Celebrate Marriage

               This Sunday, we celebrate World Marriage Sunday. World Marriage Day honors husbands and wives as the foundation of the family, the basic unit of society. We recognize the beauty of their faithfulness, sacrifice and joy in daily married life and celebrate it!

               The theme for “WMD” has been permanently adopted as “Love One Another.” This phrase is the commandment given to us by Jesus in John 15:12. It speaks to us in a simple but challenging way of how our Father wishes us to live. Loving one another is a daily decision – simple but challenging.

               The idea of celebrating marriage began in Baton Rouge, LA, in 1981, when couples encouraged the mayor, the governor and the bishop to proclaim Saint Valentine’s Day as “We Believe in Marriage Day.” The event was so successful, the idea was presented to and was adopted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s National Leadership.  By 1982, 43 governors officially proclaimed the day and celebrations spread to U.S. military bases in several foreign countries. The name was changed to “World Marriage Day,” designated to be celebrated each year on the second Sunday in February. In 1993, Pope John Paul II imparted his Apostolic Blessings on World Marriage Day.

               The World Marriage Day symbol reflects readily the role and values we proclaim. Husband and wife are symbolically seen as two candle-like figures, reminding us that married love calls us to help enlighten the world. The couple is joined by a heart focusing on love as the power that fosters unity within the couple and generates the capacity to be life-giving and inspire others to fruitfulness and unity.

               Please continue to pray for all married couples, those preparing for marriage, and those who are experiencing challenges in their marriage. Jesus is always the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In him who is all love do we find the path of life and lasting joy in living out our vocation. God’s blessings to all married couples. Appreciate the difference you make in your homes, the Church, and in the world!  May we all flourish by having our lives deeply rooted in Jesus.

Prayer for World Marriage Day

God our Father, we give you thanks
for the gift of marriage: the bond of life and love,
and the font of the family.
The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children,
fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service,
and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church.

The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the
request of the Blessed Mother. May your Son,
through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us
a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
as we join with all people of good will
to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.

May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society
to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife,
and guide our leaders to sustain and protect
the singular place of mothers and fathers
in the lives of their children.

Father, we ask that our prayers
be joined to those of the Virgin Mary,
that your Word may transform our service
so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.
We ask all these things through Christ our Lord,
Amen.

World Day of the Sick 

               Tomorrow, February 11, marks the twenty-seventh World Day of the Sick, established by Pope Saint John Paul II.  He stated, “I turn to all of you who are burdened by illness and are united in various ways to the flesh of the suffering Christ, as well as to you, professionals and volunteers in the field of health care.” 

               May we always keep in mind that with God, nothing is ever wasted, not even our sufferings.  Suffering unites those of us in need with Christ, and in our prayers for the sick, we too are more closely united to the Lord.   Please regularly remember to pray for family members, friends, volunteers and professionals who care for the sick and those who are in need of our care.  Recognize that the good works we accomplish in the name of Jesus are an extension of his healing presence in our midst.  Blessings …

Welcome David! 

               The parishes of Saint Alexis and Saint Alphonsus have recently added David Piccirilli to the staff as Director of Youth Ministry.

               Born and raised in Bel Air, MD, with his two younger brothers, David has been involved in ministry for several years. It was in middle school in 2008 that he had his first encounter with Christ and has pursued a relationship with Him ever since.  After serving and working for his church in different areas, David was called to serve a year with the missionary group “NET Ministries” at a parish in Plano, TX. There he and his team helped launch a youth ministry program for a parish with over 10,000 registered families.

               David returned home to serve as his parish’s assistant youth minister before graduating from Franciscan University. David also has a background in digital communications and is passionate about music, coffee, worship, community, art, and skateboarding.  I am grateful for David’s love of Jesus and his enthusiasm in bearing witness to the Lord.  We are fortunate to have David on the staff.  May he know the Lord’s blessings in his service.