop Malone also expressed eager anticipation for the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, September 22-27. A preparatory catechesis and other information are available at www.worldmeeting2015.org.
USCCB is providing a daily virtual marriage retreat for National Marriage Week, available through Facebook: www.facebook.com/foryourmarriage. The theme of this year’s retreat is Pope Francis’ words of wisdom to married couples.
The celebration of National Marriage Week in the U.S. began in 2002, originating from Marriage Week International. World Marriage Day, held the second Sunday of February each year, was started in 1983 by Worldwide Marriage Encounter.
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On the Web:
For preaching resources and a bulletin insert, along with Bishop Malone’s letter, go to: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/national-marriage-week-2015.cfm.