I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about marriage recently. Of course I always spend a lot of time thinking about marriage. Last month our office hosted the Golden Wedding Anniversary Mass and reception at St. John Brebeuf parish for 400 couples married 50 years.
When I told the Jubilarians they represented 40,000 years of marriage (50 years for the wife, 50 years for the husband times 400 couples), they laughed. That’s really an amazing number isn’t it? In his homily, Cardinal George shared the important role of faith that helped couples get through the inevitable struggles that come with being married 50 years. I watched as many in the church nodded their agreement as the Cardinal spoke.
As I spoke with many of the Jubilarians they reminded me that marriage doesn’t happen by chance, it’s a choice made every day. And one of the best ways to nurture your marriage, along with an active faith life, is to have fun together.
Marilyn and I are a better couple when we have fun together, something that’s easy to forget when we are all so busy. Family Ministries is hosting a Celebration of Marriage event at the end of next month’s Festival of Faith on Saturday night, October 17 and I’d like to invite any married couples to join us.
We’ll start out the evening in the way that’s most helpful to marriage: with Mass at 5 PM. Then we’ll hear an inspirational talk in English by the former ambassador to the Vatican and Spanish-speaking couples will be addressed by Bishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller. Then we’ll have dinner (and if I’m a good husband I’ll give Marilyn my dessert, especially if it’s chocolate!) while listening to a Mariachi band. After we eat we’ll laugh together at a presentation by “Sister” of Til Death Do Us Part, a new show by the writer of Late Night Catechism. We’ll see who wins the raffles (including a complete second honeymoon package with airfare and a week at an all-inclusive Palace resort as well as other great prizes). Then it’s dancing until 11 PM. All at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, for $70.00 a couple, including parking. This is a great opportunity to honor the sacrament of marriage and have a fun night out with other married couples.
Even though the Family Ministries Office is running the event, I plan to have fun with Marilyn and the others who value marriage who will be attending. One of the blessings I have had being Director of Family Ministries these years is being able to attend a variety of events supporting marriage and I look forward to this being one of the best. What more could I ask for, prayer, inspiration, entertainment, food, music, dancing and lots of friends. I hope you’ll be part of it, too!