Love and marriage celebrated at St. Therese North

Married couples of all stages in life were in attendance for the World Marriage Day Mass celebrated February 10 at St. Therese North. (Megan Marley/Key photo)

By Megan Marley

On the Sunday before Valentine’s Day, what better way to celebrate the love of spouses than with the ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’?

Over 150 persons were in attendance February 10 at St. Therese (North) parish for a special World Marriage Day Mass, sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter. Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr. of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph presided, with Archbishop Joseph A. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas and two other priests concelebrating.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter is an organization that offers weekend retreats and resources to help married couples rediscover and strengthen their marriages, families and relationship within the Church.

Bishop Johnston greeted those in attendance for the Mass.

“At this Mass we give thanks to God for the gift of your marriage, for the many blessings that flow from that into the family, but also into the larger family of the Church and the world,” he said.

Archbishop Naumann’s homily echoed thanksgiving to God for the vocation of marriage.

“Many of us receive a call within that primary call from our baptism and confirmation, a special way to live out our Christian discipleship. Some of us may be called to the priesthood, others to the consecrated life, but also one of those calls within the call is Christian marriage—it is indeed a call to heroic love,” Naumann said.

He noted the difficulty of marriage in today’s culture, and how in 2018 it was reported that fewer than half of adult Americans are married today.

“Part of that is couples are delaying and putting off marriage for a later time, but many are forsaking the vocation altogether,” he said. Naumann also cited the 2018 documentary ‘The Dating Project” on how modern hookup culture lacks intermediate steps towards getting to know one another (before ‘knowing each other’ in the biblical sense) and building a real, lasting relationship. It takes courage to date, let alone risk making a lifetime commitment to another.

The Archbishop compared that risk in relationships to the leap of faith in the Sunday Gospel reading, where Peter takes the risk to put out into the deep sea at Jesus’ request and caught a multitude of fish.

“This is a symbolic image of the call of every disciple,” he said.

“In Christian marriage, you essentially say in your vows that their welfare, their happiness in this world, and their eternal happiness is more important than your wants and desires,” he said.

“Trying to live that on a daily basis is the real challenge to Christian married life. But it in many ways, it’s that proposal to give your love in an exclusive way, in a permanent way, that is part of the way Jesus calls.”

“We need examples of that faithful love,” he continued.

“Thank you today for your own living out of this beautiful vocation.”

Following the homily, couples were invited to renew their marriage promises to one another. Couples stood wrapped in each other’s arms as they recited their vows and a few kisses were exchanged after receiving a blessing from Bishop Johnston.

“May the Lord keep you safe all the days of your life. May He be your comfort in adversity and your support in prosperity. May he fill your homes with His blessings,” the bishop said.

A reception and brief presentation by Brad and Libby DuPont, consultants of the Archdiocese’s Marriage and Family Life office, followed Mass.

For more information on Worldwide Marriage Encounter, visit wwme.org or the local chapter’s site wwme4youandme.org.

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Monday
May 20, 2019
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph