Australian Catholic parishes and schools are being encouraged to celebrate St Valentine’s Day by 'honouring marriage as life-long romantic love,' reports The Record.
The Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council (ACMFC) has produced a resource that provides practical suggestions for parishes and schools to use on the day to affirm the value of romantic love within marriage.
As part of the resource, Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life, Bishop Eugene Hurley, writes about the importance of celebrating the feast day.
'In a culture increasingly intolerant of Christian values and beliefs, feasts that have captured the imagination of the secular community, like St Valentine’s Day, represent a unique opportunity for the Church,' he writes.
'It is an opportunity for us to proclaim our beliefs in a way that is affirming and life-giving to deeply held values, that are shared by many in the wider community. In doing so, we highlight the positive good such values have and reinforce the need to protect them for the benefit of the whole community.'
Co-Chairs of ACMFC, Ron and Mavis Pirola, told The Record the resource aims to 're-Christianise' the feast of St Valentine. 'We seek to bring back into focus the Christian origins of what has become a very commercialised, secular celebration,' they said.