Responding to the need for marriage enrichment within the Catholic community to foster strong, healthy marriages and to help husbands and wives live out their vocation with enthusiasm and joy, the Diocese of Orlando is inviting all married couples to a marriage conference on August 2 & 3 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Orlando.
This conference is the first of its kind in the Diocese of Orlando and given the challenges our society is facing, the time to give marriages the attention and priority they deserve is now.
“Marriage is the basic unit of life for our society and for our Church because from marriage comes new life into the world, said Bishop John Noonan.
“Since creation, God created male and female that the two should become one. Because of that, the Church sees marriage as a sacrament, a sign of God’s love,” he continued.
The Marriage Conference theme is “Faithful Marriages: Christ in the Mix” which emphasizes that husbands and wives need a relationship with Jesus Christ as part of their marriage. This understanding of marriage is foundational for a couple seeking to live “happily ever after.”
National speakers Dr. Ricardo and Lucia Luzondo will be the highlight of the conference with their inspirational keynote talks that include music, worship and a few surprises. Their presentation will cover in great detail the three vows of marriage: fidelity, perseverance and being open to life.
“Marriage is a decision of will. It is not a feeling in that when it no longer feels right or the passion is no longer there, you leave. It is a commitment, a covenant to love, support and serve your spouse no matter what life brings your way,” said Lucia.
“I was talking with a woman who had been married for 67 years and I asked her her secret. She said she came from a time when something was broken, you fixed it,” she continued. “Today, so many people simply throw things away, including their marriages. We need to look at marriage knowing that our love and commitment to each other is sealed by God in sacrament. Marriage is centered on four pillars – it is total, faithful, fruitful and free.”
According to the U.S. Bishop’s pastoral letter on marriage, “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan,” marriage between a husband and wife reflects the love Christ has for the Church.
“When the baptized spouses exchange their promises of loving and permanent fidelity before the Church, their marriage covenant becomes a participation in the unbreakable covenant between Christ and the Church. The Holy Spirit binds the spouses together and enables them to perform acts of self-giving love to the benefit of themselves, their families, and the whole Church. In this way their marriage does more than symbolize Christ’s love; it makes that love present in the world.”
The conference will have a variety of workshops in English and Spanish and the presenters are local couples who have experienced difficulties and even tragedies in their marriage, but they have overcome those difficulties with the grace and strength that comes from God and a marriage rooted in the Eucharist and a life of faith.