To have, to hold, and to honor

Deacon Tom Lopus with wife Donna, married 39 years.

National Marriage Week is February 7-14

Why revel in your relationship for one day on February 14 when you can make it a week-long celebration? Better yet, why not embrace new ways to share your love for a lifetime?

National Marriage Week kicks off Sunday, February 7, with many enrichment activities leading up to World Marriage Sunday, which this year fortuitously falls on Saint Valentine’s Day.

“Next week is an opportunity to reflect on the vocation of marriage,” said Deacon Tom Lopus, deacon in support of marriage ministries in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. “We all need renewal to keep our sacramental marriages fresh and vibrant.”

Many married couples are feeling the strain from the pandemic due to the extended time together that spouses are experiencing, according to Deacon Lopus.

“We need to have more patience as well as good communication and conflict resolution skills,” he said. “Couples need help.”

“The more we can foster strong marriages, the more our parishes and schools will flourish, and the world will be transformed,” said Judene Indovina, diocesan director of Catholic identity.

The diocese is offering a wide range of online resources to celebrate National Marriage Week, including a link to an at-home marriage retreat entitled, “To Have, To Hold, To Honor.” Provided in both English and Spanish, each day includes a Scripture passage, imaginative conversations between characters from the stories, reflection questions and a closing prayer.

Also on the website are suggested activities for parishes, couples and families, and daily marriage tips.

“It’s good to take a little bit of time each day to re-center your marriage,” Deacon Lopus said.

Couples can register for a Candlelight Renewal of Vows Mass at Epiphany church in uptown Pittsburgh on Saturday, February 13 at 8 p.m., sponsored by the Renew the ‘I do’ Foundation. In-person worship is now filled, but virtual participation is still available.

Catholics who are single or dating and looking for a holy, Catholic marriage, or engaged and in need of marriage preparation can find information on the site.

There is background on making a Marriage Encounter weekend, and several options to help couples who are struggling in their marriages, including the very effective Retrouvaille program.

To learn more, visit

Deacon Lopus would like to connect with couples interested in getting involved in marriage ministry in their parishes. He can be reached at