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Diocese News 2.14.2023

Valentine’s Day marks the observance of National Marriage Week and World Marriage Day

Building a culture of life and love in this country begins by supporting and promoting the Sacrament of Marriage and the family.

The Catholic Bishops of the United States promote every year the observance of both National Marriage Week (Feb. 7-14) and World Marriage Day which always falls on the second Sunday of February, this year 2023, on Sunday, February 12.

The bishops want us to focus on building a culture of life and love in this country. This begins with supporting and promoting the Sacrament of Marriage and the family as the Domestic Church.

This year's theme, " flesh, given and received" highlights the beauty and exclusivity of the one-flesh union of husband and wife that is willed by God.

This divine truth of " flesh, given and received" can be found throughout scripture. Specifically, Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; 1 Corinthians 6:16 and Ephesians 5:31.

It indicates the personal and total self-giving of each spouse to one another, this is the basis of true love. These concepts point to the interior life of the Trinity where each divine person gives to the other members of the Trinity.  It also points to Christ who gave himself totally as he died on the cross for our redemption and who gives Himself to us as nurturing food under the appearance of bread and wine—as real flesh and blood in the Eucharist, our sacrament of charity.

In June of 2021 the USCCB approved, at their Plenary Assembly the document “Called to the Joy of Love: National Pastoral Framework for Marriage and Family Life Ministry”. It was developed by the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

According to this document it aims to “…assist dioceses, eparchies, parishes, and all those who serve the family, in responding to the call to proclaim the Gospel of the family, the joy of love, throughout the United States.”

This resource, rich in ideas that can guide parishes in their observance of National Marriage Week and World Marriage Day, has a unique framework that consists of four pillars for marriage and family ministry:

  1. Prayer and Relationship with Christ: To foster among the Catholic faithful, in their marriages and families, a living relationship with Jesus Christ by instilling in them a deep appreciation for prayer and the sacramental life. 
  2. Formation: To encourage human, spiritual, intellectual, and missionary formation that provides a healthy foundation for marriages and families. 
  3. Accompaniment: To develop pastoral strategies that identify and respond to the realities of married couples, families, and those discerning marriage. 
  4. Advocacy: To advance the truths of the human person, marriage, and the family, through advocacy in the public square.

May this yearly observance enrich our parishes in the Diocese of Dallas.