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NAZARETH – Just before Holy Week, a group of engaged couples from Nazareth attended a meeting with Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Israel, as part of their marriage preparations. The bishop spoke with them on the “Theology of Marriage.”

Everyone knows the excesses that the modern family can encounter and experience. Everyone also knows the efforts being  undertaken by the Church to seriously prepare engaged couples, especially after the recent Synods of Bishops on the family and through Amoris Laetitia, the exhortation of Pope Francis.

For the marriage preparations, the papal exhortation strongly encourages formation courses.  This is not new in the Church of the Holy Land, which already made this preparation mandatory with the Diocesan Pastoral Synod. Now it is a pastoral activity carried out  in all Catholic parishes.

The best time for this training extends from Christmas to Easter, often with an average of twelve meetings.  As summer approaches, which is the time for weddings, this formation meetings are intensely in progress around Easter.

This is why, just before the Holy Week, Bishop Marcuzzo met with this group of engaged couples in Nazareth  on the “Theology of Marriage,” in the words of St. John Paul II: “Marriage, and therefore  the family, is the sanctuary of love and life “.  He emphasized the sacred and sanctifying aspect of marriage and the family, giving modern examples of married faithful, or even couples, whom the Church has beatified and canonized, such as Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, Bl. Frédérick  Ozanam and the Martin saints, the parents of St. Therese and many others.

The themes covered are varied, from  moral and canonical aspects, to theological, canonical and spiritual topics, including economic, educational and even psychological questions. The speakers are very diverse too, with a majority of lay people and couples.

Father Amjad Sabbara, parish priest who coordinates these courses in Nazareth, is pleased with the commitment of the engaged couples to these meetings. “Already 47 couples have registered for marriage preparations in Nazareth for this year 2017”,he said with joy . “All of them attended the courses almost completely and with great interest, which is remarkable.  What has positively surprised me is the economic conferences on the family. This is significant of certain problems of our society “. 

From our correspondent in Galilee

Photos: A. K.

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