From the USCCB:
letter sent to all U.S. bishops on January 17, Bishop Richard J. Malone
of Buffalo, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family
Life and Youth, hailed National Marriage Week USA (February 7-14) and
World Marriage Day (Sunday, February 9) as opportunities “to celebrate
the gift and blessing of marriage and to affirm and support engaged
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.
his letter, 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, available here: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/upload/Preaching-Resource-World-Marriage-Day-2-9-14.pdf.
The USCCB is providing a daily virtual marriage retreat for National Marriage Week, available through the For Your Marriage Facebook page: www.facebook.com/foryourmarriage.
Bishop Malone’s letter is available at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/upload/Malone-to-Bishops-National-Marriage-Week-1-17-14.pdf.
Bishop Malone's letter states, in part:
you know, one of the pastoral priorities of our Conference is to
promote and strengthen marriage both as a natural institution willed by
the Lord and as a Christian sacrament between a baptized man and
baptized woman. Marriage and the family face many challenges in our
contemporary society. The declining numbers of marriages in the Church
is a concern to our Committee, as are the effects that pornography use
has on marriages and families. In the political and legal realm, it is
certainly of grave concern to see continuing attempts to redefine
marriage into something other than the lifelong union of one man and
one woman. We are well aware of the disappointing June 2013 Supreme
Court decision that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.
yet we remember that in the midst of ongoing challenges, there are
always opportunities to proclaim the Gospel more clearly. In particular,
we eagerly anticipate the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on pastoral
challenges to the family in the context of evangelization, to be held in
Rome October 2014. We are also grateful for the many good efforts that
continue in dioceses and parishes to promote, strengthen and defend
marriage, and to accompany marriages and families in their joys and