Bishop Loverde to lead online retreat for married couples

A marriage is not built on a bottle of fine wine or a velvet box cradling expensive jewelry. As a reminder that the meaning of marriage surpasses even the most artfully arranged bouquet, the diocesan Office for Family Life will host an online retreat for today's busy and digitally inclined couples.

Led by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde in honor of National Marriage Week (Feb. 8-14), the Ignatian-style retreat will begin Sunday, Feb. 8-World Marriage Day. Each day, couples may watch a Web video of the bishop reflecting upon selected scripture. Each video will conclude with a matter for couples to consider, with the aim to bring their marriage closer to Jesus.

"The bishop has so many years of experience ministering to married couples," said Therese Bermpohl, Office for Family Life director. "I believe that this online retreat will offer a unique opportunity for couples to benefit from his wisdom."

The retreat will end on Valentine's Day. That day, the bishop will offer a 9 a.m. live reflection with coffee and doughnuts in Burke Hall at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington. At 10 a.m., the bishop will celebrate Mass, in the cathedral.

"After hearing that Pope Francis had hosted a special audience for engaged couples this past year, I thought it would be powerful to have the bishop of Arlington lead a seven-day online retreat for married couples during National Marriage Week 2015," said Bermpohl. "This is the best of both worlds: an online retreat designed for married couples who want to set aside just five to 10 minutes a day in the privacy of their home and an 'in-person' reflection and Mass on St. Valentine's Day with their bishop."

The final reflection and Mass will be posted online at noon Feb. 14 for couples unable to attend. Perfect viewing before that candlelit dinner.

Find out more

Couples may sign up for the retreat at

Stoddard can be reached at

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015