Family matters

Column: Celebrate your marriage, family life, all month long

Family matters

Deacon Tony Zimmerman is the lead archdiocesan consultant for the office of marriage and family life.deacon

by Deacon Tony Zimmerman

February 7 marks the seventh annual observation of National Marriage Week.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — in collaboration with other faith communities, business, media, education, and nonprofit groups — uses this week to promote marriage as a benefit to husbands and wives, the nation, as well as the best environment to raise children.

The week culminates with the celebration of World Marriage Day. This event, sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, now in its 34th consecutive year, received the apostolic blessing of St. John Paul II in 1993.

February 11 will mark the seventh annual joint celebration of World Marriage Day by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.  Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church in Lenexa by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and Bishop James V. Johnston Jr., who will be the homilist.

Mass will be followed by a reception and a presentation by international Catholic speaker, author and radio host Jon Leonetti, author of “The Mission of the Family.” Families and their children are welcome.

Please note: The Mass to celebrate World Marriage Day will be held on Thurs., Feb. 11, instead of Sunday as in previous years.

In addition to this event, please go to our website for other resources to help you use this week to enrich your marriage. There you will even find a link for a “virtual” retreat that husbands and wives can use at home to grow closer to each other and Christ.

I also invite you to attend a day of marriage and family enrichment on Feb. 27, to be held at Savior Pastoral Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Archbishop Keleher Conference Center.

Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak, Catholic radio hosts, authors and international speakers on marriage and family, will present two sessions: the first, on how to raise moral kids in an immoral world — yes, it is possible! They will offer practical tools to increase the chances that your children will own your faith and values.

In session two, “For Better . . . Forever!,” they will review four factors that can help any couple experience a truly joyful, passionate, grace-filled relationship known as GIFT. For more information and to register, go online to:

These enrichment opportunities, plus others yet to come in 2016, are made possible through your generous response to the Archbishop’s Call to Share. It is through your generosity that this office is able to provide marriage preparation to hundreds of engaged couples each year, as well as events to celebrate the great gift of marriage, such as our annual Mass for those couples celebrating 50 years of marriage.

Thank you and may God bless you!

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Deacon Tony Zimmerman

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