Married couples provide a remarkable witness to the world, says, Bishop Don
By Amanda Murthy
Coinciding with the Church’s year of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) Family, and Natural Family Planning week, the Archdiocese of Perth celebrated the gift of the Sacrament of Marriage with a Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral.
The Archdiocesan Marriage Mass was celebrated by Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton and concelebrant Archdiocese of Perth’s Vicar for Education and Adult Faith Formation Father Vincent Glynn on 28 August, 11am, at Saint Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton celebrated the 28 August, 11am Mass, alongside concelebrant Vicar for Education and Adult Faith Formation Father Vincent Glynn – with the attendance of some 500 members of the congregation, including married couples celebrating milestone anniversaries.
The Marriage Mass was first inaugurated in the Archdiocese by the Knights of the Southern Cross and the Australian Family Association.
Archdiocesan Centre for Life, Marriage and Family (CLMF) Director Derek Boylen and his wife Karen, now married for 23 years, thanked those present for their love for the church, for one another, for their families and loved ones on 28 August, 11am, at Saint Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
At the start of Mass, Archdiocesan Centre for Life, Marriage and Family (CLMF) Director Derek Boylen and his wife Karen, now married for 23 years, thanked those present for their love for the church, for one another, for their families and loved ones.
“Pope Francis has proclaimed this year to be the year of Amoris Laetitia family – a time when the universal church is being called to celebrate the Sacrament of family and married life,” Mrs Boylen said.
“This week is also Natural Family Planning week where we celebrate the openness of couples in the Sacrament of marriage to the gift of life.
“As we come together to celebrate the Eucharist, let us thank God for His grace entrusted to us on our wedding days,” Mr Boylen added.
“….Let us pray for each other that God will renew and strengthen our marriages, drawing us into a deeper relationship with each other and with Him.”
In his homily, Bishop Don spoke about the importance of relying on God’s Holy Spirit in a married couple’s life.
The annual Archdiocesan Marriage Mass, celebrated on the feast day of St Augustine of Hippo was held on 28 August, 11am, at Saint Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
“The couples here today are celebrating the years of marriage they have lived…. Their marriages have invited the Holy Spirit into their midst,” Bishop Don said.
“The Spirit of God has continually built their capacity to love like Christ, strengthened their love for each other; and assisted them in loving without giving up.”
Reflecting on the Gospel of the day, taken from the letter of John, Bishop Don spoke about the love that God has for each of us.
“Love is the central point of the letter of John, a portion of which we heard just minutes ago. We were reminded that the ultimate evidence of God’s love for humanity is the sacrifice of Christ that we ponder when looking on the Crucifix,” Bishop Don explained.
“St John reflected and pondered on the great mystery of God as revealed by Jesus. He understood that God is love itself and that all love has its source in God.
He then pondered on God’s love for creation especially humanity. John appreciated that we come to know God by knowing the love of God for each of us,” he added.
Two of the couples who received a certificate honouring their years of marriage at last year’s annual Marriage Day Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
“No-one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another, God will live in us, and his love will be complete in us”. Although we cannot see God, we can experience the presence of God, through loving.”
Bishop Don concluded his message by encouraging all married couples present to “celebrate the presence of God within them and give thanks that they provide such remarkable witness to the world.”
“The couples with us today reassure us that love can conquer all things. They are a true sign of the great goodness of God and that their trust in the grace of love accompanies them each day.”