US Church offers alternative gifts for St Valentine's Day

 This St Valentine's Day, the Catholic Church in the USA says: "skip the candy and flowers but instead give your spouse or significant other a little something extra by logging on to for tips and tools to deal with common issues faced by married and engaged couples and those in serious relationships. Marrying a Catholic but unsure what this means to you as a non-Catholic? Read what the Catholic Church teaches about marriage, sexuality and spirituality. Married for years but still trying to get him to open up more? The Monthly Quiz will prompt a lively discussion between the two of you. Wrestling with life issues such as finances, careers or addictions? Learn to deal with these and other potential problems before they escalate. Sign up for an RSS feed of the Daily Marriage Tip. If you're looking for resources, the website offers direct links to diocesan marriage and family life offices. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) introduced the website last summer as part of the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage, a broad-based effort to promote the meaning and value of marriage for the Church and society. So far, the website has attracted more than 107,000 visits. Website visitors can also view radio and television spots that feature sidewalk interviews with individuals who answer the question "What Have You Done For Your Marriage Today?" Sheila Garcia, associate director of the USCCB's Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, explained the importance of the Marriage Initiative and the website. "Many people, especially younger adults, wonder if a lifelong marriage is possible. We believe the Church has something to say about marriage and we wanted to get the message out there. Our website offers practical support for couples and reassures them that they're not on their own." Heidi Peckham, head of the Pastoral Ministries for the Diocese of Orlando, praised the website for its "little insights" such as reminders to kiss your spouse in the morning or have lunch together. Janice Petersen Minshew, director of the Palm Beach Diocese's Office of Marriage and Family Life, added, "The For Your Marriage messages are simple, positive and powerful." Source: USCCB

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