February 2020


Welcome to February! Christmas, New Year's, and the SuperBowl have all come and gone. Valentine's Day, with its cupcakes and red hearts and rose bouquets, sits right in the middle of this month to remind us that love is something to be celebrated. (And don't forget, it's actually Saint Valentine's Day !)

One lesser known celebration happening right now is National Marriage Week, lasting from February 7-14, with World Marriage Day falling this year on the 9th. This year's theme is Marriage is Worth It! Despite the many challenges and difficulties of married life, we pray that you agree that no matter what, marriage is worth it, even on the hardest days. Here are many ways you and your spouse can celebrate! Whether it's joining in the virtual 7-day marriage retreat, reading some of the many marriage tips available at For Your Marriage, listening to a daily podcast like Made for Love or the Messy Family Project , or creating your own way to celebrate your marriage, there's sure to be something to strengthen your marriage (or prepare for it!) C heck out the National Marriage Week facebook page for more ideas.

We pray you have a happy and holy month!

The Marriage & Family Ministry Staff
4 unique date ideas for a romantic Valentine’s Day
Looking for something to do on February 14th with your love beyond the dinner and a movie standby? Here are four unique ideas for a date you and your partner might enjoy. The author includes a range of activities to accommodate varying interests and budgets, and while the details may differ, the purpose remains the same. Each of these ideas allows you to engage an essential part of yourself while engaging with your date.
6 Lenten resolutions for couples, inspired by Pope Francis
Ash Wednesday is February 26. Are you wondering how to grow in holiness this Lent, together with your spouse? Try following some advice from the Pope! Pope Francis has spoken quite directly about how husband and wife should treat each other, about prayer within the family, and other ways the family lives its identity as a “domestic Church.” Why not commit with your spouse to try one of the following Lenten resolutions , based on words from the Holy Father?
9 saintly couples to turn to for a stronger marriage
A successful marriage usually comes with some hurdles along the way. Take a look at these saintly married men and women and you’ll see that in their marriages they were faced with many obstacles. From child loss and poverty to doubting themselves, these saints often gained strength not only from God, but also through their spouses. If you’re looking for a little help to strengthen and inspire your marriage, take comfort and inspiration from these nine saintly couples.
Podcast: Deepening Unity in Your Marriage
All couples need to work to cultivate a dynamic, vibrant relationship, strong enough to bear the demands of family life, and weather everything the world will throw at it. The reality is, we are never done working on our marriage. In this podcast we discuss the importance of “checking in” with our spouse to see how we are doing. To do this effectively we need to practice how to listen but also practice being vulnerable.
What our first year of marriage taught us about compromise
Sometimes, being married to a maximizer means reminding my husband of his strengths and encouraging him to use those strengths to, let’s say, pick out a dog breed for our future family. Sometimes it means applying attentiveness to which direction I hang clothes on hangers. But usually, the stark differences between  how we make decisions  — prioritizing ‘the best’ option available versus ‘one that meets all of our most important needs’ — requires some give and take.
Marriage Tip of the Month

Lent starts at the end of this month. Commit to a small sacrifice or extra prayer with your spouse. Whether it's a daily decade of the rosary, denying yourself the snooze button, reading the Gospels daily, or giving up a treat you love, ask the Lord for the grace to carry out your Lenten penances well.