Celebrating Marriage and Family

What is Radiate love?

Jesus performed his first miracle at a wedding, turning water into fine wine, because he believes marriage is beautiful and worth celebrating. The love of husbands and wives images the love between Jesus and his Church, as both spouses are called to lay down their lives for the other and their children.

Under the title “Radiate Love,” the bishops of California invite every Catholic to celebrate the beauty and goodness of marriage and family. We invite all families to radiate their love to the world—parents, grandparents, children, spouses, sisters, and brothers. This initiative will include monthly reflections, prayers, videos, and other materials to help families become witnesses of God’s love. 

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5 ways couples can Radiate Love:

1. Go on a Date Night
Have FUN together! Try one of these date nights to enjoy an evening together.

2. Pray Together the 3×5 Prayer
Everything starts with prayer. Try this simple prayer every night to ask, share, and appreciate the other. 

3. Take a Marriage Skills Course
Everyone needs skills to make life work. Check out a relationship skills workshop as a couple! 

4. Learn the Benefits of Fertility Awareness
Check out information to empower you with the knowledge of your fertility and reproductive health. 

5. Coffee Conversations
Over coffee (or tea, or wine), have a conversation about how you can better support each other and how together you can be better spouses and parents.

Families

5 ways your family can radiate love together:

Pray Together Daily
Unite as a family in prayer, to thank the Lord for his gifts. There are many ways to pray together. Begin with what works best for your family and try some new ideas too. 

Dinner Table Topics
At family dinner, bring your faith into the discussion and chat about saints, scripture and service. Encourage kids to be curious about the faith. If parents don’t know the answers, search the Catechism!

Join in Service Together
Kids learn by example, and when you serve as a family, that experiential learning influences their faith.

Practice Hospitality as a Family
Host a game night for families or invite young adults to dinner to experience the gift of loving, messy family life!

Talk to Kids about God’s Plan for Human Sexuality, Marriage, and Family
When you talk, your kids listen more than you think (even if they roll their eyes). Tell your kids that God has a plan for their sexuality and about the gift of marriage. 

Young Adults

5 ways young adult ministries can celebrate Radiate Love:

 
Host a Film Screening 
Watch the Humanum Films, The Dating Project or another theme about marriage and relationships and discuss its themes. 
 
Host a Theology on Tap
Invite a speaker like a married couple or marriage counselor to talk about vocation, dating, and relationship skills like communication and conflict resolution.
 
Offer a Book or Bible Study
Invite your group to read and discuss Amoris Laetitia, Love and Responsibility, Men, Women and the Mystery of Love, or another book about healthy marriages. Or host a bible study like the Theology of the Body from FOCUS.
 
Form a small group with a mentor couple
Invite young adults to dinner once a month with a mentor couple like Young Adult Teams of Our Lady.
 
Host a date night for married couples
Pay it forward by engaging the creativity of young people to put on a parish date night  for married couples of all ages, with free child care for the little ones.

Parishes

Top ways to build a marriage culture in your parish:

 

1. Offer Blessings for Married Couples and Families
Offer blessings throughout the year by inviting forward parishioners – engaged couples, newlyweds, couples celebrating an anniversary, expectant mothers, new parents and infants or adopted children.

2. Pray for Marriage During the Prayers of the Faithful
Include married couples and families in your prayers of the faithful every week (Spanish), and pray for young people to discern the vocation to marriage.

3. Welcome Families with Children
Leave an encouraging note  in the pews saying children are welcome even if they make noise. Offer prayer bags for kids with a coloring sheet or Magnifikid, and crayons.

4. Identify Married Couples and Invite into Ministry
Are there couples in the pews who have been married at least 5 years who could serve as mentor couples or in marriage ministry? Invite them!

5. Host Family Events
Invite families to play on the playground after mass, or host a family picnic day. Offer a date night out at the parish with a speaker and skills workshop on marriage.

6. Offer Skill-Building Events for Married Couples
Learning skills and receiving support from the community can make the difference between a thriving marriage and a marriage on the rocks. Make skill-building a regular part of parish life.

7. Make Baptismal Prep a Time to Promote and Strengthen Marriages
Many couples bringing a child for Baptism are still growing into understanding their call to Christian marriage and family life. Meet them there by offering resources and opportunities to learn about convalidation, the benefits of marriage, marriage skills, and fertility awareness .

Ministries

6 ways your ministry can celebrate Radiate Love:

1. Bring Themes Celebrating Marriage and Family to Your Youth
Kids should hear regularly of the gift of marriage and family, helping them to consider the importance of this vocation. Check out curricular options for schools, catechists, and youth ministry.

2. Offer Ongoing Formation for Catechists/Teachers about Marriage
Marriage is a crucial sacrament and educating catechists and teachers helps them to communicate about this topic with young people. 

3. Host Family Fun Nights for Your Whole Parish/School
Intentionally invite families for movie night, barbecues, Vacation Bible School, trivia night, Mardi Gras, baseball in the park, to build a culture of family fun.

4. Celebrate Marriage and Family at the Events You Already Have
When you host Grandparents’ Day, Valentine’s Day, Father/Daughter Dances, Family Fun Nights, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, give a round of applause and blessing for married couples or families with kids.

5. Do Service Centered Around Supporting Families in Your Community
Engage in Works of Mercy
Host a baby shower, make no-sew blankets for families, or bring dinner to a new mom in the parish. Start the Children’s Liturgy of the Word at your parish or offer babysitting to new families.

6. Offer a Vocation Night Inviting Couples, Priests, and Religious to Tell their Vocation Story
Children look to adults to share their life experiences and inspire their dreams. Talk about vocation, and not just career choice, as a way to plan their life according to God’s call. 

Bishop Reflections | English

Bishop Reflections | Spanish

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