January 31, 2017
WASHINGTON—National Marriage Week USA and World Marriage Day
are opportunities "to celebrate the gift and blessing of marriage," said the
chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
"Promoting and strengthening marriage remains a pastoral
priority of our Conference," wrote Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia,
in a letter to his brother bishops. "Marriage, both as a natural institution
and as a Christian sacrament, is an irreplaceable good for society and all
National Marriage Week USA is celebrated each year February
7-14, and World Marriage Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of February,
this year February 12.
The USCCB provides 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
. Archbishop Chaput encouraged
participation in the "Call to Prayer for
Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty
invitation to prayer and sacrifice for the protection of life, marriage, and
religious liberty in the country. His letter and additional
resources, including a homily resource and bulletin insert, are available online:
A daily virtual marriage retreat for National Marriage Week
is also available through Facebook: www.facebook.com/foryourmarriage.
This year's retreat draws from both Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (2015) and the USCCB
pastoral letter Marriage: Love and Life
in the Divine Plan (2009).
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
Archbishop Charles Chaput, National Marriage Week USA, World Marriage Sunday,
marriage, family, USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, For Your
Marriage, Por Tu Matrimonio, Marriage Unique for a Reason, Call to Prayer
# # #