Bulletin (February 11, 2007)

With Valentine’s Day coming up this week, this is a good time to mention the benefits of marriage - and how religious practice increases marital stability and satisfaction. Patrick F. Fagan has written an article titled Why Religion Matters Even More which summarizes recent research on this vital topic. I would like to quote some of the conclusion of this research:

There are many indications that the combination of religious practice and stable marital relationships contributes to a strong and successful next generation. We already know that stable marriage is associated with improved physical, intellectual, mental, and emotional health of men, women, and children, as well as equipping them with the values and habits that promote prosperous economic activity. Religious practice is also related to positive outcomes for the stability and quality of marriage.

Here are some specifics regarding how religious practice improves the quality and stability of marriage:

Numerous sociological studies have shown that valuing religion and regularly practicing it are associated with greater marital stability, higher levels of marital satisfaction, and an increased likelihood that an individual will be inclined to marry. Christopher Ellison of the University of Texas at Austin and his colleagues found that couples who acknowledged a divine purpose in their marriage were more likely to collaborate, to have greater marital adjustment, and to perceive more benefits from marriage and were less likely to use aggression or to come to a stalemate in their disagreements. Earlier research found that couples whose marriages lasted 30 years or more reported that their faith helped them to deal with difficult times, was a source of moral guidance in making decisions and dealing with conflict, and encouraged them to maintain their commitment to their marriages.

The article goes on to cite research which indicates that religious practice - specifically weekly attendance at Mass - correlates with greater harmony between husband and wife, a better relationship between mother and child, as well as father and child. Fagan also refers to a “small but growing body of research that has focused on the links between religious practice and decreased family violence.” I will quote more from the article next week as we look forward to the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Meanwhile, I encourage you to read it yourself. You can find it online at: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Religion/bg1992.cfm.

This past week we lost one of our most faith filled parishioners: William Savard. Bill and his wife Julie faithfully attended Mass until various infirmities made that impossible. Then Deacon Ted and others brought them Holy Communion in their home each week. The Mass of Christian Burial for Bill Savard will take place this coming Wednesday at noon. All are invited to attend. While we pray for the eternal rest of Bill, I also ask you to pray from Mary Dang Teo (mother of Ngan Kim Charles Do, an Extraordinary Minister of Communion) who also died this week.

The overflow crowds which we are expecting for the Father Corapi retreat underscores the needs we have regarding parish facilities. If all goes well, the south portable will be available for use that weekend. Volunteers from our Hispanic community have worked hard to repair the roof, walls and interior of the south portable. Since there are around a thousand people who will be taking part in the Father Corapi retreat, we need covered space for lunch and other activities. That same weekend, between the 11 a.m. and 12:30 Masses, we will have a blessing of the portable.

Besides being available for events such as the Father Corapi retreat, the south portable will be used for activities such as Holy Family School band practice and the many apostolic groups which need a medium size area in which to meet. Special thanks to all those who volunteered their labor for repairing this building – and, of course, all of you who contributed to the Capital Campaign, which enabled the purchase of building materials. The renovated south portable is one more sign that by working together we can accomplish great things.

Este miércoles celebramos el Día de San Valentín. Vale la pena recordar las orígenes de este día para reafirmar la relación en amor y matrimonio - y como la practica de la fe puede fortalecer el amor entre los casados. Existen varias teorías sobre la historia del Día de San Valentín. Algunos afirman que los orígenes se encuentran en San Valentín, un Romano que se convirtió en mártir por negar a renunciar su fe cristiana, y por intentar ayudar escapar a los cristianos de los cárceles de los romanos, y que murió el día 14 de febrero, 269 A.D.

Según otros relatos históricos, San Valentín habría servido como cura en el templo durante el reino de Claudio III cuando el Emperador decidió que los hombres jóvenes debían todos ser soldados, y prohibió el matrimonio. Valentín se daría cuenta de la injusticia del decreto y seguiría dirigiendo el rito de matrimonio para parejas jóvenes en secreto hasta que sería descubierto por Claudio quién le encarcelaría por desafío. Según la leyenda, San Valentín dejó una carta de despedida a la hija del carcelero de quien se había enamorado durante su encarcelamiento, y esta carta sería la primera carta de amor de San Valentín. Dejó al final de la misma su firma "De su Valentín", firma que se convertirá en popular para las parejas que se envían tarjetas con frases de san Valentín. En el año 496 A.D., el Papa Gelasio decidió que el día 14 de febrero sería el día en el que se honraría a San Valentín. Poco a poco el día 14 de Febrero se iba convirtiendose en una fecha en la que se intercambiaba mensajes de amor, y San Valentín se convirtió en el patrón de los enamorados.

En la parte de inglés he citado unos estudios que muestran como la participación en la misa dominical puede aumentar la estabilidad y satisfacción matrimonio, igual que las relaciones entre padres e hijos. Se puede encontrar el estudio entero usando la referencia indicada.