World Marriage Day Mass set for Feb. 9 at Church of the Ascension

by Joe Bollig
joe.bollig@theleaven.org

KANSAS CITY, Kan.  — Even if you’re not a boomer, you may know the old Beatles song with the refrain, “All you need is love.”

Sorry, Liverpool lads, you’re wrong.

“It’s love that keeps your marriage alive, but it is grace through the sacrament of matrimony that keeps the love alive,” said Deacon Tony Zimmerman, lead consultant of the archdiocesan office of marriage and family life.

Next month, married couples will have an opportunity to strengthen their love in grace at the annual World Marriage Day Mass.

The event, jointly celebrated by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, will be held at 11:45 a.m. on Feb. 9 at the Church of the Ascension, 9510 W. 127th St., Overland Park.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will be the celebrant and Bishop James V. Johnston will be the homilist.

Registration is not required and there is no cost to attend. There will be a reception after the Mass. Families are welcome to attend.

The World Marriage Day Mass is part of a larger celebration of National Marriage Week, which runs from Feb. 7-14.

There’s no doubt about it, said Deacon Zimmerman. Marriage is taking a beating in our time. The culture weighs down on people like “a heavy, wet blanket,” smothering the desires of young people for marriage.

Young couples “have a fear that they will not be successful in marriage because they see in their families and community couples who struggle and fail” in marriage, he said.

What these young people need is a different narrative — stories of marriage success.  Interestingly, the theme for World Marriage Day is: “Stories from the Domestic Church.”

Deacon Zimmerman offered two.

Once, he met a young couple that had been married for only five years. The wife offered a profound observation.

“When you’re born into a family, they’ve got to love you,” she said. “But my husband didn’t have to love me. I’m not his son or daughter. He loves me for who I am.”

Also, Deacon Zimmerman became acquainted with another couple in which the husband was a firefighter, which required long shifts away from home. 

“He was never there completely as a husband and a father,” he said. “He loved that job so much, but he gave it up to be home for his wife and their kids. Later on, that great love they had for each other gave them the courage to adopt a severely handicapped child.”

This is what children need to see in their parents, said Deacon Zimmerman.

“[Their children] will learn joy and the love of God by your love and joy in each other,” he said. “If they don’t see that [in you], where else are they going to find it?”

For information about marriage enrichment, go to the archdiocesan website at: archkck.org. Go to the top of the homepage and click on the button “Ministries.” On the pull-down menu under “Marriage and Family Life,”  click on “Marriage Enrichment.”

For information on National Marriage Week, go online to: National MarriageWeekUSA.org.

World Marriage Day Mass

The annual World Marriage Day Mass celebrated by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, will be held at 11:45 a.m. on Feb. 9 at the Church of the Ascension, 9510 W. 127th St., Overland Park.

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