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Bishop Burbidge’s statement on National Marriage Week

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This year from Feb. 7 through Feb. 14, we celebrate National Marriage Week. Each year, the Church pauses for a week to support and encourage holy marriages in the United States and throughout the world. Your marriage is a gift to our culture, a sign of God’s unwavering love for his people and a light for the next generation.

I extend my sincerest gratitude to so many married couples in the diocese of Arlington who choose daily to live out God’s plan for married love through the total gift of self and an openness to life.  Your witness is a sign of joyful hope for our diocese, and in a particular way for young adults who long to enter into a marriage — as Jesus taught — that is fruitful, faithful and lasting.  

There are many challenges in today’s world, and some have lost hope that lifelong marriage is even a realistic expectation. We need to do everything within our strength to remind others of the fundamental beauty and importance of marriage. Couples loving and serving each other in total, permanent devotion is a powerful witness and form of evangelization that shows others that lifelong marriage is possible, fulfilling and the surest path to heaven for anyone called to this vocation.

During this National Marriage Week, allow me to encourage married and engaged couples to place yourselves under the heavenly protection of Mary and Joseph who experienced firsthand the anxieties and joys of family life. I respectfully ask you to consider praying at least one rosary together during this week for peace and healing in families. By sitting and praying a rosary together in spiritual unity, you will connect your joys and sorrows, your marital gifts and challenges, to her most immaculate heart. 

May Our Lord continue to bless those called to, and living, the Sacrament of Matrimony, and may the love you share grow stronger with the passing of each new day.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021