St Valentine’s Day calls us to honour marriage as life-long romantic love, according to the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council.
‘We need to use the innate joyfulness of the feast of St Valentine to promote and affirm marriage and life-long romantic love,’ Bishop Eugene Hurley, Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life, said.
The Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council is an advisory body of the Australian Catholic Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life.
‘In a culture that is increasingly intolerant of Christian values and beliefs, feasts that have captured the imagination of the secular community, like St Valentine’s Day, represent a unique opportunity for the Church,’ Bishop Hurley said.
‘St Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to joyfully support deeply held life-giving values that are shared by many in the wider community. This reinforces the need to protect such values for the benefit of the whole community.’
The Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council launched a parish kit to celebrate St Valentine’s Day 2015. The resource aims to encourage families, parishes and schools to build on the popularity of St Valentine’s Day, to affirm the value of romantic married love.
The parish kit includes a one-page handout, which could be distributed to parents as part of the school newsletter.
It focuses on a particular aspect of married love; 'couple fun'.
Bishop Hurley said that during this period of reflection between the Extraordinary Synod and Ordinary Synod on the Family, ‘I invite you to use the St Valentine’s Day resource to focus parish or school attention on the beauty and importance of marriage’.
An increasing number of Dioceses are now celebrating an official Marriage Sunday. The Diocese of Armidale recently instituted Marriage Sunday as the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne. In some dioceses, Marriage Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday closest to St Valentine's Day.
Ron & Mavis Pirola, Chair couple of the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council, said, ‘The most important part of a marriage-friendly community is cultivating an affirming and empowering mentality towards married couples. They are a tremendous resource in proclaiming the gospel. They are not simply another group with pastoral needs; they are a key resource for evangelisation.’
Download: St Valentine's Day Parish Kit