Observe National Marriage Week Feb. 7-14

Published: February 1, 2021

En Español

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops partners with other organizations to promote National Marriage Week each year to help build "a culture of life and love that begins with supporting and promoting marriage and the family." It is always held Feb. 7-14. The 2021 theme is: “To Have, To Hold, To Honor.”

World Marriage Day, held on the second Sunday of February, is part of this observance. This year, it falls on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. World Marriage Day "honors husband and wife as the foundation of the family — the basic unit of society. It salutes the beauty of their faithfulness, sacrifice and joy in daily married life," according to its sponsor Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME).

This year, consider the gift of time to strengthen your marriage this Valentine's Day, which can be far more meaningful than candy or flowers. In the Diocese of Little Rock, Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) is available to help married couples focus on each other and their relationship. It is sponsored by the Family Life Office.

Primarily, WWME is designed to help couples pause, reflect, and reconnect privately. There is no group discussion. Three couples and a priest lead participants through a program where they share experiences and offer tools to improve communication. Weekend and weeknight experiences are available. Weeknight programs last two to three hours each in seven sessions, whereas weekend programs cover the material in two to three days. Learn more.

Normally, these are held in-person in a retreat setting or parish or school, but all are being held virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual WWMEs follow the same schedule but are attended from home, using video conference software. The Arkansas WWME website is offering three virtual options in February and March. Apply online. Other options exist on the main WWME website. Married couples with good marriages are encouraged to apply. If you are struggling in your marriage, try Retrouvaille instead. 

Encuentro Matrimonial, the Spanish-language version of this program, will be held in July and October at St. John Catholic Center in Little Rock. At this point, these events will be held in-person. This is subject to change. For more information, contact Elizabeth Reha, director of the Family Life Office, at (501) 664-0340, ext. 373. To apply, download and return the application form with deposit.

For Your Marriage, a website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, offers other ways to celebrate National Marriage Week, including a downloadable At-Home Marriage Retreat in English and Spanish, two livestreamed events, a rosary for married couples and families and presentation on fatherhood and spousal love as well as National Marriage Week virtual retreats, all on Facebook. There are also many other resources to support your marriage all year long.