On Feb. 12, World Marriage Day, I had the opportunity to bless the marriages of some 41 couples celebrating Silver and Golden anniversaries. Since 1989, our diocese has been recognizing couples for this achievement and witness to the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
These couples provide witness to a fidelity, to a commitment that they made, a commitment to one another and as a sacrament, a commitment to Christ. They show all of us and continue to show the world and their families, the beauty of their commitment to Christ. They demonstrate clearly that love is obedience and that love is sacrifice.
The bishops of the United States place marriage and the family high on the list of priorities in the Church today. Because of a divorce rate that remains in the 50 percentile and a high incidence of cohabiting couples, we must continue to work to improve pre-marriage formation and increase the awareness of couples everywhere to the harm caused to society by divorce and cohabitation.
It is incumbent upon us to recognize and honor those couples that have worked together for their good, the good of their families and for the good of the Church. People must realize that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. It requires hard work and dedication, and most importantly a spirit of self-sacrifice for the building up of the couple rather than the individual.
May God continue to grant us in abundance couples committed to this most vital vocation…AND thank you to all those couples that continue to be faithful witnesses of the Gospel.