One of the earliest memories that I have from my first assignment as a newly ordained priest occurred during a conversation that I had one morning at breakfast with my first pastor. That morning he offered me valuable pastoral advice that came from his many years of service in a variety of parishes. The topic was how best to support young couples who were preparing to be married.
In the midst of our conversation, he said, “Frank, make sure that when you meet with these couples, you help them to prepare for both their marriage and their wedding. For their wedding lasts only one day, their marriage is for life.”
I was struck by the simple truth of his observation. Over the years, in my own ministry with engaged couples, I have seen how easy it is for them to be swept up with the overwhelming demands of planning a wedding, forgetting to pray and spend time preparing how to live a life together as husband and wife. While the wedding is important, their marriage is the gift that God has given them for the rest of their lives. One of the Church’s primary missions is to help support couples as they journey through life as husband and wife, and with God’s grace, raise children into the world.
As a Diocese, we have implemented a revised Pre-Cana program that has been warmly received, in part because it asks couples to reflect upon the life they will live after their wedding ceremony is over. It is a life that is an increasingly difficult one to live, in a world that sees every commitment as transitory or open to revision. As we move forward, let us work together to find new, innovative and more effective ways to stand with our newlywed couples, to help them to live the beauty of their married life in Christ, one day at a time.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos! Do not miss Bishop Frank’s latest video: What Does it Mean to Stand with Christ?